Photo: Artist Martynka unveils her ceramic sculpture ‘Ziemia’ at McGolrick Park in May of this year
This summer, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance received a number of grants from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, or GCEF. In accordance with GCEF’s goals for the program, the Ziemia project transformed a section of McGolrick Park into a native plant meadow with hopes to spark community engagement in the park. Community, along with history, ecology, and cultural diversity, were all cornerstones of the Ziemia project. This renewed section of McGolrick Park, located near the mid-block entrance along Russell Street, now provides a performance space in addition to the native plant garden. NBK Parks has already made use of this beautiful area by hosting free concerts that were attended by families and community members of all ages.
Of course one of the highlights of this project is Ziemia, a sculpture by local artist Martynka Wawrzyniak. Meaning “Earth” in Polish, Ziemia was created using a mixture of clay harvested in Greenpoint. As an intentional tie to the diverse identities of people living in Greenpoint, this clay mixture represents the “collective portrait of the community”. Its name pays homage to both Martynka’s Polish heritage and the role that the United States had in securing Poland’s independence. The beautiful park garden is the perfect home for the powerful and delicate ceramic orb. For more information about Ziemia, visit ziemia.nyc.