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News From the Acres - January 22, 2015

22 January 2015
LA Open Acres is live, Reviewing Renewal continues, NYC Gardens at risk, new opportunities in Queens & Staten Island and great resources from our friends

LA OPEN ACRES
Our LA tool is live and being used by Community Health Councils. 
Check out this great article to read about how it's making an impact already.

REVIEWING RENEWAL AT THE QUEENS MUSEUM
Looking back at the first two weeks of our Queens Museum Residency...

  • Listen to the Reviewing Mitchell-Lama panel we co-hosted with the NYC Planners Network here (it starts a bit abruptly; that's Paula talking about Robert Moses' role in getting the Urban Renewal mechanisms running in NYC). It was an amazing conversation with renters, experts and cooperative owners working through it together; we're so lucky to have had Molly Garfinkle from City Lore on hand to record it! 
  • Read a dispatch from our tour of Willet's Point in Brownstoner (the Urban Renewal Area Plan was adopted in 2008 and the City has already completed acquisition of properties in the plan area; resident businesses are in the middle of phased relocation). 
  • Check out photos of the Reviewing Renewal Opening on January 11 by Christina Sukhgian Houle and our incredible day of programs on Sunday, January 18 by Badrul Hisham. The theme of the second day was Private Property and Public Purpose – Eminent Domain, the Mitchell-Lama Cooperatives and the Power of One Organized Neighborhood and included Planners Network NYC, Rockaway Wildfire, Cooper Square Committee, Picture the Homeless, Tenants & Neighbors, the film It Took 50 Years and all of you... See the photo below which documents the meeting of four great organizations on a perch high above the city. 

And forward...
Join us again this Sunday, January 25, 12-6pm - there will awesome, free programming all day, What Was and What Becomes – Focus on Manhattan, Williamsburg’s Southside and Queens:

  • The Manhattan Projects Tour, noon to 1 p.m., a tour of the projects that created the blueprint for the Urban Renewal program in the years after World War II, with author Samuel Zipp guiding us around the island of Manhattan on the panorama that Robert Moses commissioned for the 1964 World Fair. Meet at the bottom of the ramp.Details hereRSVP here. 
  • Before Lincoln Center, 1- 2:30 p.m. Archival footage and a discussion about the resistance of a Latino community slated for replacement with the new West Side and Lincoln Center. Second floor theater. Details hereRSVP here. 
  • Williamsburg’s South Side, 2:30 - 4 p.m. Urban Renewal Plans continue to shape the South Side and Broadway Triangle neighborhoods. Join Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna and the Broadway Triangle Coalition to learn about what's at stake and what's to be done. In the Unisphere gallery. Details hereRSVP here. 
  • Reviewing Renewal in Queens, 4 - 6 p.m. Explore Queens' urban renewal history, from the demolition of the bungalows in Rockaway to make way for ... waiting, to the deliberate replacement of an integrated rowhouse community in downtown Flushing to create a parking structure and lure shoppers into the new department stores being built there in the 1950s and 1960s. Meet at the top of the ramp. Details here. RSVP here. 

Reviewing Renewal includes markers for all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted as an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum. We have brought the online Urban Reviewer map to life at a 1:1200 scale of on the 9,335 square foot Panorama! This exhibit runs through February 8th, 2015 with talks, readings, discussions, and film showings happening every Sunday! For more information on the exhibit and programming details, click here. We have also published a printed map: the first updated atlas of all the urban renewal plan areas in NYC since the City's own 1984 publication. Come get yours at the museum while they last! 

NYC GARDENS AT RISK
Last week, NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) published a list of 181 City-owned properties included in a Request for Qualifications for developers to build rental and ownership housing within the limits set by the program and in exchange get the land for free. The program is described hereSixteen of the sites selected are currently active community gardens. Over 750 sites in HPD's inventory were not included.

DNAInfoBrownstonerTelemundo and the Observer have covered the impact of this part of the Mayor's Housing Plan on existing gardens. It's awesome to have all our voices in the conversation as we decide the future of our neighborhoods, together. 

With the help of a fabulous volunteer, we created a map that shows which properties were included in the list, which properties in HPD's inventory were not included and where the gardens included in the list are located. Click here or on the image above for a larger version. These are the impacted gardens: 

  • Harlem Valley Garden (Manhattan, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Jackie Robinson Community Garden (Manhattan)
  • Harlem Grown - Greenhouse (Manhattan)
  • Electric Ladybug Community Garden (Manhattan, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Pleasant Village Community Garden (Manhattan)
  • McKinley's Children's Garden (Queens)
  • Isabahliah Ladies of Elegance (Brooklyn)
  • La Casita Verde (Brooklyn, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Halsey, Ralph & Howard Community Garden (Brooklyn)
  • EL Garden (Brooklyn, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Patchen Community Square (Brooklyn, a 596 Acres network site)
  • 462 Halsey Community Garden (Brooklyn, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Tranquility Farm (Brooklyn) 
  • Brownsville Student Farm (Brooklyn)
  • Imani Garden (Brooklyn)
  • New Harvest Community Garden (Brooklyn)

Support the gardens in your neighborhoods and let your City Council members know what you think about HPD's selection and the impact of the housing plan on the institutions you care about.

  • Robert Cornegy has five impacted gardens in his district (Patchen Community Square, Tranquility Farm, 462 Halsey Community Garden, Imani Garden & New Harvest Garden). 
  • Inez Dickens represents four of the impacted gardens (Electric Ladybug Garden, the Harlem Grown Greenhouse, Harlem Valley Garden & the Jackie Robinson Community Garden). 
  • Darlene Mealy represents three (Isabaliah Ladies of Elegance, Brownsville Student Farm  & the Halsey, Ralph and Howard Community Garden).
  • Steve Levin represents La Casita Verde.
  • Antonio Reynoso represents EL Garden.
  • Melissa Mark-Vevirito represents Pleasant Village.
  • Ruben Wills represents McKinley's Children's Garden.

Click on the councilmember's name to get contact information and make a call now. Councilmembers love hearing from their own constituents but also recognize that having adequate open space is an issue that impacts the whole city. 

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Corona, Queens - Spring 2015 is coming! The Department of Transportation is willing to again consider our request to transform this lot, which has been vacant for over 20 years, into a community space. And it might be time to ask the Mayor for help opening up this bit of public land as a neighborhood resource. Join us next Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30pm at Immigrant Movement International, 108-59 Roosevelt Avenue (steps from the 111th street Stop on the 7 line) to plan next steps and an organized campaign to get growing by the Spring. (Meeting will be in Spanish & English!). 

Eastern Shore, Staten Island - the Community Board expressed its support for a new community space on this Hempstead Avenue lot. Join organizer Blake to help shape the future of this piece of our land!  Email notasissy88@yahoo.com.

COLLABORATORS
Our friends at the North West Bushwick Community Group have put together a wonderful list of things to do in their neighborhood to support its stability. We love this so much and hope that all your neighborhoods have lists like this. We'd love to see what you're inspired to create after seeing this and to hear about something new you experienced after reading this list if you're a resident of Bushwick. 

The Department of Sanitation is now accepting applications for its 2015 Master Composter Certificate Course. Sign up to learn how to make precious soil from NYC's waste. Classes are held at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lower East Side Ecology Center in Manhattan, Queens Botanic Garden and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in Staten Island. The applications and deadlines are here. Also from the Department of Sanitation: the 2014 Community Composting Report is out! It provides the first-ever comprehensive look at this neighborhood-based network. 

Have questions about your rent stabilized apartment? Not sure if your landlord is right when they tell you that your current lease isn't renewable? This great article and the folks at Tenants & Neighbors might help. We really want you to be able stay in your neighborhood and keep building together!

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know!

Grant deadlines!
Citizens Committee of New York City 2015 Neighborhood Grants are due January 26th, 2015! Contact grants@citizensnyc.org or call 212-822-9563 with questions.

Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund grant applications are due February 1, 2015. The Partnership makes small grants of up to $5,000 to strengthen the outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity of groups caring for NYC Parks Department property in all five boroughs of New York City.

yours,
596 Acres 


#reviewingrenewal with Picture the Homeless, Rockaway Wildfire & the United Peninsula Working to Attain Responsible Development (UPWARD) Coalition, the Cooper Square Committee & 596 Acres. 

Gardens on Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) List of Sites Available for Housing Development

21 January 2015

Last week, NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) published a list of 181 City-owned properties included in a Request for Qualifications for developers to build rental and ownership housing within the limits set by the program and in exchange get the land for free. The program is described here: http://nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/developers/NIHOP-NCP-RFQ.shtml

Sixteen of the sites selected are currently active community gardens. Over 750 sites in HPD's inventory were not included. 

These are the impacted gardens: 

Manhattan

  • Harlem Valley

  • Jackie Robinson Community Garden

  • Harlem Grown - Greenhouse

  • Electric Ladybug Community Garden

  • Pleasant Village Community Garden

Queens

  • McKinley's Children's Garden

Brooklyn

  • Isabahliah Ladies of Elegance

  • La Casita Verde

  • Halsey, Ralph & Howard Community Garden

  • EL Garden

  • Patchen Community Square

  • 462 Halsey Community Garden

  • Tranquility Farm

  • Brownsville Student Farm

  • Imani Garden

  • New Harvest Community Garden

The map below shows which properties were included in the list, which properties in HPD's inventory were not included and where the gardens included in the list are located. Click the image for a larger version. 

