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Students Team With Design Firm to Make Leafy Green Wall for DoBro Plaza

By Janet Upadhye | August 15, 2013 9:14am | Updated on August 15, 2013 9:30am
Future Plaza
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Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Local teenagers plan to add a little green to a dirty, neglected plaza in Downtown Brooklyn.

Students from Downtown Brooklyn's George Westinghouse High School teamed with design firm La Fantastica to envision ideas on how to transform a barren plaza off of busy Flatbush Avenue and Gold Street into something eye-catching.

"We wanted to make a statement," said Cesar Gomez, 16. "We wanted to modernize the area and also bring some peace, quiet and beauty to Downtown Brooklyn."

The idea for a green wall was born of original ideas by the students. The wall is made entirely from reclaimed items including dismantled bookshelves, milk crates, salvaged wood and old furniture. Greenery is planted into soil installed in the shelving units.

 High school students are working with a design firm to install a 50-foot long green wall along an empty plaza in Downtown Brooklyn.
Downtown Brooklyn's Green Wall
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On Thursday afternoon the students will install the 50-foot long, leafy green wall and in the spring students will add a rainwater catchment device, drip irrigation system, and vegetable garden to the plaza.

"I think the students will come out of the opportunity with a better understanding of what sustainability means in today's world," said Ryan Grew of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership who sponsored the project.

Renderings of the project show a thoughtfully designed space with colorful benches, tables and chairs encompassed by a blossoming, live wall.

"We want to leave our mark here," Gomez said.

Students are inviting the community to help. Find them at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Gold Street from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15. There will be food and music and no tools or planting skills are necessary.