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Project Extra

Waterways and Woodlands: Public Water & Prospect Park Audio Tour

January 19, 2022

Join More Art and artist Mary Mattingly, in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance, for Waterways and Woodlands, a free audio tour through Prospect Park powered by Gesso. Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s landmark park, is a feat of engineering but also a natural wonder: home to the borough’s last remaining forest and only lake. Learn about the natural and human-made ecosystems found in Prospect Park and its connection to New York City’s water supply.  From the natural ponds, local springs, and streams that were here before the park, to the waterways designed by park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux that today are fed by watersheds as far as 125 miles north of the city…to the future health of these waterways through an innovative ecoWEIR that uses plants to filter water—we’ll be drawing attention to the layers of history, environmental stewardship, and human intervention that are hidden beneath the surface.

The walk takes approximately 50 minutes to complete and covers 2 miles, starting at the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park and ending at the Wellhouse.

Access notes: The route includes a steep set of stairs in the Ravine and passes over dirt/gravel and paved paths. There is an accessible restroom at the end of the tour located at the Well House.

Waterways and Woodlands was developed as a part of Public Water, a multiform project and installation that brings attention to New York City’s intricate drinking water system and the communities who steward upstate watersheds and drinking water sources. The tour was funded by the Environmental Protection Fund Grant Program for Park Services, administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation as part of the Prospect Park Alliance ecoWEIR pilot program. Waterways and Woodlands was created by artist Mary Mattingly and More Art. Narrated by Mary Mattingly and Jason Chan. The ecoWEIR is a natural filtration system installed in Prospect Park and developed by Jennifer Cherrier, a Professor and Research Scientist at Brooklyn College-CUNY. Visit for more information.

Read the press release here.

About Prospect Park Alliance

Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s Backyard. The Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. The Alliance cares for the woodlands and natural areas, restores the park’s buildings and landscapes, creates innovative park destinations, and provides free or low-cost volunteer, education and recreation programs. Learn more at

About Gesso 

Gesso is a Brooklyn-based creator and publisher of mobile audio tours. Through the Gesso app, available on iOS, Android and mobile web, listeners can explore new and familiar places while listening to audio that plays based on where they are. Learn more about Gesso.

About Mary Mattingly

Mary Mattingly is a visual artist focused on questions of ecology and sustainability and the Katowitz Radin Artist-in-Residence at the Brooklyn Public Library for 2020. She founded Swale, an edible landscape on a barge in New York City. Docked at public piers but following waterways common laws, Swale circumnavigates New York’s public land laws, allowing anyone to pick free fresh food. Swale instigated and co-created the “foodway” in Concrete Plant Park, the Bronx in 2017. The “foodway” is the first time New York City Parks is allowing people to publicly forage in over 100 years.



The logo of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

This tour is made possible through funding from the Environmental Protection Fund Grant Program for Park Services, administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.



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