News From the Acres - January 15, 2015

15 January 2015
see you in Queens on Sunday! 


Gardens at Risk
NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) put out a list of sites housing developers can apply to build on yesterday. At least 15 of them are currently active community gardens. If you are gardening on HPD property, we recommend you check the list. If your garden is on it and you'd like some guidance, contact us: organizers@596acres.org.

Reviewing Renewal at the Queens Museum
We had a fantastic Reviewing Renewal opening event last Sunday, including a guided walk through an active Urban Renewal Plan Area: Willet's Point. There is coverage of that journey and photos in Curbed. Please join us this Sunday - there will awesome, free programming all day:

  • 12-2pm - The Law of Takings (Eminent Domain), discussion & class in the second floor theater with Michael Rikon, Esq. & Paula Z. Segal, Esq. All are welcome to come learn about the limits of government's ability to take private property for "public purpose." RSVP on facebook here and details here. Attorneys should RSVP here to get Continuing Legal Education credits. 
  • 2-4pm - Reviewing Mitchell-Lama: The Past, Present and Future of Affordable Housing in New York City, panel discussion in the Unisphere Gallery rganized by the NYC Planner's Network. RSVP here and details here.  
  • 4-6pm - It Took 50 Years: Frances Goldin and the Struggle for Cooper Square film preview and discussion with the Cooper Square Committee, filmmakers & Picture the Homeless. RSVP here and details here

Reviewing Renewal includes markers for all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted as an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum. We have brought the online Urban Reviewer map to life at a 1:1200 scale of on the 9,335 square foot Panorama! This exhibit runs through February 8th, 2015 with talks, readings, discussions, and film showings happening every Sunday! For more information on the exhibit and programming details, click here. We have also published a map: the first updated atlas of all the urban renewal plan areas in NYC since the City's own 1984 publication. Come get yours at the museum while they last!  

SAVE THE DATES
We'll be holding a Community Land Access Workshop and 596 Acres General Meeting on Tuesday, February 3rd from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch (10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn) in the Information Commons room. Learn how to tap community resources, use the 596 Acres map and website to engage your neighbors, and plot your next steps to gain access to city land for your community projects. This workshop will also act as a general meeting, where folks from all neighborhoods can share land access success stories and we can troubleshoot any sticky points in the process.

Join Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street at Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) as they heading back to Housing Court with Paula Z. Segal of Mohen & Segal LLP as their attorney on Friday, February 6th at 9:30 am in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn. RSVP to Tom Afarge at maple3garden@gmail.com so that the gardeners know how many t-shirts to make & bring! Last week in court the judge wanted to know what gardens and gardeners do in the winter.... See below for some of our answers! 

Welcome to Rachel Albetski, our Winter 2015 Intern!

Rachel first became interested in vacant lot use after running a school garden in South Central Los Angeles as an AmeriCorps member. Riding her bike to work everyday, she saw tons of empty lots that were in need of revitalization and was psyched when 596 Acres came to LA. Rachel now works as an interior designer in Brooklyn and spends her free time advocating for infrastructure improvements with the organization Transportation Alternatives. An all around urbanist with a passion for environmental justice, Rachel is excited to help communities gain access to land and support the creation of green spaces. 

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Dongan Hills, Staten Island - Blake is looking forward to starting a garden on two lots that straddle Buel Avenue and Dongan Hills Avenue. She's heading to the next Staten Island Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting today, January 15th at 7:30 pm in the Lou Caravone Community Service Building (located on the grounds of Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home, 460 Brielle Avenue between Walcott and Rockland Avenues) to present her proposal for the space! Contact Blake at 917-403-3659 or notasissy88@yahoo.com.

Rockaway, Queens - Neighbors are organizing to create a community-run concession on this Housing Preservation and Development spot by the Beach 59th Street subway station that used to have a newsstand on it. Get in touch with Alexis if you want to help: alexissmallwood83@gmail.com.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - Organizer James Richards is just getting started galvanizing a group and a vision for a future garden in this Seigel Street HPD lot. It's not one of the ones that HPD has targeted for development; it's likely to sit empty for another long while unless neighbors get together and transform it. Become an organizer yourself or contact James directly: 3472620572 or Heiho1@mac.com.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - Neighbors shaping the future of this lot that was recently transferred to the Parks Department are preparing their visions of what kind of park they would like to see. Do you live close to Bushwick Avenue and Beaver Street? Connect with the group by becoming an organizer on the lot's page or contacting any of the organizers listed there

North Bronx - You've been labelled! The romantic lot in the photo above is on Eden Terrace, as is this great corner lot. Are you close by? Get in touch and let's get organizing: Mary at (718) 316-6092 x3. 

COLLABORATORS
The Department of Sanitation is now accepting applications for its 2015 Master Composter Certificate Course. Sign up to learn how to make precious soil from NYC's waste. Classes are held at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lower East Side Ecology Center in Manhattan, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in Staten Island. The application is here and is due February 20, 2015. 

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email atorganizers@596acres.org and let us know!

Grant deadline approaching!
Citizens Committee of New York City 2015 Neighborhood Grants are due January 26th, 2015! Contact grants@citizensnyc.org or call 212-822-9563 with questions.

Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund grant applications are due February 1, 2015. The Partnership makes small grants of up to $5,000 to strengthen the outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity of groups caring for NYC Parks Department property in all five boroughs of New York City.

yours,
596 Acres 



 

News From the Acres - January 8, 2015

08 January 2015
reviewing renewal this sunday at the queens museum!

THANK YOU!
Happy new year and thank you to everyone who included us in their end-of-year giving for 2014! It's not too late: $12 from every subscriber to this lists is we need to keep our organizer on staff through 2015, supporting community land access efforts citywide. Donate here.

OPENING DAY AT THE QUEENS MUSEUM!
Join us this Sunday, January 11th for the opening of Reviewing Renewal, an exhibition marking all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama! All day Sunday there will awesome, free programming:

  • From 2 pm to 3:30 pm watch the film presentation The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, which explores the issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America.
  • From 3:30 pm to 4 pm experience "Who Makes A Neighborhood?", a reading by author DW Gibson which is part of his research for the upcoming book, The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of 21st Century Gentrification, and a short film about the struggle over whose right it is to renew a neighborhood: Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden (2011, Harvey Wang & Amy Brost).
  • From 4 pm to 6 pm come hang out with us at the Reviewing Renewal Opening Receptionwith presentations by Paula from 596 Acres and Mapzen's modelling and map-making geniuses! Big thanks for Green Grape for donating delicious snacks and providing libations! Spread the word!
All events are free, but some require a RSVPs, so click on the links above to learn more!

Sundays Through February
This exhibit runs from January 11th to February 8th, 2015 with talks, readings, discussions, and film showings happening every Sunday! For more information on the exhibit and programming details, click here.

SAVE THE DATES
We'll be holding a Community Land Access Workshop and 596 Acres General Meeting onTuesday, February 3rd from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch (10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn) in the Information Commons room. Learn how to tap community resources, use the 596 Acres map and website to engage your neighbors, and plot your next steps to gain access to city land for your community projects. This workshop will also act as a general meeting, where folks from all neighborhoods can share land access success stories and we can troubleshoot any sticky points in the process.

Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street at Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) is heading back to Housing Court on Friday, February 6th at 9:30 am in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn. The gardeners are challenging individuals claiming to be the owners of the lot that the garden is on. The Brooklyn District Attorney's office is simultaneously investigating the ownership claim to see if any criminal action took place (e.g. fraud). The gardeners are exploring other options towards a peaceful resolution through elected officials and the City administration. Paula Z. Segal is representing the gardeners. RSVP to Tom Afarge at maple3garden@gmail.com so that the gardeners know how many t-shirts to bring! A presence in the courtroom is crucial! A front row full of Maple Street Community Garden t-shirts made a difference at this past Monday's court appearance!

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn - Tomorrow, Friday, January 9th neighbors and local organizations are meeting to talk about visions for the triangular corner lot at 544 Bushwick Avenue at Beaver Street. This lot was transferred to the Parks Department earlier in the year and now neighbors want to see their ideas implemented in the space! The meeting is at 5:30 pm at the AHRC Center (522 Bushwick Avenue at Noll Street) right next door to the lot. Email Mary at mary@596acres.orgor call 718-316-6092 ext 3 with questions.

Dongan Hills, Staten Island - Blake is looking forward to starting a garden on two lots that straddle Buel Avenue and Dongan Hills Avenue. She's heading to the next Staten Island Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting next Thursday, January 15th at 7:30 pm in the Lou Caravone Community Service Building (located on the grounds of Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home, 460 Brielle Avenue between Walcott and Rockland Avenues) to present her proposal for the space! Contact Blake at 917-403-3659 or notasissy88@yahoo.com.

Brownsville, East New York - Liz and Vere are two neighbors that would love to see a garden atthe corner lot at 511 Liberty Avenue at Van Siclen Avenue. What about you? Contact Vere atvilgibbs@hotmail.com or 347-432-4510.

