Along the shores of the East River, in Williamsburg and Greenpoint Brooklyn, from N9th to N15th Street at Bushwick Inlet, lies a stretch prime waterfront land, its fate undetermined. The history of this shoreline mirrors the story of our city and nation: from natural habitat long ago, to farmland for a new nation, to the Industrial Revolution bringing heavy industry to these North Brooklyn shores: pottery, glass and metal works, ship building and sugar refineries. The river's edge was a land of smoky factories and busy commerce with freight trains loading up at the piers. By the mid 1900's, as our nation turned to highways, it turned away from shores, leaving abandoned buildings, dilapidated piers, and in North Brooklyn, land taken over by waste transfer stations, piles of city garbage with circling seagulls. But there were also old-timers, artists, and immigrants, thirsty for scarce open space, who climbed through any hole in a fence to be by the shore of this beautiful river, creating "accidental playgrounds" and sunbathing amid weeds, old rails, and pottery shards. Among the ruins arose a grassroots movement of reclamation, which pitted itself again and again against garbage companies, a proposed massive power plant, and forty story towers, a battle of opposing visions for the use of this land. Community groups, local elected officials and The Trust for Public Land gallantly acquired a section of this land, creating what is now the East River State Park, while others prophetically purchased large parcels years before the city itself realized its value.