Art and Architecture of Prospect Park Zoo | Virtual Program | Thursday, August 13, 12:30pm

Take a deep dive into the art and architecture of Prospect Park Zoo on this virtual program that will include a live broadcast interview with Zoo Director Denise McClean of the Wildlife Conservation Society. We will learn about the history of architectural designs for zoos across New York City, the story of architect Aymar Embury III and his designs for the zoo, stories behind the animal-inspired bas reliefs and sculptures, (including the artist behind the beloved topiary sculptures), and the evolution of the zoo itself over time.

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The Trees of Prospect Park with Howard Goldstein | Free Virtual Program | Wednesday, August 19, 12:30pm

Get to know the trees of Prospect Park! Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein joins us again for a discussion about the 30,000 trees of the park. We will look at common native and invasive tree species (and how to recognize them), the different forest types in the park, why some of our native trees are so valuable to wildlife, some unusual and less common trees, and how the Prospect Park Alliance manages Brooklyn’s last forest.

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Guastavino Tiles of Prospect Park | Episode 115

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In 1881, Spanish engineer Rafael Guastavino arrived in New York City and unveiled his new technology for building self-supporting vaulted tile ceilings. These ceilings are now iconic elements of many New York landmarks, and city is home to more than 250 of them, but no place has a denser concentration than Prospect Park. On this virtual tour, we’ll look at many of the ceilings up close, including in Grand Army Plaza, the Tennis House, and the Prospect Park Zoo, as we discuss this engineering marvel.

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Progressivism and Purified Air: Frederick Law Olmsted’s Living Machines | Episode 112

Join our conversation with Sara Carr, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and Landscape at Northeastern University, who will discuss Frederick Law Olmsted’s origins in public health, and how his background in the US Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, and his journalistic advocacy inspired his designs of Central Park and Prospect Park. Olmsted’s prolific writings give us an insight into how he thought about the intersection of human, ecological, and societal health, which resonate strongly in our pandemic era. But as his living legacies face unprecedented urban challenges, we must also think about how they can sustain and at times even transform for a just and sustainable future. This program is presented in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.

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Exploring the Prospect Park Rose Garden | Episode 107

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Prospect Park has been an indispensable oasis throughout the pandemic. As more Brooklynites venture outdoors, we will visit one of the more secluded areas of the park, the Rose Garden and Vale of Cashmere. This program will explore the history of this area in the park’s northeast corner; its past uses as a playground, wedding venue, and tropical garden; and the Prospect Park Alliance’s future plans for the area and the park’s Flatbush Avenue perimeter.

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Urban Hawks with Gabriel Willow | Virtual Program

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NYC naturalist Gabriel Willow gives a multimedia presentation about Pale Male and some of the other Red-tailed Hawks that have made an astonishing and inspiring comeback in the area over the past 30 years. There were no breeding Red-tails in urban NYC & NJ in the 1980s, and now there are at least 50 pairs! We’ll also discuss the basics of raptor identification and conservation challenges as well. Gabriel Willow is an Educator and Urban Naturalist who leads tours and teaches classes for NYC Audubon, Wave Hill, and others, co-created an innovative interactive citizen science program and app called The WildLab, and is an illustrator and DJ.

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Vaux & Olmsted: Public Spaces, Private Lives | Virtual Program

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Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted are best known for designing landmark landscapes in New York City and across the country, most notably Prospect Park and Central Park. Both men had wildly different lives and careers before their collaboration began, and yet they found incredible chemistry and creative energy together, though later their lives again diverged. This program will look closely at the biographies of both men and how their life experiences and outlooks are reflected in the spaces they created together.

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The Carousels of Brooklyn | Virtual Program

A close-up of a carved black stallion with lolling tongue and wind-blown mane at the Prospect Park Carousel

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From Coney Island to DUMBO, this virtual program will look at Brooklyn’s surviving historic carousels. We will delve into the history of the art form of carousel design, discuss Brooklyn’s own unique style of carousels, and we will have a special focus on the 1912 carousel in Prospect Park, created by master carver Charles Carmel, and the restoration work done to this masterpiece of carousel design over the years.

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Animal History of Prospect Park | Virtual Program

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Prospect Park is not just 585 acres for people, but animals, too. We’ll share stories of the furry, feathery, scaly, and slimy inhabitants of the park throughout history, including the livestock that used to work in the park, the inhabitants of the various zoos over time, the dogs that roam the meadows during off-leash hours, and the many wild fauna that thrive in the park today.

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Earth Day: Ecology of Prospect Park | Virtual Program

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Celebrate Earth Day by virtually exploring Brooklyn’s largest forest with us and Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein. We will learn about some of the park’s 30,000 trees, ongoing forest maintenance and restoration projects, and how the the Alliance is adapting to challenges like climate change, invasive species, pests, and extreme weather events.

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