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December in the Park
I’m Kate Papacosma, a landscape historian and social worker who has lived in Park Slope for twenty-three years. I’m proud to be a Brooklyn native, and although I grew up elsewhere, I’ve always been a New Yorker. Prospect Park was my first park (See the photo below!). I think that it made such an impression on a certain level that I eventually returned to Brooklyn and dedicated myself to learning as much about the Park as possible. I earned my MA in Landscape Studies from The Bard Graduate Center and wrote my master’s thesis about the Park, its history and design, and the City of Brooklyn. I can tell you how geology, public health, mental health, and Romanticism informed the Park’s location and design and many other facts about why greater NYC looks the way it does and developed the way it did. It makes life so much more interesting and meaningful to put the pieces together and to make connections where one might not expect them.
My tours are completely original, based on years of my own research and interpretation, and that’s what makes them unique and memorable. I love sharing this passion for the Park with others, no matter their age or background. One of my proudest moments is when my 10-year-old daughter took a visiting family friend to the Park and started telling her ALL about it. After a few minutes she said, “Wow! My voice is tired. I don’t know how my mom does this for two hours.”
I’ve led tours for the Municipal Art Society, NYCH2O, Open House New York, PS 107, and Victorian Society New York as well as my private tours. I’ve taught original classes about the Park and NYC history at The New School and have lectured elsewhere. I was featured as a Park expert in an episode of the BBC series, “Who Do You Think You Are?”   
I have also created Camp Park for school-age children, where I incorporate social emotional learning (SEM) with park history and exploration. It’s a lot of fun for all of us.
Prammin’ in the Park a few Decembers ago.