Cypress Hills, Brooklyn - There' a long and narrow lot at 202 Wyona Street that would be perfect as a play space or garden for kids from the daycare next door. Do you know someone whose children attend the daycare? Can you connect us with the neighbors? Call Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or email mary@596acres.org.

LOTS WITH ACCESS
If you have been to, or even just considered visiting Smiling Hogshead Ranch, we invite you to participate in a simple 10 question survey. Your input will help Hogshead members as they develop future programming and guide growth at the Ranch.

COLLABORATORS
Got a Christmas tree that needs recycling? New Yorkers can participate in NYC Parks & Recreation Mulchfest by bringing their holiday trees to designated sites throughout the five boroughs this Saturday, January 10th or this Sunday, January 11th from 10 am to 2 pm. Free mulch will be available at Mulchfest locations, so bring a bag if you would like to take home some mulch!

Additionally, the Department of Sanitation will be collecting trees curbside from now through Friday, January 16th. Please remove all tree stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments from trees before placing them out for collection, and don't place trees in plastic bags. Trees will be chipped into mulch that will be distributed to parks, playing fields, and community gardens throughout the city! Click here for more info.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know!

Deadline Approaching!
The Citizens Committee 2015 Neighborhood Grants are here! Citizens Committee of New York City awards micro-grants of up to $3,000 to resident-led groups to work on community and school improvement projects. They support projects that address issues that communities identify as important to them - anything from community gardens to tenant organizing. The application is due January 26th, 2015, and before then there are several application workshops you can attend! Contact grants@citizensnyc.org or call 212-822-9563 with questions.

yours,
596 Acres 

Marking Morrisania on the Panorama at the Queens Museum.

News From the Acres - 3.121579 NEW OPEN ACRES!

30 December 2014
11 new community spaces!

DONATE TO TRANSFORM OUR VACANT SPACES IN 2015
A huge thanks to those who gave their time and funds to keep 596 Acres in action this year, and to those that created and strengthened their own neighborhood open spaces, making New York City an even better place to live! We are so grateful for your supportWe're excited for the year ahead, but unfortunately, only have funding through March. If everyone on this mailing list gives $12 dollars right now, we'll have enough funds to keep our organizer and pay our rent through the end of 2015! Donate now!

Here’s some of what we accomplished in 2014:

Want to read more? Check out our 2014 Annual Report.

Here’s just a taste of what’s coming up in 2015: 

We hope you will give a tax-exempt donation of any size and join a project in your neighborhood in 2015!

Support Fellow Gardeners!
Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street at Rogers Avenue) has been summoned to Housing Court by individuals claiming to be the owners of the lot that the garden is on. The garden will be appearing to file a Motion to Dismiss the case in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn, this Monday, January 5th at 10 am. Although not much is likely to happen at this appearance, a show of solidarity for gardeners who are on the defensive is crucial! Paula Z. Segal is representing the gardeners. The Brooklyn District Attorney's office is simultaneously investigating the ownership claim to see if any criminal action took place (e.g. fraud). The gardeners are exploring other options towards a peaceful resolution through elected officials and the City administration. Contact Tom Afarge at maple3garden@gmail.com for more information.

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn - Earlier in the year we learned that the triangular corner lot at 544 Bushwick Avenue at Beaver Street was transferred to the Parks Department. Brooklyn Community Board 4 would love to see it turned into a playground, and a crew of neighborhood groups and residents would also like to see gardening in the space, too! Email Maria at maria.hubbard@ahrcnyc.org or call Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 to stay updated on a next meeting to create a strategic plan for how everyone can work together!

East New York - There's a lot under the subway platform on New Lots Avenue at Elton Street that's almost 11,000 square feet! East New York Restoration is a new community development corporation interested in stewarding this space. Do you live in the area and have a vision for a what you'd like to see in the space? Email ENYR's director Melinda atmperkins@enyrestoration.org or call her at 718-676-5920 to share your ideas!

East New York - Two weeks ago Luwana from Project East New York hosted the first meeting for the future garden at 467 Vermont Street at Blake Avenue. This non-profit and group of neighbors has already connected with the nearby school and several organizations who can support the effort to start the space. The main focus now is getting a letter of support from Brooklyn Community Board 5. Email Luwana at luwanas@projecteastnewyork.org or call 917-342-2072 to get involved!

Highbridge, Bronx - Have you noticed the underutilized park on Nelson Avenue between West 170th and West 169th Streets? Corporal Fischer Park has been sitting in the Parks Department inventory for six years! You can read more in this DNAInfo article. If you're a neighbor, reach out to Bronx Community Board 4 and the Parks Department (212-360-3441) for updates.

Lower East Side, Manhattan - We've been chatting with Haimar, who lives next door to the lot at276 East 3rd Street, who is talking to neighbors about getting a garden started. Emailmary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 to hear about the upcoming meeting!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

yours,
596 Acres 

The 596 Acres team, December 2014 edition.

News From the Acres - December 23, 2014

23 December 2014
REVIEWING RENEWAL AT THE QUEENS MUSEUM

From January 11th to February 8th, 2015 596 Acres will be exhibiting all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama!

Opening Day!
Join us on Sunday, January 11th for a bundle of awesome events: from 12:30 pm to 2 pm take a Willet's Point Urban Renewal Area Walking Tour with Queens borough historian Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, from 2 pm to 3:30 pm watch the film presentation The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, which explores the issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America, from 3:30 pm to 4 pm experience "Who Makes A Neighborhood?", a reading by author DW Gibson and a short film: Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden, and from 4 pm to 6 pm come hang out with us at the Reviewing Renewal Opening Reception!

All events are free, but some require a RSVPs, so click on the links above to learn more!

Sundays Through February
Join us every Sunday from January 11th through February 8th for special programming with talks, readings, discussions, and film showings! For more information on the exhibit and programming details, click here.

Help 596 Acres continue to help open spaces in 2015
A huge thanks to those who gave their time and funds to keep 596 Acres in action in 2014! We're excited for the year ahead, but unfortunately, only have funding through March 2015. You can support our continuing work helping communities take control of their city by giving a tax-exempt donation!

yours,
596 Acres

596 Acres presents the Urban Reviewer on the Queens Museum Panorama

23 December 2014

596 Acres presents

Reviewing Renewal

on the Queens Museum Panorama

January 11 to February 8, 2015


596 Acres will present all 155+ urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama.  

New York City began to adopt “urban renewal plans” in 1949 to get federal funding to acquire land, relocate the people living there, demolish the structures and make way for new public and private development. The legacy of these neighborhood master plans remains active across the city, from sites like Lincoln Center to the many vacant lots cleared in East New York and Bushwick for projects that were never completed. Even after federal funding for the program was cut in 1974, New York City continued to adopt renewal plans for neighborhoods - 82 plan areas, where the city has eminent domain power to take private property for the public purpose of eliminating blight and economic “under-performance,” came into being between 1975 and the present.  

Urban renewal transforms the city, and changes the lives of many New Yorkers, for better or worse. Over 60 plan for areas of the city remain active today. Some communities are taking advantage of active plan areas to make community aspirations into official plans.


What can we learn from the continuing story of urban renewal in NYC?

 

Curator: Paula Z. Segal, Esq., 596 Acres, Inc.  

Exhibition Design: Mary Bereschka, Greg Mihalko, Stephen von Muehlen

Design: Partner & Partners

Event Production: Amy Fitzgerald, Oksana Mironova

Exhibition made possible thanks to the support of Mapzen and the Queens Museum.

All events are free. Some RSVPs required.

 


Sunday, January 11, 2015


 

12:30pm - 2pm, meet in the Queens Museum lobby

A Willet’s Point Walk


A walking tour of the Willets Point Urban Renewal Area with Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, Queens Borough Historian, will start from, and return to, the Queens Museum. East of Citifield (the New York Mets baseball stadium) is a sewerless hardscrabble area of auto junkyards and related businesses that has twice beaten back attempts at redevelopment. But as it is located between the new stadium and a booming Chinatown in Flushing, public and private interests are again trying to transform “Willets Point.” We’ll confront ecological issues and learn why “Willets Point”  is a misnomer.


RSVP required; participation is limited.


Dr. Jack Eichenbaum holds the title of Queens Borough Historian, and a Ph.D. in urban geography (University of Michigan, 1972), where his dissertation was titled Magic, Mobility and Minorities in the Urban Drama. On the empirical level, it involved a study of the urban renewal of a multi-ethnic neighborhood in Detroit. He is a lifelong observer of NYC and other large cities around the world. Eichenbaum’s expertise lies particularly in quantitative methods, historical urban geography, migration, ethnicity, and technological change. More information can be found at: geognyc.com



2pm - 3:30pm, 2nd floor theater

Film Presentation: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, 2011, Chad Freidrichs, 83 min

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth explores the social, economic and legislative issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America, and the city centers in which they resided, while tracing the personal and poignant narratives of several of the residents of the notorious Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex in St. Louis. More info here: http://www.pruitt-igoe.com/


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3:30 - 4pm, panorama

"Who Makes A Neighborhood?"

A reading by author DW Gibson and a film: Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden, 2011, Harvey Wang & Amy Brost, 6 min.


