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Windsor Terrace library gets environmentally friendly green roof

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It will provide habitat for birds and insects as well as absorb heat

Courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library

A new living roof has been planted on top of the Windsor Terrace library that will provide a habitat for birds and insects, help improve air quality, and manage storm water, among other positive environmental impacts. The green roof—not quite as extensive as its cousin on top of the Javits Center—was carried forward with $250,000 in participatory budgeting in City Council member Brand Lander’s district.

The green roof is planted with grasses like sedum, witch hazel, and butterfly weed as well as shrubs and perennial groundcovers. The plantings will help reduce runoff by up to 50 percent, and will also help absorb heat and mitigate the heat island effect. The plantings will also insulate the building, reducing energy loss during the colder months of the year.

The library at 160 East Fifth Street, between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue, was closed from March to mid-April for the green roof’s installation. The green roof received 931 votes from district 39 residents back in 2014, enough to make it the project that received the participatory budgeting allocation.

Resiliency has been a focus of the city’s of late. In June the city announced the Cool Neighborhoods NYC initiative, through which it will allocate funds to plant shade-providing trees in lacking neighborhoods and parks, as well as install heat-absorbing (rather than deflecting) rooftops, among other tasks.

Council Member David Greenfield has announced plans to bring 1,000 curbside trees to Midwood to beautify, cool, and improve health in the neighborhood. The Daily News also points out that studies show that curbside trees have been proven to increase home values by as much as ten percent. Greenfield has allocated $1.6 million in capital funds towards the initiative.