Kosciusko Garden Learning Center
385-389 Kosciusko Street [map]
Founded in 1998
The Kosciuszko Community Park / Learning Center is a large ornamental park/garden. This 2500 square foot garden features a 30' diameter brick circular seating area, a mural by local artist Nafissa Camara, two lawns, and a 16' diameter gazebo located in the back of the garden. There are tables for playing games and picnicking. The front of the garden is graced by a wrought iron fence donated by Battery Park City. Original plantings included white rose, spirea, oak leaf hydrangea, and butterfly bush. The tree plantings, now mature, include oaks, birch, sweet gum, Japanese maple, ornamental crabapple, and evergreens.
In 2012, the site sponsor, Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation (NEBHDCo), was awarded a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Justice grant to renovate the garden after 15 years of use. NEBHDCo worked with community and corporate volunteers to prep and re-paint the iron fencing, demolish deteriorated stockade fencing and make repairs to the gazebo. A native plants landscape design firm removed poorly performing plants, pruned trees and remaining shrubs, and replanted the beds with native species, including chokeberry, butterfly weed, blue eyed grass and bluestar. NEBHDCo received pro bono support from a contractor to select and install a new vinyl fence at the rear and side perimeters. After redevelopment, Kosciuszko Garden is more beautiful than ever, providing a wonderful amenity to the neighborhood, as a site for quiet enjoyment, gardening workshops, youth activities and community events.