Interview: Kara Gilmour-Director of Education and Stewardship for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

November 21, 2010

For nearly 20 years the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has been working to bring a world-class park to the downtown Brooklyn waterfront. Working with the local community, New York City civic organizations and elected officials, the Conservancy has helped bring bring this vision to reality. The Conservancy brings cultural, educational and recreational programming to the Park for free all year round. Their mission is to “ensure the creation, adequate funding, proper maintenance, public support, and citizen enjoyment of Brooklyn Bridge Park through partnership with government, development of programming, and active promotion of the needs of the park and its constituents.”

Below is an interview with Kara Gilmour, the Director of Education and Stewardship for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.

Q: How long have you been working for/on the waterfront?

A: I started at the Conservancy in April of 2008.

Q: What is your educational background and how did you become involved in a waterfront organization?

A: I came to the Brooklyn Bridge    Park Conservancy from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation where I was the Coordinator of Fort Greene Park for nearly four years. I attended Wesleyan University and worked for a variety of social and market research firms prior to joining the Parks Department.

Q: What do you think of current waterfront planning initiatives and issues?

A: I believe that the revitalization of the waterfront in New York City,
as well as other metropolitan centers is extremely exciting from an
ecological perspective as well as for citizen enjoyment.

Q: What are your thoughts on vision 2020, or the comprehensive waterfront plan?

A: The Comprehensive Waterfront Plan is woefully out of date having been
first developed in 1992. I commend the extensive efforts of the NYC
Dept of Planning and MWA to include the many stakeholders of the
harbor in the updated plan. This is not an easy task but will only
serve to create a more accurate and comprehensive plan that reflects
the issues of the harbor today.

Q: Do you see the waterfront playing a more active role in New Yorkers’ lives? Why or Why not?

A: Absolutely, I feel that the more New Yorkers can access and interact
with the waterfront, the more aware they will become of the
significance of the estuary. In addition, as opportunities become
available (i.e., boating and education), the more citizens will change
their beliefs and behaviors to include the waterfront in their daily
lives.

 

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