The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund got nearly 100 applications for grants and will announce the winners in late February

Going Green-point! Oil money seeping into the hands of eco-activists

Oil take it: Pastor Ann Kansfield wants Greenpoint Reformed Church to get a rooftop farm.
The Brooklyn Paper
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More than 100 people are vying for a chunk of $19.5 million in oil spill compensation money meant to gussy up Greenpoint.

The projects seeking money from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, set up as part of a court settlement for the neighborhood that suffered through an oil spill that was three times the size of the Exxon Valdez disaster, come in all shapes and sizes. They include creating a green space next to Bushwick Inlet Park and building an environmental education center out of shipping containers. One local church wants to start a rooftop garden to supply its food pantry.

“We want to come up with ways to make the neighborhood more sustainable,” said Ann Kansfield, pastor of Greenpoint Reformed Church on Milton Street.

Kansfield is asking for $3,000 in pre-proposal money to fund a feasibility study on whether the roof of the church can be redone to support a garden. If it can, the church plans to ask for another grant to fund the veggie overhaul.

The piggy bank is a trust created by the state as part of a court settlement for the damage wrought by the oil that seeped into Newtown Creek and soaked Greenpoint’s soil over several decades.

Administrators started accepting applications in October. Proposals are split into two types: small grants for amounts from $3,000 to $25,000 and “legacy” grants good for $25,001 to $3 million. At least 44 organizations applied for the small grants and at least 48 applied for legacy grant proposals or pre-proposals.

Alpha One Labs has asked for $4.3 million to build an environmentally friendly building out of shipping containers. It hopes to use the structure as a classroom for topics such as water conservation and clean energy.

“A place like this has important implications for enabling the community to find and develop new patterns for health,” said James Carlson, who submitted the proposal.

The fund plans to announce the winners of the small grants later this month. The state attorney general officially holds the purse strings but has left the grant-making to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the North Brooklyn Development Corporation, a pro-business group.Some Greenpointers voiced concerns in September that the process would be gamed by political insiders.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Alex from Staten Island says:
What a bunch of hipster nonsense. Businesses and people who actually suffered as a result of thr spill will be getting less money due to some idiots wanting to grow organoc lead laced vegetables and fruits in a dirty industrial area.
Feb. 12, 2014, 7:48 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Gibs me dats for hipsters !
Feb. 12, 2014, 8:54 am
Greenpointer from Greenpoint says:
The church that's looking to build a rooftop farm regularly feeds the neighborhood homeless and some of the area's most at risk people.
Feb. 12, 2014, 8:16 pm
b from gp says:
Why not extend Newtown Creek to the Navy Yard, perhaps along Flushing Ave, thus creating a more fluid waterway, preventing toxic congestion?
Feb. 13, 2014, 10:59 pm
b from gp says:
... this would also allow for glacier melt a place to go

(happy slushy valentine's day)
Feb. 14, 2014, 12:29 pm
Ann from Greenpoint says:
What we're talking about is not hipster nonsense. We feed dinner to 60-70 people every week and our food pantry feeds hundreds of people a week, most of whom live in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Many of the folks we help feed, along with the volunteers who help make it all happen, are longtime residents of the area, and have been affected by the oil spill.
Feb. 16, 2014, 8:19 pm

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