INDEX

North Brooklyn Parks Alliance. “NBK Parks Announces New Artist Collaboration With Steve Wasterval.” [press release] November 17, 2022.

NYC Council Member Lincoln Restler’s Office. “Council Member Lincoln Restler Announces District 33 Street Tree Plan.” [press release] November 2, 2022.

Nayshawn Cummings has worked with NBK Parks as a member of our gounds crew since July 2022. He likes helping to keep North Brooklyn safe and clean for all to enjoy, and thinks Under the K Bridge Park looks particularly nice when the colorful lights on the Kosciuszko Bridge turn on at night. A native New Yorker, Nayshawn grew up in Bed Stuy and then moved to Cooper Houses in Williamsburg about five years ago. When he’s not working, he pursues hobbies including streaming his video game play on Twitch and jam skating (dancing on roller skates) with his friends. If you want to know more, Nayshawn says you’ll have to get to know him!

Gerard Beauchamp is a Grounds Crew member at North Brooklyn Parks Alliance. His favorite part of the job is helping to keep park plants alive and thriving through consistent watering. Gerard was born and raised in North Brooklyn and growing up he spent a lot of time at McCarren Park—at the pool, on the track, and playing handball. Now, he likes that his job is having a positive impact on people using north Brooklyn’s parks today—including his grandson who is learning to skateboard and utilizes the skate park at Under the K. When Gerard isn’t busy with work or with his four children and grandson, he and his wife like to ride motorcycles.

John Altyn joined North Brooklyn Parks Alliance as Director of Horticulture in June of 2022. For John, this role is a return to his roots: he was born and raised right here in Greenpoint, and his grandfather—a horticulturist from Poland—taught John to care for plants in their backyard garden.

After studying at Pratt, John moved to LA in 1990 to pursue multiple creative endeavors including partnering with renowned animator Virgil Ross on a successful limited edition series of cartoon drawings. In 1993, Warner Bros. commissioned the duo to create a drawing for President Bill Clinton, the cel of which is now housed in the collection of the Clinton Presidential Library. John also composed music for horror movies including the second, third and fourth installments of the cult classic ‘Sleepaway Camp.’

After living in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles for several years, John decided to make a drastic shift. He bought property on 40 acres of old-growth forest in Michigan and lived there for a little over a decade—eschewing modern technological conveniences like phones, computers, and television. Instead, he dedicated himself to caring for nature and planted over 450 varieties of maple trees on his property. John has written a book about his experience titled: ‘Maples on the Pond Nature Preserve: A World of Swirling Colors.’

In addition to his experience in animation, music composition, and land stewardship, John also has a background in journalism, art curation, as well as bonsai cultivation and education.

Now as Director of Horticulture at NBK Parks, John has come full circle and is currently working on planting 150 maples at Under the K Bridge Park! You can reach him at john@nbkparks.org.

Dylan Brown began volunteering with NBK Parks in January 2022, then joined the staff as the Outreach & Program Coordinator in June 2022. In his current role, Dylan is mainly focused on supporting North Brooklyn Open Streets Coalition in its efforts to increase the amount of public space within the neighborhood. Dylan is grateful to have the opportunity to work towards a greener North Brooklyn!

Originally a native New Yorker, Dylan completed a degree in Urban Planning in Philadelphia—and then came right back to Brooklyn to apply his talents. When he’s not working, you can catch Dylan biking around the city, browsing in a record store, or hanging on the waterfront taking in the views (which are best in Brooklyn).

Edwin Hernandez joined North Brooklyn Parks Alliance in spring 2022 as the Operations Manager. Born and raised in Cooper Houses, Edwin has seen firsthand how under-utilized industrial sites in Greenpoint and Williamsburg—like Under the K Bridge Park—can be transformed into vibrant community spaces. Outside of his role at NBK Parks, Edwin is an accomplished creative fiction writer and has self-published more than a dozen short stories!

A non-profit communications & marketing professional, Sara Morgan (she/they) was born in NYC, but grew up in the Bay Area, California where they developed a deep appreciation for nature, open space, and parks.

Sara relocated back to NYC after receiving a BA in Art History from Oberlin College in 2014 and worked in external affairs at several non-profit arts organizations including Socrates Sculpture Park and Center for Book Arts.

They were thrilled to join the staff of North Brooklyn Parks Alliance as Communications Manager in summer 2022. At NBK Parks, Sara works to amplify the stories of essential open spaces in Greenpoint and Williamsburg across digital and print channels.

Outside of work, Sara is taking aerial silks classes, visiting NYC’s many wonderful arts institutions, and enjoying the city’s parks.