Ever taken the kids to Prospect Park’s Rose Garden? Probably not; it’s a little-known part of Brooklyn’s backyard down a potholed trail that’s been neglected over the years. Now, for a limited time, there’s added incentive to visit, with the opening of a giant interactive art installation kids will love. The Connective Project, a flowing space of 7,000 bright yellow pinwheels runs along the 2.5 acre spot, just a short walk from Grand Army Plaza. But catch it quick — it’s only on display until July 17th.

photo: Emily Myers

Hidden Gem
Once beautifully manicured with fountains and lily ponds, the Rose Garden has become overgrown, and the area’s empty concrete pools added to the scene of neglect. Now the Prospect Park Alliance is brainstorming how to revitalize this spot and make it work for all park visitors, not just the birders and cruisers who’ve been taking advantage of it up until now. While a new landscape design is worked out for the site — a process which could take years — the alliance is putting the Rose Garden on the map with The Connective Project, a colorful carnival of thousands of pinwheels.

photo: Emily Myers

Spinning Garden
The installation is part of the 150th anniversary of Prospect Park, but it ties nicely into an effort by Prospect Park Alliance to open up lesser-know and used corners of the park. The plans to revitalize the area around the Rose Garden include fixing sidewalks and seating in disrepair, as well as trimming shrubs and improving landscaping.

A team led by architect Suchi Reddy is behind the installation. A year in the making, the project is community-inspired, so local artists, poets, and park lovers, asked to think about what Prospect Park meant to them, have decorated many of the custom pinwheels.

Visitors can walk through, beside and above the sea of pinwheels, but you can also drop down into the former lily ponds — each now housing seats or walkways — and get a perspective from below.

photo: Emily Myers

Make Your Own Pinwheel
Visitors can also construct and contribute their own pinwheel at Grand Army Plaza, every day from 11 a.m.  – 7 p.m., or at the Rose Garden from  4 – 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, or 2 – 6 p.m. on the weekend.

Little hands are also welcome to touch the artwork and get the wheels moving if the breeze hasn’t already got them spinning.

photo: Emily Myers

Getting there
The Connective Project is a short walk from Grand Army Plaza. Small yellow pinwheels painted on the ground help guide the way and give a sense of a treasure trail wedged in between East Drive and the park’s border with Flatbush Avenue. Click here to see its exact location in the park.

July 7-17
Prospect Park Rose Garden
420 – 450 Flatbush Ave.
Prospect Park
Online: connectiveproject.com

Have you had a chance to visit The Connective Project? Share your experience in the comments below.

—Emily Myers