Luis Garden Acosta: A Giant Friend of Bushwick Inlet Park & North Brooklyn

Last Tuesday we lost a pillar in our North Brooklyn community, Luis Garden Acosta, the legendary founder of “El Puente” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a pioneering youth development organization that defies any simple description.  Luis was an environmental leader, a community activist, an organizer, an educator and a beloved friend.  Here is a quote from Luis’ memorable interview from “Earthkeeping: A Call to Action”, an environmental documentary that aired after the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

“You’ve seen how our young people reach out for beauty, reach out for the earth, reach out to make this land that is somewhat cold, a living, vibrant experience for themselves and their families.  Reach out in spite of the fact they are children of war.  In spite of that kind of deprivation, in spite of that kind of oppression, young people reach within themselves, join with adults, and begin to form the kind of humanity and the kind of cry that says: ‘We can be better than this.  We can rescue this earth.  We can change our environment.  That is what we’re about.’”

Luis also brought his tremendous energy and legacy to the Where’s Our Park? campaign to prevent the heart of Bushwick Inlet Park from being sold off to developers. Luis and El Puente helped to keep the dream of a full 27-acre park alive and safe within the public realm. Guided by Luis’ leadership and vision El Puente stood shoulder to shoulder with a united FBIP coalition throughout the grassroots campaign, helping to bring victory to our open space starved neighborhood.

His loss is enormous. His contribution will never be forgotten.

We wish his family, friends and colleagues much peace and love.

Below are videos from the campaign where Luis stood tall and spoke up and spoke out for environmental justice for our neighborhood.

March 2015 Rally at City Hall


May 2015 Rally at N 12th Street, Bushwick Inlet Park