Pop-up mini golf course raises climate-change awareness

Putting Green, Brooklyn

An innovative 18-hole mini golf course has taught players about climate change in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

The pop-up, called Putting Green, was open to the public throughout the summer on the waterfront in Williamsburg and has a different theme for each hole, ranging from energy and emissions to extreme weather and animal habitat.

Each hole has been designed by community partners including schools, artists and designers, and non-profit groups such as the Building Energy Exchange which created the “Energy Efficient Buildings” hole.

“Climate change and the environment are such important topics right now,” said Mike Lampariello, the director of Domino Park where the course in located.

“So by bringing the environmental issues to the forefront in a fun, playful way like mini golf, it really sparks the conversation and helps folks understand the scope of the issue.”

Putting Green was constructed with “environmentally responsible materials” including reclaimed wood used for the decking and used bottle caps for a model of Earth.

Specific topics include ‘Down the Drain’ – showing how litter and debris get washed down storm drains and into waterways (hole 1) – ‘Methane Madness’ – educating players about the environmental impact of producing beef (hole 14) – and ‘Capitalocene’s Melt’ – tackling the disappearance of polar bears’ natural ice habitats (hole 3).

A portion of proceeds will be donated to local organisations addressing climate change in New York City.

“It's good to teach both adults and kids because there's some information on these signs that I didn't even know, especially some of the stuff about urban resiliency to climate change,” said mini-golfer Emanuel Evans.

“All of a sudden you go through the hole, you read the little paragraph and go, 'Oh, I didn't realise that’,'" said another visitor, Brett Serafin. “It's certainly a way to inform people while also letting them have some fun.”

More info: puttinggreenbk.org