DW Gibson is the author of Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today’s Changing Economy. His work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post,The Daily Beast, The Village Voice, and The Caravan. He has been a contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and is the director of the documentary, Not Working. His next book, The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of 21st Century Gentrification, will be published in April 2015. For more information: www.dwgibson.net


Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden, 2011, Harvey Wang & Amy Brost, 6 min

In 1975, on the crime-ridden Lower East Side, Adam Purple started a garden behind his tenement home. By 1986, The Garden of Eden was world famous and had grown to 15,000 square feet. For Adam – a social activist, philosopher, artist, and revolutionary – the Garden was the medium of his political and artistic expression. It was razed by the city in 1986 after a protracted court battle. This film documents the creation of this artwork and its ultimate destruction.  Winner of the "Neighborhood Award" at the Lower East Side Film Festival.
 

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4pm - 6pm, panorama & 2nd floor theater

Opening Reception with public presentations in the panorama by the 596 Acres Urban Reviewer Team & Mapzen.


RSVP required.



Sunday, January 18, 2015


 

12:15pm - 1:45pm, 2nd floor theater
 

Takings


A discussion of the law of eminent domain with Michael Rikon, Esq. & Paula Z. Segal, Esq. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for free to attorneys who attend provided by the CUNY Community Legal Resource Network. All welcome.

 

RSVP required here for attorneys to recieve credits.


Michael Rikon is a shareholder in Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C., which has concentrated its practice in eminent domain cases since 1925. From 1973 to 1980, Mr. Rikon served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Albert A. Blinder of the New York State Court of Claims. He began his legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of  New York, a position he held from 1969 to 1973, where he was a senior trial attorney in the Condemnation Division. From 1973 to 1975, Mr. Rikon was a consultant to the New York State Commission on Eminent Domain, which drafted the EDPL. He earned his B.S. at the New York Institute of Technology; his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a Masters of Law from New York University School of Law. Michael Rikon is a frequent lecturer on the Law of Eminent Domain. He is rated “A.V.” by Martindale-Hubbell, “Best Lawyer” and “Super Lawyer.” He is listed in Who’s Who in America Law.

Paula Z. Segal, Esq. is the founding director of 596 Acres, New York City's land access advocacy organization. She is a graduate of CUNY School of Law at Queens College, where she was a Haywood Burns Fellow in Human and Civil Rights.  

 

CLE Credits provided by Community Legal Resource Network at CUNY School of Law  - CLE credit will be offered only to those attorneys completing entire sessions; attorneys attending only part of a session are not eligible for partial credit.  Attorneys arriving late are welcome to attend the program but will not be eligible for credit.  Attorneys wishing to receive CLE credit must sign in the program's attendance register prior to and following the CLE program; once a speaker begins the program, the sign-in sheets will be removed.  Similarly, attorneys leaving the session early are also ineligible for CLE credit.

RSVP on Facebook. (Attorneys use the link above to register for credits; everyone can RSVP here!)

 


2pm - 4pm, 2nd floor workshop

Reviewing Mitchell Lama: The Past, Present and Future of Affordable Housing in NYC

Planners Network NYC hosts a discussion on the past, present and future of the Mitchell Lama program, one of New York's most important and embattled affordable housing initiatives. With Charles Chawalko on the history of the program and the experience at Southbridge Towers; Jackie Peters, of the Putnam Coalition, on organizing against predatory equity in a Harlem Mitchell Lama rental; and Alexis Smallwood on the experience of tenants at Ocean Village in the Rockaway. Moderated by Katie Goldstein, Executive Director of Tenants & Neighbors.


Planners Network is an association of professionals, activists, academics, and students involved in physical, social, economic, and environmental planning in urban and rural areas, who promote fundamental change in our political and economic systems.


Charles Chawalko performed digital cartography and data corrections on the Urban Reviewer map (urbanreviewer.org). His interest in the project came from his own thesis work and struggle concerning the potential privatization of his Mitchell-Lama cooperative (South Bridge Towers) that was born out of the Brooklyn Bridge Southwest Urban Renewal Plan.


Jackie Peters has long been a tenant organizer and a leader in the Putnam Coalition, a group of residents fighting to keep their homes affordable.


Alexis Smallwood is the Community Outreach Coordinator at Rockaway Wildfire and a resident of Ocean Village/Arverne View, a Mitchell Lama development recently transitioned to a private owner.


Katie Goldstein is the Executive Director of Tenants & Neighbors, a grassroots organization that helps tenants build and effectively wield their power to preserve at-risk affordable housing and strengthen tenants' rights in New York.

 

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4pm - 6pm, 2nd floor theater

Film Presentation: It Took 50 Years: Frances Goldin and the Struggle for Cooper Square

 

A preview of It Took 50 Years, followed by a discussion about lessons for organizers about the urban renewal process from members of the Cooper Square Committee.

It Took 50 Years: Frances Goldin and the Struggle for Cooper Square, 2014, Kathryn Barnier, Ryan Joseph & David Powell, 15 min clip

Robert Moses was New York City’s “Master Builder”, a force of nature that transformed the built environment and the lives of millions of New Yorkers. When Moses came to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1959, he intended to level the area known as “Cooper Square” in the name of urban renewal. Little did Moses know that he would meet his match in the Cooper Square Committee (CSC) and in Frances Goldin, the committee’s tenacious co-founder. More info here: http://www.ittook50.com/

 

In addition the filmmakers, Val Orselli of the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association, Harriet Putterman of the Cooper Square Community Land Trust, and a representative from Picture the Homeless will lead the discussion.


 

Dave Powell was raised and still lives in Brooklyn, NY. He has worked as an organizer for the Metropolitan Council on Housing, the New York State Tenants & Neighbors Coalition and the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance. He is currently the Director of Organizing and Advocacy at the Fifth Avenue Committee in Brooklyn. Dave has been quoted on housing issues by the New York Times, The New York Daily News, Crain’s New York Business, The Village Voice, City Limits and other media. The Village Voice recognized his activism on behalf of New York City tenants in its “Best Of 2003” issue. Dave is a former member of the National Writers Union (UAW local 1981) and has been a collective member of ABC No Rio on the Lower East Side for over 20 years. He holds a BA in film production from and a Masters in Urban Planning, both from Hunter College.


Ryan Joseph was born in Trinidad, West Indies and now resides in Jersey City, NJ.  As a freelance documentary photographer and filmmaker his work focuses on documenting and bringing to light marginalized communities and subcultures. Ryan has displayed at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, New Jersey and The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, Maryland, among other venues. He has been published in The New York Times, Jet Magazine, En Foco Photography Magazine, Urban Ink Magazine and has worked as a still photographer for Asante film production, The Black Candle. His cinematography credits include The Rink which he co-produced.

Kathryn Barner, editor of It Took 50 Years, has over 20 years of documentary post-production experience. Her credits include My Brooklyn (2012), Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America (2006) and The Gun Deadlock (2001.


Cooper Square Committee’s mission is to work with area residents to contribute to the preservation and development of affordable, environmentally healthy housing and community/ cultural spaces so that the Cooper Square area remains racially, economically and culturally diverse. The Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association and Cooper Square Community Land Trust were created in furtherance of that mission.

 

Picture the Homeless is a lead organization in the New York City Community Land Initiative (http://nyccli.org), which is working to expand the opportunities for putting NYC land in community trust.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015


12pm - 1pm, panorama

The Manhattan Projects Tour


“Around the city” tour of four completed NYC urban renewal projects (United Nations, Stuyvesant Town, Lincoln Square/Center, East Harlem) on the panorama with Samuel Zipp, author of Manhattan Projects: the Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York.


Samuel Zipp is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Urban Studies at Brown University and the author of Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York. He has written articles and reviews for a number of publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Baffler, Metropolis, Cabinet, and In These Times.


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1pm - 2:30pm, 2nd floor theater

Before Lincoln Center


Organized by Oksana Mironova

Screenings of films Rompierdo Puertas (Break and Enter) (1971) & The Case against Lincoln Center (1968), both from Third World Newsreel, framed and followed a discussion with Jennifer Hock and Mariana Mogilevich on the city-facilitated transformation of the Upper West Side.


Rompierdo Puertas (Break and Enter), 1971, Third World Films, 42 min

Rompierdo Puertas details the takeover of buildings by Latino families in New York City slated for urban renewal. The film highlights the community’s struggle against displacement and their determination to obtain equality and decent housing.


The Case against Lincoln Center, 1968, Third World Films, 12 min

The Case against Lincoln Center depicts the building of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, that displaced 20,000 Latino families. Juxtaposing the atmosphere of Lincoln Center with the vibrant street culture of a displaced neighborhood, the film correctly predicts the process by which the West Side was to be turned into a high-rent area for the upper middle class.


Mariana Mogilevich is an urban and architectural historian and native New Yorker. She writes about the design and politics of the built environment in general and on public space and open space in New York in particular, and has taught urban studies and architectural history at Harvard and New York University.


Jennifer Hock is an architectural and urban historian with an interest in the impact of social movements on design and planning practice and the creation of urban space. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 2012. She has lectured and published on Jane Jacobs, mid-century American architecture, and urban renewal, and is working on a book on architecture, planning, and the civil rights movement in Boston. She currently teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art.


