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Advocating for Greener, More Equitable Neighborhoods

May 12, 2023
The Gowanus Canal

For seven years, I have had the honor to volunteer for the Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC), a nonprofit organization that truly embodies STV’s purpose to “make communities better.” In the case of the GCC, we execute on that purpose by being dedicated stewards to the development of a resilient, vibrant open space network centered on Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal.

For more than 15 years, GCC staff and volunteers have partnered with the surrounding community and other stakeholders, including elected officials and city agencies, to lead grassroots volunteer projects, educate students on environmental issues, and develop and maintain innovative green infrastructure around the Gowanus Canal.

My commitment to the GCC includes spending these last two years as board chairman. I am proud that our stewardship, advocacy and education programs remain at the center of what we do. As a Brooklyn resident, I have seen firsthand the progress the GCC has made throughout Gowanus and have found myself in awe of its accomplishments. I am proud of what we have accomplished and how we accomplished it.

However, as we approach our annual Spring Benefit on May 17th, I am also aware that there is more work to be done to fulfill our mission of creating a more equitable, sustainable and resilient network of parks, public spaces and ecosystems. The organization and its volunteers continue to face several challenges as it relates to the ongoing superfund remediation of the Gowanus Canal, rezoning and redevelopment within the district, and advocating for infrastructure investment that will lead to equitable and more inclusive outcomes throughout the neighborhood.

By expanding on and creating new partnerships among the GCC, Gowanus residents, public agencies, elected officials and organizations like STV, we can ensure that future generations can experience a clean and ecologically diverse Gowanus Canal and watershed. STV’s involvement and support of the GCC functions as a mutual expression of our shared vision of holistic community improvement.

Marcos Diaz Gonzalez

Marcos Díaz González is an STV executive vice president and director of the firm’s Centers of Excellence. He is chairman of the board of the Brooklyn-based Gowanus Canal Conservancy where he is part of a team driving the creation of a new 20-acre inclusive, community-based waterfront park network centered around the Gowanus Canal.