35-acre nature preserve opens in the Rockaways at NYC’s first net-zero community

6SQFT’s Devin Gannon reports on the opening of Starr Whitehouse’s Arverne East Nature Preserve – New York City’s first net-zero community.

NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue and members of the community celebrated the opening of the new Arverne East Nature Preserve and welcome center on Wednesday, April 24. Arverne East will be the ecological centerpiece of New York City’s first net-zero community—a 35-acre “urban” nature preserve situated between the Atlantic Ocean and a dense residential neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula. Commissioner Sue Donoghue was joined by New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr., Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, New York State Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson, New York City Councilmember Selvena Brooks-Powers, Managing Director of L+M Development Partners LLC Sara Levenson.

We are thrilled to welcome Jeffrey Poor and Jacob Lange as Partners of Starr Whitehouse. Alongside founders Laura Starr and Stephen Whitehouse, Jeffrey and Jacob bring unique vision and leadership during a time of growth for our firm.

Read the full statement here.

Five years after completing the first phase of Southwest Resiliency Park, Starr Whitehouse will be partnering with Rutgers University to study how the park has been absorbing stormwater. As part of LAF’s 2024 Case Study Investigation program, our team will be working with CSI Research Fellow Wolfram Hoefer, Dr.-Ing, ASLA, AKNW, and Student Research Assistant James Hill to measure stormwater retention and other performance metrics. Southwest Park was one of ten high-performing landscape projects selected by LAF for this unique research collaboration between faculty, students, and practitioners.

Read the press release here.

The Battery Playscape received a 2023 MASterworks Award for Best Urban Landscape, recognized as “a new or revitalized open space that contributes to livability and resilience.” Credit goes to all of our collaborators on this project: BKSK Architects, The Battery Conservancy, and NYC Parks.

Starr Whitehouse Atlanta has moved into a new home at the Elevator Factory. Our new Atlanta address is:

Starr Whitehouse Atlanta
437 Memorial Drive SE
Suite A2
Atlanta, Georgia, 30312

We are thrilled to learn that the Eastern Parkway Branch Library Addition, a collaboration with Allied Works Architecture, is among the winning projects of the Public Design Commission’s 38th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design: Toward a Sustainable NYC. Read the Mayor’s press release here.

One of three winners selected for Newburgh as part of the Design for Six Feet Initiative, The Imagination Pavilion proposes a kit of parts that provides creative and socially-distanced places for play outside of the Newburgh Free Library. The pavilion will be built collaboratively with residents and local students over the coming months. Read profiles of the Pavilion and Design for Six Feet in The Times-Herald Record, the APA Urban Design Blog, and the Chronogram.

Today, Governor Cuomo’s office announced the opening of the Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center. Working with nARCHITECTS, Starr Whitehouse designed the landscape for the innovative new museum, which restores 10 acres of parking lot to native beachside ecology and supports the center’s educational mission by incorporating exhibits such as pollinator garden and the giant blade of a wind turbine. Read the Governor’s press release here.

We are excited to announce that The Imagination Pavilion, Starr Whitehouse’s entry to the Newburgh: Design for Play ideas competition, was selected as one of three winners. Seventy proposals were submitted, each showcasing a unique concept for transforming the streets of Newburgh, NY to provide creative and safe spaces for children to play while maintaining social distance. A partnership with the Newburgh Free Library, The Imagination Pavilion will provide a storytelling space by day and shadow puppet theater by night, and will launch as part of Newburgh Open Studios September 26th.