Oksana Mironova is a researcher and writer focused on housing policy, urban development, and alternative economies. She was born in the former Soviet Union and grew up in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Urban Omnibus, BKLYNR, Progressive Planning, and Shelterforce.

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2:30pm - 4pm, 2nd floor workshop space

Williamsburg’s South Side with Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna, Shekar Krishnan, Anusha Venkataraman and The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition.


Diana Reyna is the Deputy Brooklyn Borough President and has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to communities across Brooklyn through government service and advocacy since 2001.  As a New York City Council Member representing the 34th District (that includes the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn as well as Ridgewood, Queens) she garnered citywide attention for her efforts in championing affordable housing, economic development, improving equity in education, park space and waste as well as expanding youth and senior services.  As the first woman of Dominican descent elected to office in New York State she focuses on ways she can advocate for the over 2.6 million residents of New York City’s most diverse borough. Reyna supports innovation and high-tech job creation, investing in women or minority owned small businesses, as well as business incubators that facilitate the critical work of entrepreneurs in creating start-up companies.  Reyna was born and raised in Williamsburg’s ‘Southside,’ and now lives in Bushwick with her husband, a sergeant in the New York City Police Department, and two boys. She attended the

Transfiguration School in Williamsburg and Pace University in Pleasantville, New York.


The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition (BTCC) represents the authentic voices of community residents from Williamsburg and northern Bedford-Stuyvesant calling for an inclusive public planning process and integrated affordable housing in response to the city’s efforts to rezone the Broadway Triangle in Brooklyn. This coalition includes over 40 church, civic, educational and community-based organizations that represent the area’s largely Latino, African-American, and Hasidic communities.  The coalition formed six years ago to advocate for fair housing and a transparent, participatory rezoning process for this Urban Renewal Area—the largest plot of vacant land in the borough for affordable housing.  The BTCC advocates for a comprehensive plan for the Broadway Triangle, one that ends longstanding residential segregation in this area of Brooklyn, maximizes the affordable housing that can be built given the great need in this area, and provides sustainable resources for the surrounding low-income communities.

Shekar Krishnan is the Director of the Preserving Affordable Housing Program at Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (“Brooklyn A”).  He leads its fair housing and community-based advocacy on behalf of tenant and neighborhood groups in North Brooklyn.  He is one of the lead lawyers on Brooklyn A’s Broadway Triangle fair housing case against the City of New York, which the organization started five years ago.  Shekar was also an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, serving as pro bono counsel to Brooklyn A and as a member of its board.  He clerked for Senior United States District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York.  Shekar received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a Clarence Darrow Scholar and contributing editor of the Michigan Law Review, and his undergraduate degree from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.  He is a member of the board of directors of Citizens Union and El Puente.  Shekar’s publications include “Advocacy for Tenant and Community Empowerment” (CUNY Law Review), “Lock Up Crooked Landlords” (N.Y. Daily News Op-ed), and “Without an Attorney, the Scales of Justice Are Weighted Against the Poor” (New York State Bar Association Pro Bono News).


Anusha Venkataraman is a hybrid urban planner, writer, artist, and activist, whose work focuses on empowering communities to lead change rather than respond to it. She is currently Director of the Green Light District initiative at El Puente, a community human rights institution in Brooklyn, NY. The Green Light District is a grassroots ten-year campaign for sustainability, equity, community wellness, and Latino cultural expression in the Southside or "Los Sures" neighborhood. Anusha edited the books Intractable Democracy: Fifty Years of Community-Based Planning (2010) and Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space (2012, with colleagues), and is a contributing editor and writer for Outpost Journal, an annual publication that features art and activism in small and medium-sized U.S. cities. Anusha completed her masters degree in City and Regional Planning at the Pratt Institute, with a focus on arts and community development, and a bachelors degree in International Relations at Brown University.

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4pm - 6pm, walk through the panorama and conversation in 2nd floor workshop space

Queens

 

with Queens Borough Historian Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, Kalin Callaghan of the United Peninsula Working to Achieve Responsible Development (UPWARD) coalition in Rockaway and others to be announced.


Dr. Jack Eichenbaum holds the title of Queens Borough Historian, and a Ph.D. in urban geography (University of Michigan, 1972), where his dissertation was titled Magic, Mobility and Minorities in the Urban Drama. On the empirical level, it involved a study of the urban renewal of a multi-ethnic neighborhood in Detroit. He is a lifelong observer of NYC and other large cities around the world. Eichenbaum’s expertise lies particularly in quantitative methods, historical urban geography, migration, ethnicity, and technological change. More information can be found at: /www.geognyc.com


Kalin Callaghan, an organizer with Rockaway Wildfire, grew up amongst artists and activists in Rockaway Beach. She studied fine art and children’s  studies at Brooklyn College, and has worked as an artistic instructor for the Rockaway Artists Alliance for 10+ years. Peripherally involved in political activism since her teen years, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy thrust her into purposeful community  organizing on a larger scale. The destruction of her hometown, and rebuilding and redevelopment efforts to follow, compelled Kalin to  work to ensure that her community would both lead and benefit from the recovery process. She has coordinated a campaign to develop a Community Benefits Agreement for Arverne East. She is raising two boys in the Rockaways.


The United Peninsula Working to Achieve Responsible Development (UPWARD) coalition is based in Rockaway, Queens. The grassroots coalition is focused on equitable development in the 81-acre portion of the Arverne Urban Renewal Plan Area that has been empty for over 40 years.


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Sunday, February 1, 2015


12pm  - 1pm, 2nd floor theater

Film Presentation: The Rink
with filmmaker Q & A 


The Rink, 2014, Sarah Friedland & Ryan Joseph, 55 min

Branch Brook Park Roller Rink, located in Newark, NJ, is one of the few remaining urban rinks of its kind. This concrete structure is nestled in a public park bordered by public housing and a highway. Upon first glance, the exterior resembles a fallout shelter; however, the streamers and lights of the interior are reminiscent of 1970s roller discos. This documentary depicts a space cherished by skaters and a city struggling to move beyond its past and forge a new narrative amidst contemporary social issues. More info here: http://www.therinkfilm.com/

 

Sarah Friedland's documentary films and installations are concerned with personal stories that reveal larger histories and intricacies about place and society. Friedland’s works with Esy Casey have screened widely in the US and abroad and have been supported by grants from the Jerome Foundation, the Paul Newman Foundation, the William H. Prusoff Foundation, The Princess Grace Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Center for Asian American Media. In 2009, after the debut of her feature documentary Thing With No Name, she was named one of the “Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch” by the Independent Magazine. She is a recipient of the 2014 Paul Robeson award from the Newark Museum for her feature documentary The Rink. Her recent documentary Jeepney (directed by Esy Casey produced by Esy Casey and Sarah Friedland) will be broadcast on PBS in 2015. She is a 2014 LABA House of Study fellow and is currently working on two projects: Memorials (with Esy Casey), a feature documentary about the way America memorializes its dead; and 5 x Lydda, a documentary video installation. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Film and Film Studies at Wagner College.

 

Ryan Joseph was born in Trinidad, West Indies and now resides in Jersey City, NJ.  As a freelance documentary photographer and filmmaker his work focuses on documenting and bringing to light marginalized communities and subcultures. Ryan has displayed at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, New Jersey and The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, Maryland, among other venues. He has been published in The New York Times, Jet Magazine, En Foco Photography Magazine, Urban Ink Magazine and has worked as a still photographer for Asante film production, The Black Candle.

 

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1pm - 3pm, 2nd floor workshop space

What happens to a neighborhood “renewed?”


Strategies, tactics and tools of community participation in response to urban renewal. Attorney Amy Laura Cahn and historian Marci Reaven will talk about the disempowering force of “blight” declarations and role of community planning boards and people’s plans, looking at New York City and Eastwick, Philadelphia--the largest urban renewal site in the USA. Activists from the contested Seward Park Urban Renewal Area on Manhattan’s Lower East Side will join the conversation, and Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani and the Layered SPURA / City Studio project from the New School & Buscada will host a pop-up exhibition and lead an interactive workshop in which participants will be invited to take on roles in a community struggle over its future.


Marci Reaven is the Vice President of History Exhibits at the New York Historical Society, and a former director of the Place Matters project (www.placematters.org).


Amy Laura Cahn, Esq. is a lawyer at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and Director of the Garden Justice Legal Initiative. Amy Laura provides legal and advocacy support to community gardens and farms in historically disinvested communities, and works on environmental justice issues. In 2014, her article “On Retiring Blight as Policy and Making Eastwick Whole” was published in Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.


Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani is a photographer, urbanist and curator, and is the creator of the Layered SPURA project, a six-year public art, activist and teaching project in conjunction with her City Studio class at the New School. Gabrielle is co-founder of Buscada (http://buscada.com/), an interdisciplinary practice on place and dialogue, and is Assoc. Director of Civic Engagement Initiatives and professor of Urban Studies at the New School. She holds a PhD in Environmental Psychology from the Graduate Center, CUNY and her creative research addresses the experience & politics of everyday place in London, Buenos Aires, Oakland, CA and New York.


