Yesterday morning I was rudely awakened by the sound of a chopper apparently preparing to land on my roof. No big deal, just a partial building collapse a few blocks away. Living in New York we get used to falling asleep to the piercing drone of sirens and jolting awake to a violent symphony of dump trucks and jackhammers. But we live within a diverse urban ecosystem that includes many acres of wooded refuge. This summer, the NYC Parks Department is encouraging us to “unplug from the diversions of everyday life,” and “connect with the natural world,” by offering free camping in public parks in all five boroughs. Registration is extremely limited and will be assigned via lottery for each program including dates in Brooklyn’s Prospect, Marine and Fort Greene Parks this week.
The first campout in Brooklyn is July 14 in Prospect Park. The lottery will open for registration this Wednesday, (July 4), for a 24-hour window beginning at 12am. Go to NYC Parks Urban Park Rangers program registration system to enter or call 718-421-2021 between 10am and 4pm.
The website repeatedly refers to this as a “family camping” program, so don’t expect to be crushing AmeriCans by the campfire ’til the sun comes up. But a nice (sober), quiet (sober) weekend of wholesome (sober), family-bonding activities might do wonders for roommate relations.
The website claims dinner is provided, but line your rucksack with essentials just in case you get trapped under a rock and have to cut off a limb to survive the harsh conditions of rural Brooklyn. (No artisanal mayonnaise for miles?! The horror.) Don’t forget you can rent camping gear.
Other Brooklyn campout dates:
- Friday, July 27 – Fort Greene Park – Online registration Wednesday, July 18, 12am
- Friday, August 10 – Marine Park – Online registration Wednesday, Aug. 1
- Saturday, August 25 – Prospect Park – Online registration Wednesday, August 15
- Friday, August 31 – Marine Park – Online registration Wednesday, August 22