The gates are finally open, and Putting Green is ready to teach more Brooklynites about climate change through its informational, locally-designed mini golf course in Williamsburg.

“Climate change can be a very complicated, serious topic,” said Mike Lampariello, the course’s general manager. “We think introducing the different elements of climate change through something fun like a mini golf course makes it a little easier to digest.”

Community partners including artists, nonprofits and even high school students designed each hole of the course.

While Putting Green started as a kind of “pandemic project” for Two Trees Management, it turned into a community-driven collaborative project to bring awareness to a variety of climate change issues. 

As visitors put their way through the course, they can read information at each hole and learn about various components of climate change. For example, the ninth hole discusses the planet’s receding snow and ice cover. In this hole, players walk through glacial walls made of recycled plastic. Another hole, which centers on the importance of composting, features a real compost pile in the center.

Beyond design, the materials of the course also tie into climate change and sustainability. For example, the course’s decking consists of repurposed wood sourced directly from the old Domino Sugar Factory.

“It’s amazing,” one woman said as she pushed her stroller over the recycled wooden boards. “It’s sad and amazing at the same time.”

Along with the repurposed wood, artist Kim Holleman used 100-year-old bricks also from the Domino Sugar Factory for her hole called “Down The Drain.”

“I thought it was really important to reuse as many of those materials as possible and recontextualize them and give them new life,” Holleman said.

Holleman designed Hole #1 as an interactive “utopian garden” to give players an “ah-ha” moment. Just as visitors take in the beauty of their surroundings—the Manhattan skyline, the East River, the Williamsburg Bridge—they wind around the curve of the bricks and stumble upon a pile of trash. The debris represents litter in New York City streets, which inevitably washes into storm drains and our waterways.

“The whole thing comes together as a realization,” Holleman said.

Kim Holleman’s “Down the Drain” at Putting Green uses bricks from the old Domino Sugar Factory. Credit: Katey St John / BK Reader

Putting Green sits in a secluded, scenic area off Kent Avenue. As the course overlooks the East River, even its location intertwines with the theme of climate change. Although the East River endures a reputation for hazardously polluted water, New York has made large strides towards cleaning the river. Now, the East River is the cleanest it’s been since the Civil War. 

Proceeds from the course will benefit the Newtown Creek Alliance and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Putting Green also partnered with small Brooklyn businesses Mom & Icepops and Other Half Brewing to offer cold, local treats for both children and adults.

“We’re really excited to welcome kids, families and adults back to play mini golf,” Lampariello said.

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  1. The irony of this is that when Bloomberg rezoned WB and allowed all the “luxury” developments to be built, not a SINGLE ONE followed the LEEDS guidelines for eco-friendly building.
    So probably most of the local residents having an “aha” moment at the golf course have chosen to turn a blind eye to the fact that they live in buildings that use and waste phenomenal amounts of energy.

  2. Nah the irony of this is that this artist who did this also worked on a project I also worked at she mostly ignored me but she was the deepest Trump fangirl we ever met full of the crazy conspiracies and bullshit from 911 to that pizza place in washington she spread this nonsense everywhere including the school until they kicked her off every site except this one in Williamsburg now she got her way and trumps Supreme Court today nukked all the Obama era federal protections against using fossil fuels for energy so good job Kim Holleman way to help the environment using old trash how appropriate you retard next time use your brain talk about an ah hah moment

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