The Layered SPURA / City Studio project, created by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, explores the complexity of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) on the Lower East Side. Over 40 years ago, the City of New York cleared 14 square blocks on the south side of Delancey Street, yet most of the planned housing on the site was never built. Still primarily used as parking lots, but now the subject of large-scale development, the site has long been contested by a divided neighborhood. The Layered SPURA/City Studio project has built long-term collaborations between community organizations and New School students to create exhibitions, art and research to foster new spaces for conversations about SPURA's  future.

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3pm - 4pm, panorama

Urban Renewal is Scapegoated to Justify Current Conditions of Spatial Domination, an Artist Walk & Talk with Damon Rich


Damon Rich is a designer, planner, and visual artist. He will present work about and around urban renewal, including exhibitions The City Without a Ghetto (2003), Abuse of Power: The SPURA Story (2006), Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center (2007–9) and Mix and Match (Nevarca–>New Ark) (2010). At the Queens Museum in 2009, Rich's Cities Destroyed for Cash used 1431 plastic markers to map every block in New York City with three or more foreclosure filings on 1-3 family homes onto the Panorama of New York City. Damon will also discuss applications of planning exhibitions for practice in his work as founder of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and Planning Director for the City of Newark, New Jersey.

 

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4pm – 6pm, 2nd floor workshop space

From Redlining to Gentrification


Program by the University of Orange with Dr. Mindy Fullilove, Molly Rose Kaufman, Rod Wallace, Havanna Fisher, Aubrey Murdock and the film Urban Renewal is People Removal (2005).


Mindy Thompson Fullilove, M.D. is the President of the University of Orange.  She is also a board-certified psychiatrist who is interested in the links between the environment and mental health. Under the rubric of the psychology of place, Dr. Fullilove began to examine the mental health effects of such environmental processes as violence, rebuilding, segregation, urban renewal, and mismanaged toxins. She has published numerous articles and six books including Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-Out Cities, Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It, and House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place.


Rodrick Wallace received an undergraduate degree in mathematics, and a PhD in physics, from Columbia University. He worked in the property insurance industry, and then as technical director of a public interest group, examining the impacts of policy and socioeconomic structure on public health, safety, and order. These efforts involved adaptation of analytic methods from ecosystem theory to the study of administrative data sets. After postdoctoral studies in the epidemiology of mental disorders, he received an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His peer reviewed publications have been largely in the social sciences and public health, with more recent books and papers focused on evolutionary process and cognition, at and across various modes, scales, and levels of organization. He is presently a Research Scientist in the Division of Epidemiology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, associated with the Columbia University Medical Center.


Havanna Fisher is a budding artist from Harlem, New York. She is a high school of  Fashion Industries graduate and a recent graduate of the New School. She received a Bachelors’ of Fine Arts for fashion design from at Parson’s School of Design as well as a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts for dance from Eugene Lang. Havanna has long been interested in using the skills and techniques that she has acquired to combine the arts with education to bring about political awareness and thus probable change within the American landscape of ideological identity.


Molly Rose Kaufman is the Provost of University of Orange.

Aubrey Murdock is the Academic Dean of University of Orange.


Urban Renewal is People Removal, 2005, Sara Booth, 23 min

Urban Renewal is People Removal brings uprooted residents together to weave a people's history of Newark starting in the forties and continuing up until today. Urban renewal is not a thing of the past. Many large housing projects, whose construction displaced thousands, are now being torn down under the same banners that brought them into being less than 50 years ago. Written by Mindy Fullilove.


The University of Orange is a free people’s university based in Orange, NJ, that builds collective capacity for people to create equitable cities.  For more information visit universityoforange.org.


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Sunday, February 8, 2015 


3pm - 4pm, panorama

 

Curator Walk & Talk: Paula Z. Segal

Paula Z. Segal is the Director of 596 Acres, New York City’s community land access advocacy organization. In addition to supporting 30 successful neighborhood campaigns for official community access to vacant publicly owned lots and transform them into gardens and pocket parks, the organization looks for opportunities for residents to be in the charge of what happens to their neighborhoods. She is the curator for Reviewing Renewal.

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4pm – 6pm, 2nd floor theater

Reception, Discussion & Film Presentation: The Tragedy of Urban Renewal: The destruction and survival of a New York City neighborhood


The Tragedy of Urban Renewal: The destruction and survival of a New York City neighborhood, 2011, Reason TV, 6 min

 

The Tragedy of Urban Renewal: The destruction and survival of a New York City neighborhood depicts New York City's Manhattantown (1951) - one of the first projects authorized under urban renewal. The Manhattantown project destroyed six blocks on New York City's Upper West Side, including an African-American community that dated to the turn of the century. The city sold the land for a token sum to build a middle-class housing development. Then came the often repeated bulldoze-and-abandon phenomenon: with little financial skin in the game, the developers let the demolished land sit vacant for years.

Looking Back at 2014

18 December 2014

 

29 and counting!

GREEN WARRIORS UNITED

Our 2014 Annual Report is here! It was designed by our friends at Partner & Partners and will catch you up on any of the exciting happenings you might have missed this past year. Maybe the most exciting? We helped 11 new community spaces open in 2014 alone. Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter to see them all.

A huge thanks to those who gave their time and funds to keep 596 Acres in action, and to those that created and strengthened their own neighborhood open spaces, making New York City an even better place to live! We're looking forward to the year ahead, but unfortunately, only have funding through March 2015. You can support our continuing work helping communities take control of their city by giving a tax-exempt donation!

Intern with us
We're looking for an intern to join us for ten weeks from January 6th to March 12th, 2015. Get more information here! Applications are due by 5:59 pm TOMORROW, Friday, December 19th, to organizers@596acres.org with the subject 'Winter 2015 Intern Application'. It's 100 hours of mind expansion!

We packed the court!
On Monday we were at the Brooklyn State Supreme Court supporting Coney Island's Boardwalk Community Garden as they fought for the garden's land, which was was illegally bulldozed in December 2013 to make way for a $53 million City-funded amphitheater. Want to get involved and learn more? Join the New York City Community Garden Coalition TONIGHT, Thursday, December 18th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Neighborhood Preservation Center (232 East 11th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Manhattan) for their monthly general meeting and holiday party! There will be updates on current garden cases and the coalition's plans for next year. Bring fellow garden members and something yummy to share, if you can.

Save the Dates: Reviewing Urban Renewal at the Queens Museum
From January 11th to February 8th, 2015, 596 Acres will be exhibiting all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama! Stay tuned for updates on special programming for Sundays through February 8th. We'll be sending a full update next week! In the meantime check out the evolving programming here!

yours,
596 Acres 

596 Acres in 2014!

16 December 2014

Read about our most recent wonderful year by opening our annual report: 

Please support communities taking control of their city by giving a tax-exempt donation: http://596acres.org/en/donate/

News From the Acres - December 11, 2014

11 December 2014

 

#29!


GREEN WARRIORS UNITED

We're so excited to announce that Q Gardens is #29 in the 596 Acres network! For two years neighbors have been organizing to turn the MTA property at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn into a garden. After gaining the support of their community board, local businesses, residents, and organizations, the group joined the Brooklyn-Queens Land Trust, who singed a lease with the MTA that became official this past Monday! The plans shown above were created by Hilliker Landscape Design under the supervision of Grain Collective, who generously gave their time to craft plans for the space. A collaboration of resident dedication, shared skills, and a passion for community open space means this empty lot will soon be a neighborhood hot spot!

PACK THE COURT! 
Stand with Boardwalk Community Garden as they head to court this Monday, December 15th to continue to fight for the garden's land, which was was illegally bulldozed in December 2013 to make way for a $53 million City-funded amphitheater (learn more). Join us at the Brooklyn State Supreme Court at 360 Adams Street (near Brooklyn Borough Hall, between Johnson Street and Joralemon Street) to rally at 10:30am and enter the court at 12:15 pm. Help us set a powerful precedent for community garden preservation in NYC! See you there!

New Grant!
Sow It Forward is the grants and partnership program of Kitchen Gardeners International. Nonprofit causes or organizations (schools, 501c3s, food banks, community gardens, colleges, libraries, prisons, senior programs, etc.) interested in starting or expanding food garden projects that benefit their community can apply. Grants range from $325 to $500! Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter for a link to Green For Your Green, our site's page with lots more grants!

Intern with us!
We're looking for an intern to join us for ten weeks from January 6th to March 12th, 2015. Get more information here! Applications are due by 5:59 p.m. next Friday, December 19th, toorganizers@596acres.org with the subject 'Winter 2015 Intern Application.' It's 100 hours of mind expansion!

NEWS FROM THE ACRES

East New York, Brooklyn - Project East New York is holding their first meeting to discuss creating a new garden at 467 Vermont Avenue at the corner of Blake Avenue this Tuesday, December 16th at 6:30 pm at JHS 166 George Gershwin (800 Van Siclen Avenue between Linden Boulevard and Stanley Avenue). Contact Luwana at 917-342-2072 or luwanas@projecteastnewyork.org with questions. All interested neighbors welcome!

Rockaway, Queens - After months of organizing and going door-to-door, neighbor Alexis is getting a letter of support from Queens Community Board 14 to start a free food hub and educational garden at357 Beach 43rd Street at the corner of Beach Channel Drive. Next step? Wrapping up the application and sending it to GreenThumb! Contact alexissmallwood@yahoo.com or call 347-606-9925 to learn more!

