As I walked around the GoogaMooga festival last month, my thoughts (aside from the length of the wristband and beer lines) were about the Nethermead, the meadow at the heart of the park on which the festival was held. All these people, with their garbage and footfalls, couldn’t be good for it, right?
Not at all, it turns out. Large swaths of once grassy meadows had been reduced to damaged patches where the grass is dead or dying. “The Nethermead Meadow has been turned into a mud hole at numerous locations,” parks advocate Anne-Katrin Titze told us last week. “The loss of grass on the meadow causes erosion of the landscape, as you can see on the muddied walking paths and rutted, dead meadow lawn… The only lake and forest that’s a wildlife habitat in Brooklyn should not have been invaded in mid-May by an enterprise so far removed from the natural beauty of Prospect Park.”
It’s been five weeks since GoogaMooga, and now officials have begun to address the damage. Roped-off areas appeared this week, with signs stating “lawn restoration in progress” and “please respect the fence.” The only problem? “There is no fencing put up at the numerous locations of damaged meadow, just ropes,” Titze tells us. “The Nethermead Meadow is an off-leash location where hundreds of dogs run free every morning and evening, trampling over the so-called ‘lawn restoration’ because the Prospect Park Alliance/parks department has not taken the time to actually put up fencing in order to protect the meadow reseeding properly.”
The rest of the park, Titze tells us, hasn’t been doing so well, either. “What we have in Prospect Park is a filthy, flotsam filled watercourse (the only lake in Brooklyn), a dying, eroding woodlands (the only forest in Brooklyn)… along with an eroded lakeside… Now you have a commercial venture, welcomed and promoted by the Alliance/Parks, causing and leaving the Nethermead Meadow in disrepair.”
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