Salt Marsh Nature Center to close
Marine Park history haven will reopen in 2023 after $2 million makeover
BY BEN BRACHFELD
The Salt Marsh Nature
Center at Marine Park will be
closed until 2023 so it can receive
a $2 million renovation,
aimed at preserving the largest
nature center in any of the
The project, which is ongoing
and is expected to be fi nished
in 2023, aims to upgrade
exhibition and offi ce space
within the building as well
as make it ADA-accessible, a
Parks Department spokesperson
The Center was built in
2000 at the northern tip of the
Salt Marsh Nature Trail, just
south of the section of Avenue U
which separates the trail from
the more developed northern
section of the park, Brooklyn’s
largest. The 530-acre nature
trail winds through tall
grasses and marshes which
are home to various species of
birds, fi sh, crustaceans, turtles,
and other wildlife.
Behind the center are wood
pilings which are the only remains
of the nation’s fi rst “tidepowered
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mill,” built in 1645 and
destroyed in a fi re in 1935.
“This was the fi rst beautiful
building constructed in
this fl agship park,” said Maria
chair of the Marine Park Alliance,
in a statement. “It serves
as a gateway to the nature
trails and an anchor destination
for visitors. It’s been over
20 years since it was fi rst built
and we are glad NYC Parks is
investing in renovations so
the Nature Center can be here
for our grandchildren’s children
in the next century.”
The Nature Center contains
exhibits and classroom space
for students of nature to learn
about Marine Park’s native
fl ora and fauna and about preservation,
as well as telescopes
to look out at the marsh, especially
at places that can’t easily
be traversed by foot.
The building also holds offi
ce space for the Urban Park
Rangers, described by their
union as the city’s “chief ambassadors
to nature,” who run
events featuring various outdoor
actively conserve the wildlands,
and educate the public
on the city’s natural splendor
and the importance of preserving
The Nature Center had
been closed for much of the
COVID-19 pandemic, as were
the city’s other nature centers,
but reopened this summer on
the weekends. It will be closed
to the public until the spring of
2023, during which time half
the building will be closed entirely,
while rangers will work
in the other half.
Local pols pledged $11.1 million
for repairs and upgrades
at the park back in 2019, just
months before the onset of the
pandemic. The Parks Department’s
capital projects tracker
shows four ongoing jobs there,
including work at the Nature
Center, oval, golf course, and
forest. Work is furthest along
at the Nature Center, the only
one where construction has
The Salt Marine Nature Center at Marine Park will be closed for renovations until 2023. Wikimedia Commons
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