Rockaway, Queens - There are two huge lots surrounding PS 106: one on Sprayview Avenue between Beach 34th and Beach 35th Streets and another on the other side of the block on Edgemere Avenue between Beach 34th and Beach 35th Streets. According to Housing Preservation and Development, this would be a great site for a temporary community garden and an organizing space for future involvement with the Arverne East development site (which is not scheduled to start for at least a few years). Students and teachers could be involved! Let's start planning! Emailorganizers@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Whitestone, Queens  - Along 150th Place between 15th Drive and 17th Avenue is a Department of Citywide Administrative Services-owned lot next to St. Luke's School and a lovely block of houses. Are you a neighbor or know someone at the school? Let us know! Shoot organizers@596acres.organ email or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - In the middle of a busy block with lots of apartments and plenty of neighbors sits 112 Seigal Street between Graham Avenue and Humboldt Street. This spot cold be turned into a garden or hang out spot! Email mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 to get started!

LOTS WITH ACCESS
The Electric Ladybug Garden (237 West 111th Street between Frederick Douglas Boulevard and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in Harlem) is excited to be partnering with Harlem Grown, who is lending expertise and providing some basic materials to help launch the newly-licensed GreenThumb garden to begin growing this spring. Read the press release and scroll to the bottom of the newsletter to see some neighbors picking up veggies at an event that both gardens held!

Edgemere Farm (Beach 46th Street at Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway) still has spots open in their winter CSA! If you live in Rockaway, here's your chance to get a share of local veggies to keep you going through the winter! Click here to see what they have to offer!

COLLABORATORS
Join the Arts East New York community this Saturday, December 13th from 11am to 8 pm atArtsplosion!, a winter celebration and special preview-opening of (re)NewLots, a community driven artist and vendor incubator on land that has been overlooked for decades. The event will be from 11am to 8 pm at 170 New Lots Ave at Van Sinderen Avenue, Brooklyn. There will be raffles, giveaways, and complimentary hot chocolate along with performances by Arts East New York artists.

The first ever South Bronx Farmers & Holiday Market is this Saturday, December 13th from 11 am to 5 pm at The Bronx Museum of The Arts (1040 Grand Concourse between 165th and 166th Streets, in the Lower Gallery). Buy products and goods made by Bronx residents for yourself or for the perfect holiday gift! Admission is free, but pre-register for a chance to win a gift basket! As always, the market will accept SNAP/EBT cards for qualifying food purchases!

Are you a community composter in NYC?
Fill out this survey to help the Department of Sanitation serve you better!

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email atorganizers@596acres.org and let us know!

yours,
596 Acres 

Intern With Us: Winter 2015

09 December 2014

 

596 Acres is seeking an intern who can work with us 10 hours per week for 10 weeks, January 6th - March 12, 2015. 

Your tasks will include putting up signs on vacant lots and generally helping us improve the work that we do with focus on the New York City Community Land Access program. Here's an unsolicited review from a former intern (now our NYC Organizer). 

This is an unpaid internship. You will be working out of our office at Spaceworks (540 President Street) in Gowanus, Brooklyn on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can make your own hours and there will be opportunities for field work or research on the weekends and in the evenings.

Comfort with navigation in parts of NYC you have never visited (even if you've been nearly everywhere) is key. Willingness to talk to strangers and learn how to do tasks on the computer are equally important. 

Please send a resume and a letter of interest. Include a picture of a place your neighborhood where participation by people who live or work close by could help make it better. 

Application due by 5:59p.m. on Friday, December 19, 2014, to organizers@596acres.org with the subject 'Winter 2015 Intern Application.'

Press Release: Harlem Grown to Lend Expertise to New GreenThumb Garden, Electric Ladybug Garden

09 December 2014

The Electric Ladybug Garden, a newly-licensed GreenThumb community garden in Harlem, is proud to announce that it has partnered with Harlem Grown. Harlem Grown will lend expertise and provide some necessary basic materials to help launch Electric Ladybug, which will be ready plant in spring 2015. The Electric Ladybug Garden will allow Harlem Grown to expand their outreach to the central Harlem area just north of Central Park on West 111th Street.  Both gardens are located on vacant lots currently allocated to the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).  Harlem Grown and Electric Ladybug Garden organizers first met through the 596 Acres network, when 596 Acres and Harlem Grown hosted a meeting of local land stewards with HPD garden licenses.

Yusuf Malik, Electric Ladybug Garden member, said “Tony is amazing, and we are incredibly happy that Harlem Grown will lend us a hand. They have valuable gardening experience and are really doing a service to the Harlem community by expanding their reach.”

Tony Hillery of Harlem Grown is happy to give back to the Harlem community yet again. “We are excited to assist the new Electric Ladybug Garden so that they are ready for spring. Our goal is to continue and expand our work in Harlem, and this is a great group of people to work with as we do so. We also want to network with gardens on HPD lots to increase awareness of the value of these garden spaces to the community to ensure that they are protected. Also, Paula Segal of 596 Acres is at the forefront of the issue of community gardens on HPD lots and she is doing a great job assisting both Harlem Grown and Electric Ladybug.”

Founded in 2011, Harlem Grown is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire youth to live healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition. They operate local urban farms, increase access and knowledge of healthy food for Harlem residents, and provide garden-based youth development programs to Harlem youth.

Electric Ladybug Garden is a recently licensed GreenThumb Garden on West 111th Street.  Both gardens are located on vacant lots currently run by and for the local community. 

596 Acres is a community land access advocate in New York City. Through a combination of traditional organizing and the use of open data, they have helped 29 neighborhood-based groups in New York City open up fences and create new community spaces. Harlem now has four new spaces where vacant lots were a few years ago through their efforts in collaboration with residents: the Electric Ladybug Garden, Harlem Valley Farm (197 West 134th Street), St. Nicholas Miracle Garden (on St. Nicholas between West 126th and 127th), the Mandala Memorial Community Garden (265 West 126th Street). 596 Acres is also supporting additional groups that are in the process of organizing to open new community spaces in Harlem on vacant public land.

Press Contacts:
John McBride, Electric Ladybug Garden Member
electricladybuggarden@gmail.com
www.electricladybuggarden.org
https://www.facebook.com/ElectricLadybugGarden.org

Tony Hillery, DirectorHarlem Grown
info@harlemgrown.com
www.harlemgrown.com
https://www.facebook.com/harlemgrown

News From the Acres - December 4, 2014

04 December 2014
spring is soon!

GREEN WARRIORS UNITED

The Citizens Committee 2015 Neighborhood Grants are here! Citizens Committee of New York City awards micro-grants of up to $3,000 to resident-led groups to work on community and school improvement projects. They support projects that address issues that communities identify as important to them - anything from community gardens to tenant organizing. The application is due January 26th, 2015, and before then there are several application workshops you can attend! Contact grants@citizensnyc.org or call 212-822-9563 with questions. Check out our Green for Your Green page (linked at the bottom of this newsletter) for other grant opportunities!

Looking for a holiday gift?
Help support 596 Acres by purchasing Gracias Por Guiarme: Paper y tierra, book-documentary that explores different personal perspectives on communal land ownership in modern Mexico. Set in the state of Oaxaca, dialogues, drawings and historical research to introduce the reader to the crazy quilt that is the legal structure of land there two decades after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Books are handmade by our elves and so cute! In addition to selling them online, come get one from us this Monday, December 8th at Nextdoorganics' Holiday Market from 7 to 9 pm at 360 Throop Avenue at Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn.

Are you a community composter in NYC?
Fill out this survey to help the Department of Sanitation serve you better!

NEWS FROM THE ACRES

East New York, Brooklyn - Project East New York is holding their first meeting to discuss creating a new garden at 467 Vermont Avenue at the corner of Blake Avenue. The meeting will be on Tuesday, December 16th at 6:30 pm at JHS 166 George Gershwin (800 Van Siclen Avenue between Linden Boulevard and Stanley Avenue). Contact Luwana at 917-342-2072 or luwanas@projecteastnewyork.org with questions. All interested neighbors welcome!

Tremont, Bronx - Edwin wants to create a garden space in the lot next door to his house at 1900 Marmion Avenue at Fairmount Place, but needs help getting started! Please spread the word if you live in the Bronx or have friends or family that do! They can reach out to Edwin (who speaks English and Spanish) by emailing edwin11arevalo@gmail.comor calling 914-403-6909.

Jamaica, Queens - At 105-45 62nd Drive (between 108th Street and Yellowstone Boulevard) there a paved Department of Citywide Administrative Services-owned lot that's sitting adjacent to an apartment building in a spot with lots of sunlight! Interested? Give us a call at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or email us at organizers@596acres.org to help you get started!

Rego Park, Queens - There's a pathway 10 feet wide and almost 100 feet long sitting next to Peters Field, behind a row of houses that sit on 183rd Place between Henderson Avenue and 104th Avenue. What could it be used for? A walk-through art gallery? A garden? Contact us at organizers@596acres.org or call us at 718-316-6092 ext 3 to share you idea.

