Pre-existing Conditions

Paerdegat Basin started out as a tidal estuary fed by a creek; was subsequently used for agriculture; and was finally dredged in anticipation of its development as a port facility. The port never materialized and a sewage treatment pump station was finally located at its head. Small scale marinas as well as odd bits of public access link the surrounding development with the water’s edge. However, the intervening area remains a no-person’s-land with fragments of ecosystems struggling to reassert a viable order. Efforts to improve the basin are especially important because of its connection to the diverse habitat of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, an important wintering and breeding area for egrets, herons, and ibises. “The Pull: Wild Gardens at Paerdegat” addresses the rejuvenation and ecological enhancement of the polluted waters, shoreline, and uplands of Paerdegat Basin in Brooklyn NY. A steel overlook shaped like a magnet stands at the head of the basin to “pull” the forces of nature back into the city. The overlook, plantings, grading, shoreline, and garden spaces express the dynamic forces activated when the “magnet” swept over the site.