Every Day Is Earth Day At Brooklyn's Gowanus Conservancy

As we continue our Earth Day coverage, we explore a little known part of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal. CBS2's Jessica Moore takes us to the lush urban oasis known as the Gowanus Conservancy.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE JOHNSON: As we continue our Earth Day coverage, we explore a little known part of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal.

DICK BRENNAN: CBS 2's Jessica Moore takes us to the lush urban oasis known as the Gowanus Conservancy.

JESSICA MOORE: For staff at the Gowanus Conservancy, every day is Earth Day.

- We think about the Earth every day, absolutely.

JESSICA MOORE: Just over a mile from the sewage battered north end of Brooklyn's urban waterway sits a slice of ecological paradise, where geese come to nest and lush greenery is thriving.

This is not your grandma's Gowanus Canal. We have this idea in our minds of what the canal is, but this is a beautiful conservancy. I mean, how much work did it take to go from A to B?

- So we've been around for about 15 years, and certainly when we started it was mostly picking up trash.

JESSICA MOORE: The Conservancy now grows and cultivates plants critical to keeping the Canal clean. It also offers a broad sweep of stewardship and education programs.

ANDREA PARKER: Urban nature is as real as nature in the woods. And that they have-- they can have a real impact on it.

JESSICA MOORE: Hundreds of volunteers work to maintain the salt marsh and create a welcoming environment for native animals and insects vital for the health of the Canal and themselves.

NEEYATI JOHNSON: I get to use my body and be in nature in the middle of New York City, it's like pretty special.

JESSICA MOORE: The Conservancy also composts 8,000 pounds of food scraps every week. People can pick up bags of nutrient rich soil free of charge.

Curbside pickup paused during the pandemic, making the Conservancy one of the only places in the city where residents can drop off their food scraps to be composted 24/7.

URIAH CRANE: It's a very good demonstration site, and it helps us engage the public.

JESSICA MOORE: Work continues on the Canal's north end. Toxic sludge is being dredged out of the Canal in preparation for rezoning, making way for waterfront parks, commercial and residential buildings, and thousands of jobs. The Conservancy is open seven days a week with staff encouraging everyone to come out and immerse themselves in nature. In Gowanus Brooklyn, Jessica Moore, CBS 2 News.

- Yesterday mayor de Blasio announced curbside pickup will resume for composting across the city. The Conservancy will remain open for dropoffs.

- And do stay with us for continuing coverage of Earth Day. We'll have much more on our website CBSNewYork.com.