The Naval Cemetery Landscape creates an experience of landscape and planted form that offers retreat, remembrance, and engaged observation while honoring a layered, 200 year history. The site is an unmarked burial ground from the late 19th and early 20th centuries at the Brooklyn Navy Yard complex and now the first open space node along the Brooklyn Greenway. A memorial meadow and sacred grove are framed by an undulating boardwalk lifted above the undisturbed ground. The plantings of the memorial meadow focus on establishment of much needed native plant fodder for the many forgotten pollinators critical to the ecological health of the region, including butterflies, honey bees, and pollinator moths. This immersive experience engages the public in the importance of pollinator habitat in the urban environment while symbolically attracting many forms of life to a place that has historically commemorated death. Initially planted in a strict geometric pattern, the plantings now drift across the site, creating new patterns and establishing a self-sustaining, ‘open-ended’ ecology. Visitors use the landscape as an urban oasis often meditating, drawing or reading somewhere along the boardwalk. The space is also often used to host community events such as yoga classes, art shows and beekeeping workshops.
Collaborators: Rogers Marvel Architects, Larry Weaner Associates