Committee Activities

Block captains
Block Captains go door-to-door to organize a block by gathering contact information. We can publish and distribute a contact sheet so neighbors can keep in touch. Block Captains can initiate a block-long activity like greening or tackle any issue with the Association’s support. Contact us if you’d like to be a Block Captain.

Boerum Hill history
In the past the Association had a historian who would write articles for the Newsletter but unfortunately work relocated him to another state. We seek writers who would like to research our history, interview long-time residents, profile artists or writers and just about anything else you, and our residents, may find interesting. Contact us if you willing to take this on.

Community Events and Parties
Annual Pot Luck Holiday Party, first Saturday in December

 

Newsletters
We try to publish the Newsletter three times each year. Writers are needed and welcome. Go to the Newsletter tab on the Home Page to see our past issues. Contact us if you would like to write for the Newsletter.

Parks and Playgrounds

We have very little park space in Boerum Hill but we do like the Thomas Greene Park with the “Double D” pool to our south at Douglas Street and Third Avenue. Brooklyn Bridge Park is further away but worth the walk as it has so much to offer.

Closer to home, BHA board members Daughtry Carstarphen and Hannah Mason were staunch advocates and leaders of a friends group for 16 Sycamores Playground, a small park just west of the corner of Schermerhorn Street and Third Avenue. We held several Movie Nights on the handball courts to bring attention to the playground and raise its profile. This effort paid off when a $1 million renovation was undertaken with the help of Ex-Borough President Marty Markowitz the Parks Department, former Councilmember David Yassky and current Councilmember Steve Levin who all supported and funded this project.

Drop by to enjoy the play equipment, swings and sprinklers. We especially appreciate the comfort station bathrooms in a building that had been sign storage.

We have several pocket parks to enjoy. Keys to Hoyt Street Garden, Atlantic Avenue and Hoyt Street, are given out at GRDN at 103 Hoyt Street. Just follow the posted rules on the gate. The David Foulke Garden on Bergen Street near Nevins is another jewel as is the Wyckoff-Bond Garden. The North Pacific Playground across from PS 38 is a popular spot for pre-schoolers and there is a vegetable and flower garden behind the playground.

If you want to cleanup or be a playground and parks advocate, please contact us.

Greening

The purpose of the BHA Greening Committee is to affect a continual improvement of the physical streetscape of the neighborhood through a wide variety of greening activities, including but not limited to:

  • Building a broad base of support for and participation in a wide range of greening activities that cut across the entire neighborhood.
  • Promoting and supporting our community gardens.
  • Identifying and screening sites for the planting of new street trees.
  • Educating residents about a broad range of greening activities including both planting and maintenance.
  • Raising awareness about the benefits of landscaping the fronts of buildings and developing well-kept sidewalks and tree pits.
  • Encouraging street planting where appropriate.
  • Targeting and improving specific areas of the neighborhood that have remained neglected or underdeveloped in terms of greening activity.

Land use, land marks and zoning

The purpose of the BHA Land Use Committee is to advocate for progressive, environmentally responsible methods of development which is nevertheless mindful of neighborhood character and the historic nature of the area, especially our historic district, through the following activities:

  • Identify opportunities for proactive community based planning and development in Boerum Hill.
  • Participate in Environmental Impact Statement and other public land use processes in connection with proposed transportation and land use projects.
  • Communicate with elected officials as necessary.
  • Work to expand the boundaries of the Boerum Hill Historic District and to educate residents and merchants about the value of historic preservation.
  • Encourage the development and use of green technology in new and adaptive re-use projects in Boerum Hill and Downtown Brooklyn.
  • Attend meetings of local and regional groups involved in planning and land marking, and report on issues of interest to Boerum Hill residents via egroup and newsletter.
  • Cooperate with Traffic and Transportation Committee to identify transportation proposals and their possible effects on Boerum Hill.
  • Liaise with neighboring civic, business and community based organizations on issues of mutual concern

Membership outreach

The purpose of the BHA Membership and Development Committee is to attract, maintain and increase membership in the organization. The committee works closely with other committees in providing them with information regarding the interests expressed by members and/or supporting the dissemination of membership information. It also develops and organizes special functions that support the overall purpose of developing membership. The specific functions that are carried out by the Membership and Development Committee are:

  • Yearly membership mailing renewal and membership acknowledgment.
  • Follow up membership renewals/notification.
  • Maintenance of membership database and informing other committees of member's interests.
  • General mailings (i.e. voting, etc.).
  • Organizing special social functions aimed at promoting the BHA and increasing membership.

Quality of Life: public safety, noise, sanitation and more
[Coming soon]

Technology: IT and social media
[Coming soon]

Traffic and transportation

The purpose of the BHA Traffic & Transportation Committee is to advocate for progressive and environmentally responsible methods of improving the safety, usability and efficiency of all forms of transportation affecting the Boerum Hill community through the following activities:

  • Identify local and systemic transportation problems and their direct or indirect effects on Boerum Hill
  • Educate and encourage residents how to communicate complaints or suggestions regarding transportation issues affecting Boerum Hill and monitor the quality and timeliness of response by government agencies and/or elected officials.
  • Participate in Environmental Impact Statement and other public processes in connection proposed transportation projects and the traffic impacts of other proposed projects.
  • Communicate with elected officials as necessary.
  • Attend meetings of local and regional transportation advocacy groups, and report on issues of interest to Boerum Hill residents via egroup and newsletter.
  • Cooperate with Quality of Life Committee to identify problems that relate to automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles and possible solutions.
  • Cooperate with Land Use Committee to identify traffic & transportation implications of land use proposals and possible effects on Boerum Hill.
  • Liaise with neighboring civic, business and community based organizations on issues of mutual concern.

Tutoring

Gowanus In Unity Tutoring is a volunteer program serving students in need of help with their studies. We have operated for over seventeen years. James Vacirca, who passed away thirteen years ago, founded the program. Steve Shooman has been Tutoring Coordinator since.

Gowanus In Unity Tutoring Inc. has always received the support of many neighborhood organizations, and has a special relationship with the Boerum Hill Association.

Gowanus In Unity Tutoring Inc. is recognized as a charitable organization under the rules of the IRS, Section 501 (c) (3). The James Vacirca College Scholarship was created in 2006 to let students realize that college is within their reach. In recent years we have awarded 20 college scholarships, usually for $500.00 each. Scholarships are awarded upon entering college, and again annually if an overall GPA of 3.0 is maintained by the student. Tutoring usually takes place at Wyckoff Gardens Community Center in Wyckoff Gardens Houses, 280 Wyckoff Street. Many students live in Gowanus Houses or Wyckoff Houses. We generally tutor students from first grade through high school. There are currently over 20 students in the program.

For more information, please contact Steve Shooman, 184 Dean Street, Brooklyn, New York 11217. Phone 718-­522-­5746 or email Steve at gowanustutor@gmail.com