Conceptual plan of vernal pool restoration
Vernal Pool Restoration & Mitigation Evaluation
August 21, 2019
Del Mar Fairgrounds Treatment Wetlands
September 26, 2019
La Lomita Park Ecological Design
July 22, 2019
San Marcos Highlands Habitat Mitigation Implementation
January 25, 2021

Brooklyn Bridge Park Ecological Design

Brooklyn, NY

Great Ecology served as the ecological designer on the Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates team, contributing strategic design and technical expertise to the conversion of the East River industrial piers into recreational areas, which provide public access to restored native coastal and intertidal coastal habitats. This included an evaluation of similar restored habitats; a vegetative survey of the pre-restoration park site; and an ecological summit that covered a variety of topics including the current vegetative conditions, the growing medium and hydrological conditions, and proposed improvements for creating ecological uplift at the site.
As part of this uplift, Great Ecology was integral to the planning and design of freshwater wetlands, tidal wetlands, and tidal pool features. Additionally, Great Ecology helped design a cove that utilized white cedar stumps for both aesthetic appeal and habitat creation. Careful analysis was done on appropriate placement of these stumps to enhance depositional structure on the shoreline. To better manage stormwater and inundation, Great Ecology helped design the swale system throughout the park including determining elevations, dimensions, planting substrate, and plant species. Some of these swales are specifically designed to retain stormwater, and allow it to be filtered by plants, before it enters the East River.
Brooklyn Bridge Park represents one of the most important interfaces between ecology and urban public space in the United States, and is one of the City’s most spectacular public spaces.


2014 National Planning Excellence Award

Urban Design - APA

2011 Rudy Bruner Award - Silver Medalist

Bruner Foundation Inc.

2010 Honor Award for Master Plan

Design the Parks

2009 Analysis and Planning Award

ASLA Honor 


Ecological Landscape Alliance

Resilient Design

Great Ecology designed the wetlands and swale system with salt-tolerant plantings, sandy soil composite, and other features to withstand stormsurge, rising sea levels, and winter conditions. During hurricane Sandy, which left much of the park inundated by brackish water for more than four hours, the wetlands and swale had minimal plant loss. .

The Interface of Ecology & Urban Space

Visited by over one million people each year, the Park's tidal wetlands and cedar stump habitat serve as living classrooms teaching the importance of biodiversity, habitat restoration and preservation, and nature based solutions to sea level rise.