Prospect Park needs a corporate sponsor to step up and adopt the only lake in Brooklyn so the proper resources can be secured to help in its recovery.
Days after Sunday’s torrential downpour of eight inches, Prospect Park is still recovering from the effects of the flooding along the lakefront. The overflow even remained on the steps of the Boathouse at the Audubon Center, covering the boat deck launch for the electric boat, Independence.
We were assured that the in-flow to the watercourse was turned off and the out-flow fully opened on Monday in an attempt to reverse the course. Early Monday morning, we saw the waterfall at the Binnen Bridge running full force into the Boathouse Pond, adding water to an already severely overflowing watercourse. The erosion was evident at the Lullwater Bridge, with clumps of land loosening and falling from the shore as the water level kept on rising the next day.
The drains inside Prospect Park continue to empty into the lake and cause an additional burden on the infrastructure. The lake has overflowed over the walking paths and park benches hundreds of feet away.
On Monday and Tuesday, at the Park Circle entrance, a river of water was streaming away from the lake, onto the East Park Drive unabated and on Wednesday, park benches at the southeastern corner still looked like they are floating. In the past, the lake had been lowered in advance of heavy rainfall in order to minimize the damage.
The lakeside is already under stress from years of disrepair and lack of commitment of resources. Large sections of parkland have been turned into swampy pits and erosion continues at a rapid pace exposing tree roots that are covered in lake water. Some of the trees look as if they were planted right in the lake.
Boughs and branches are snapping and trees are uprooting from the wearing away of landscape. The erosion contributes to the demise of trees surrounding the watercourse by exposing the roots.
The bank’s stonework has fallen apart around the watercourse creating escape routes that act like broken Roman aqueducts spilling water haphazardly out onto the landscape. Now, there will be days and possibly weeks of large stagnant pools of filthy muddy water adding to the problem of creating more breeding grounds for mosquito eggs after the park was sprayed on Friday morning, Aug. 5, for West Nile Virus.
Brooklyn, more than ever, needs a corporate Neptune to restore our freshwater lakeside and to protect the wildlife habitat.
The opinion expressed by Anne-Katrin Titze, licensed wildlife rehabilitator, are hers. The Brooklyn Paper is an objective source for news. We are merely presenting this opinion piece to further local debate.