NATURE: James Brooks and Charlotte Park, at home in nature
In addition to her studio practice, Charlotte Park became a devoted naturalist while living in Springs. Her journal entries traverse a decade of precise observations on the wildlife, trees, flowers, and seasonal changes in the landscape. Her methodology was unique, reflecting her passion as well as her artistry.
The Brooks-Park Arts and Nature Center is situated among eleven acres of sprawling beech and oak woodlands located on Neck Path in Springs. The untrammeled environment offers a timeless habitat of wildflowers, meadows, and native species as well as access to the Springs and Amagansett Trail system which features five-miles of walking trails undulating through natural terrain.
Based on the character of the property, chiefly unspoiled woodlands, along with Charlotte Park's deep affinity with the natural world that served as inspiration for her paintings, research, and notebooks, a principal concern of the Brooks-Park Arts and Nature Center is ecological sustainability and respect for the habitat. As such, the planning and implementation of reclaiming the property is devoted to the use of environmentally sensitive materials that ensure the protection of wildlife habitats and the eco-system. The site will serve as an educational model for preserving and adapting historic structures to our concerns in the contemporary world. Sustainable design will include retrofits such as added insulation, heat pumps, advanced septic systems, rainfall capture, and home composting. These efforts will ensure the structures are attuned to nature and the climate action goals of the East Hampton Town Natural Resources Department, while providing an effective interface for the public.