Four Sparrow Marsh-opedia

Almost everything you wanted to know about Four Sparrow Marsh, but were afraid to ask:


Four Sparrow Marsh is located at the NE intersection of Flatbush and the Shore Parkway (the blue pin).

“Four Sparrow Marsh Preserve contains several types of habitats besides salt marsh, including low brush; deciduous forest consisting mainly of cherry, elm, locust, poplar, sumac, and willow; open meadow; intertidal mudflat; and high clusters of reed species. The open meadow is largely covered with mugwort, an aggressive, exotic species common in landfilled areas.” ~ NYC Parks and Recreation

One version of the plan of the development, showing how they’re going to get rid of that mugwort. Pavement is the new pesticide. The only existing building is the Toys R Us in the center. Buildings and parking to the right would all be new, covering the uplands abutting the actual marsh.

PDFs on the proposal via Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination. A public scope meeting has been rescheduled again; it’s now on for Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 7:00 PM at the Kings Plaza Community Room, 5100 Kings Plaza (at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U), Brooklyn, New York.

Sheepshead Bay Bites on the development plan.
Murdoch’s Journal on Forest City Ratner (bleeeeech!) as the developer. (FCR specializes in absorbing public space for private ends in alliance with hack politicians and unaccountable development authorities. Its trail of mediocrity is writ large across the borough.)

“This obscure city-owned preserve is what the name implies: four breeding sparrows nest within its confines. The presence of Song, Swamp, Sharp-tailed, and Savannah make the salt grasses come alive during the late spring into summer seasons. The main channel with its tentacle tributaries is ideal for breeding Clapper Rails. If you arrive early enough, you may be lucky enough to see one feeding along the brackish waters that is at the whim of the high/low tides. During winter, although less active, Common [now known as Wilson’s – ed.] Snipe are prominent during migrations.” Brooklyn Bird Club.

NYC Audubon notes that “an appropriately designed retail project, with adequate buffers to protect this critical habitat and a design sensitive to the waterfront and to birds could be an asset to the city.” Grrr! (But then, they can’t afford to alienated their plutocratic funders, the terrible bind non-profits find themselves in.)

My April 2010 blog about my trip to FSM.
My NYC BiodiverCity piece of 1/11/11.

UPDATED: Here are some more maps of FSM from OASIS, the Open Accessible Space Information System, an amazing geographical database:
Extent of tidal wetlands.
Army Corps/EPA restoration, other important facts.

A Walk in the Park, also on the case, has more details.
A Movable Bridge blog visits FSM in the snow.
Brit in Brooklyn has some big juicy images.

6 Responses to “Four Sparrow Marsh-opedia”


  1. 1 amarilla January 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

    So now mugwort is a public enemy? It’s a little nauseating to hear anthros calling mugwort aggressive. I guess we all can tell who’s the alpha species.

    Mugwort is really great for stomach aches, btw, and has a wonderful, purifying, dreamy spirit I haven’t noticed in too many developers.

  2. 3 bowsprite March 6, 2011 at 7:52 am

    thank you thank you!
    Time to mobilize and move to protect what little valuable treasures we have left! The best plan human beings could do with this space: DO NOTHING.

    • 4 mthew March 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

      I would modify this slightly to say, the least we should do is clean the place up; it is seriously littered with tide and wind borne junk.


  1. 1 Field Notes: Four Sparrow Marsh « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on January 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm
  2. 2 Upcoming events « A Movable Bridge Trackback on February 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

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