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Join Smiling Hogshead Ranch (25-30 Skillman Avenue at Pearson Place, Long Island City, Queens) for a winterizing weekend! This last event of the season includes winterizing and protecting tender, young fruit trees, sowing wildflower seeds, garlic, and cover crops, and applying mulch where needed. Light drinks and snacks provided! Please dress appropriately for the weather, bring a water bottle, and snacks or something to share. The rain date will be the same time on Sunday, December 7th. Check out the Facebook event here!

Keap Fourth Community Garden (at the corner of Keap Street and South 4th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn) is looking for a Master Composter as an addition to their garden community! They'll even pay your way to complete the course and transportation to and from the training! Check out the class info here and contact them as soon as possible if you're interested.

On November 22nd Feedback Farms finished moving from their home at Myrtle Village Green to their new site at The Doe Fund's Opportunity Center (89 Porter Avenue between Ingraham Street and Johnson Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn). That's Tom from Feedback Farms pictured at the top of the newsletter, directing a bobcat! See all the photos on the'Facebook album (photo credit Murray Cox)!

COLLABORATORS
The New York City Community Garden Coalition invites all to attend their board meetingTONIGHT, Thursday, December 4th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. If you are interested in seeing how the coalition operates or are considering running for the board, attend! Non-members are welcome as well! Please email Mara for the meeting address and a copy of the current bylaws at mara.gittleman@nyccgc.org.

GreenThumb is hosting a tool supply giveaway this Saturday, December 6th from 10 am to 1 pm at their compound at the corner of Queens Plaza South and 10th Street, Queens. Gardens in good standing can pick up up basic gardening and maintenance supplies for your garden, one pickup per group!  Gardeners picking up for others must notify GreenThumb by calling 212-788-8070.

Maggie's Magic Garden (1574 Lexington Avenue between East 100th Street and East 101st Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan) is holding their annual tree lighting event this Saturday, December 6th from 6 pm to 7 pm. All are welcome!

If you're a member of a garden with a GreenThumb license that is on Parks Department land, it's time to renew! GreenThumb is looking to sync the re-licensing of all these spaces at once. This process includes updating your open hours, general rules, membership guidelines, and more! Contact GreenThumb to find out more details: call 212-788-8070 or call greenthumbinfo@parks.nyc.gov.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.
 Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know!

yours,
596 Acres 

Harlem Valley Garden (197 West 134 Street at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, Manhattan) finally has a sign, and it was made by students of Harlem Success Academy North Central!

News From the Acres - November 28, 2014

28 November 2014
we're thankful for our community spaces!

GREEN WARRIORS UNITED

We're so thankful for all the awesome people we've met in the past year. We hope that through your organizing you, too, have encountered wonderful neighbors that you might not have met otherwise. Join and us and them at some events next week! Happy Holidays!

Events next week
Nextdoorganics and the Local Food Lab are hosting GENTRIFY HERE: A panel discussion on gentrification and the food system Tuesday, December 2nd from 7 pm to 9 pm at Nextdoorganics Brooklyn Hub (360 Throop Avenue at Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn). Paula from 596 Acres will be on panel! This is a free event and all are welcome!

596 Acres, Interference Archive, and Sunview Luncheonette are presenting Right to Wynwood, an investigative documentary that explores the causes and effects of gentrification in Wynwood, Miami FL, Miami's oldest Puerto Rican community, which transformed into the city's largest art district. Join this free film showing and panel discussion with the filmmakers Wednesday, December 3rd from 8 pm to 10 pm at the Sunview Luncheonette (221 Nassau Avenue at North Henry Street, Brooklyn). RSVP to the Facebook event!

Looking for a holiday gift?
Help support 596 Acres by purchasing Gracias Por Guiarme: Paper y tierra, book-documentary that explores different personal perspectives on communal land ownership in modern Mexico. Set in the state of Oaxaca, dialogues, drawings and historical research to introduce the reader to the crazy quilt that is the legal structure of land there two decades after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Books are handmade by our elves and so cute!

Lots labeled in Harlem!
On Tuesday we labeled this skinny lot at 112 West 130th across the street from a church and a few doors down from a music association. It might be the perfect spot for neighborhood BBQs, a pocket park, or a dog run! Reach out to us if you're interested by emailing organizers@596acres.org or calling 718-316-6092 ext 3.

A block south there's another lot at 123 West 129th on a block that might love a new hang out spot. The lot is only about 12 feet wide, but almost 100 feet deep. What could it be used for?

Do you live near the long stretch of lots on East 126th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues? We posted our Urban Reviewer signs (pictured at the bottom of this newsletter) so that neighbors are aware that these parcels are a part of the Harlem-East Harlem Urban Renewal Plan.

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Edgemere, Rockaway - Last Saturday marked the last market stand day of a successful season at Edgemere Farm (at the corner of Beach 46th Street and Beach Channel Drive). Check out farmer Julie and her cabbage pictured at the top of this newsletter!

COLLABORATORS
GreenThumb is hosting a tool supply giveaway next Saturday, December 6th from 10 am to 1 pm at their compound at the corner of Queens Plaza South and 10th Street, Queens. Gardens in good standing can pick up up basic gardening and maintenance supplies for your garden, one pickup per group!  Gardeners picking up for others must notify GreenThumb by calling 212-788-8070.

If you're a member of a garden with a GreenThumb license that is on Parks Department land, it's time to renew! GreenThumb is looking to sync the re-licensing of all these spaces at once. This process includes updating your open hours, general rules, membership guidelines, and more! Contact GreenThumb to find out more details: call 212-788-8070 or call greenthumbinfo@parks.nyc.gov.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know!

yours,
596 Acres 

News From the Acres - November 20, 2014

20 November 2014
growing together!

GREEN WARRIORS UNITED

Siempre Verde Garden in the Lower East Side, Manhattan will be on the agenda at the next Manhattan Community Board 3 Full Board meeting next Tuesday, November 25th. The Gardeners hope the committee will ratify the recent Community Board Parks Committee resolution to have their garden's land transferred to the NYC Parks Department. (You can get an update of the full situation by reading this recent article by Curbed.) Head over to PS 20 (166 Essex Street between Stanton and East Houston Streets, Manhattan) next Tuesday night to show your support! That's Samir, pictured above, who testified at the last CB3 hearing on behalf of the garden he loves. Too cute!

Be our intern!
We're looking for an intern to help program and staff the Urban Reviewer at the Queens Art Museum, which will be running from January 11th to February 8th. This 10-week internship means hands-on exhibition and event experience! To learn more, click hereApplications will be accepted until 5 pm on Wednesday, November 26th.

In the Press!
596 Acres is listed as a "solution" on Beautiful Solutions, a platform for sharing to work toward a just, democratic, and resilient future that is a companion to Naomi Klein's book, This Changes Everything. We're honored!

Last month Paula gave a short talk at the Municipal Arts Society Summit about 596 Acres and the Urban Reviewer. Watch the video here!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES

Edgemere, Queens - Alexis has been going door to door to collect signatures of neighbors who support the plan for a free food hub and educational growing space at 357 Beach 43rd Street (near Beach Channel Drive), and is in the process of getting a letter of support from the Queens Community Board 14. Reach out to her if you'd like to get involved! Contact her at 347-606-9925 oralexissmallwood@yahoo.com.

Morrisania, Bronx - Live close to Melrose Avenue and 161st? Help Raven organize neighbors and get input to plan a potential garden at 405 East 161st Street, a lot snuggled between homes and a church on a street with lots of foot traffic. Email Raven at trotterraven@gmail.com.

East New York, Brooklyn - Attention East New York neighbors: There's a corner lot at 511 Liberty Avenue and Van Siclen Avenue that's perfect for a garden! It even has a big tree for hanging out under in the summer! Contact us at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or email organizers@596acres.org.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - We met Pat this past summer while we were lot labeling in his neighborhood. He immediately started organizing around 687A Hancock Street, a lot across the street from him home with a big, shady tree in front. Already, Pat's been able to collect all the items needed for a GreenThumb application, including a letter of support from Brooklyn Community Board 3! Fingers crossed that this new garden will be growing by spring.

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Harlem, Manhattan - Electric Ladybug Harlem Serenity Garden (West 111th Street between 8th Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard). Had a workday last weekend where they built raised beds and held a garden visioning session. Pictured at the bottom of this newsletter is one drawing of a vision! Head over to their Facebook to see more. Want to join? Email theloton111@gmail.com orerica@turnyourlightson.org.

COLLABORATORS
The New York City Community Garden Coalition is holding their monthly meeting TONIGHT, Thursday, November 20th from 6 pm to 8 pm at Neighborhood Preservation Center (232 East 11th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Lower East Side, Manhattan). This is a great chance to connect with other gardeners throughout the boroughs and get updates from threatened gardens. Paula and Mary from 596 Acres will be there, too!

Did you know this week is Geography Awareness Week? Open Street Map is hosting Map Community Gardens on Open Street Map this Saturday, November 22nd from 12 pm to 3 pm at The Bark Room at Parsons School of Design (the ground floor of 2 West 13th Street, Manhattan). This is a chance to share your information about community gardens on a platform that can be edited by you and your neighbors and help document your valuable community spaces. No experience mapping is necessary, but you do need to bring a laptop. Read more here and RSVP here.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email atorganizers@596acres.org and let us know!

yours,
596 Acres