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Former Navy Yard Cemetery to Become Wildflower Meadow

By Janet Upadhye | October 8, 2013 9:00am
 The former Brooklyn Naval Hospital cemetery will soon be home to a new wildlife park.
Naval Hospital Cemetery Memorial Landscape
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BROOKLYN NAVY YARD — An old cemetery will soon see new life.

The former Naval Hospital Cemetary in the Navy Yard will be transformed into a publicly accessible open space complete with wooden walkways and native wildflower meadows.

The 1.7-acre space at Kent and Flushing avenues will be created after the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative — a nonprofit turning 14 miles of Brooklyn's waterfront into a landscaped route with adjacent green spaces — recently secured $882,000 in additional funds from the City Council, according to Brownstoner.

The space called the Naval Hospital Cemetery Memorial Landscape will be planted with native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees to "provide the experience of being completely enveloped in nature," a BGI representative told Brownstoner.

The new park designed by Rogers Marvel Architects and Nelson Byrd-Woltz Landscape Architects will be designed to be home to birds, bees and butterflies, BGI said.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Corporation granted development rights to BGI for the space in late 2010, and the NYS Environmental Protection Fund and TKF Foundation have also given money for the project, BGI said.

The site was once the resting place for more than 2,000 Marines, members of the Navy and their family members. Remains were moved to Cypress Hills Cemetery in the 1920s, according to the Architects Newspaper.

Steel frames the size of graves will be placed in the ground to commemorate the history of the site, according to the paper.

Construction is set to begin in spring of 2014, Brownstoner wrote.