There have long been campsites at Floyd Bennett Field, a former airport—the city’s first!—in southeast Brooklyn converted in 1972 into an 387-acre National Recreation Area, but the National Park Service plans to up their number from five to 90, with the eventual possibility of up to 600. The plan is a part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors recreation agenda, the Post reports, and will make Floyd Bennett the largest urban campground in the country. “We want every citizen of the New York area, particularly the children, to have easy and accessible access to outdoor recreation and the cultural and historical heritage that makes this part of the country unique,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said this week during a visit to the park.
The new sites should be ready by 2013, but families needn’t wait that long to get a taste of the outdoors in Brooklyn. Our own city parks department’s urban park rangers are hosting a series of family camping events this summer. “We start with a cookout, then a variety of evening activities, such as stargazing and night hikes,” the website promises. “You’ll sleep under the stars and awake to the birds.”
The program begins tomorrow in Fort Greene Park, though registration for that event has already ended. There will be another event at that park, as well as one at Marine Park and several at Prospect Park. Dates and information on how to enter the on-line lottery for these events is available at the parks department’s website.