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News from the Acres - April 29, 2016

29 April 2016
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” - Jane Jacobs

Last Tuesday, 596 Acres facilitated a design workshop for a long fenced-off hill in the South Bronx, a key step in turning this long-vacant public lot into Hill Street Community Garden. Want to join the community-driven design fun? Our next session will be on Sunday, June 5 at 3pm. Contact Victor, maldonvic@aol.com, (718) 665-4281, for details. 

JOIN US
This Saturday, April 30 at 12pm, join 596 Acres and Public Space Party for the Gardens are Community, Community Spaces in Jeopardy Ride! We will start in Little Italy and head through the Lower East Side into Brooklyn to visit five gardens at risk. Event details here. Facebook event page here

Help us with our website! We’re working on a snazzy new website and need your help. Come to our Gowanus office on Saturday, May 7, 4pm-6pm to play a card game that will help organize the last 5 (!) years of content. RSVP to organizers@596acres.org if you can. Recruit a friend. There will be snacks and everyone will get a free gift from our collection of wonders.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn - On Wednesday, Bushwick residents started planning a new community garden to replace the vacant public lot at 9 Moffat Street. This lot was nearly auctioned by the City to a private developer last year but thanks to our intervention it remains a public asset! If you want to get involved, contact Celeste at Council Member Espinal's office: (718) 642-8664 orcleon@council.nyc.gov. You can also sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3034380063/

Harlem, Manhattan - A neighbor of W 126th Street near Lenox Ave became an organizer on Earth Day. She writes: "Want to build vertical garden and green house and share it when neighboring schools in Harlem and give them some sort of Horticulture exposure to their curriculum- or something like that, anyone can come a grow." Join her! Directions are here. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1019110026/ 

Highbridge, Bronx - Neighbor Dian says now is the time to organize for community access toCorporal Irwin A. Fischer Park on West 169th Street between Nelson and Shakespeare Avenues: it's a park! And it's closed! Signing up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58248/. You can also contact Dian directly at dian_mhawkn715@yahoo.com, 3476108774 or 9295753438.

Port Richmond, Staten Island - Staten Islander Daniel wants to make a vacant public lot at Derby Court and Kramer Place into something better. Are you a neighbor who wants to get involved? Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/5010390175/ or contact Daniel at dcorrente@gmail.com, 347 838 1840.

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Long Island City, Queens - This Saturday, April 30, 11am to 5pmSmiling Hogshead Ranch is having its PLANTING DAY! Facebook event here

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - This Saturday, April 30 at 5pmKeap Fourth Community Garden is having a meeting at the garden where you can learn how to get involved and become a member! More info on their facebook page, here

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - It’s a busy weekend at 462 Halsey Community Garden! On Saturday, April 30th, 12pm to 3pm, join in planting spring crops at the Spring Planting Party! Then Sunday, May 1, 12pm to 5pm, the garden will host the Free Black Women’s Library, Foodie Edition! The Free Black Woman's Library is an interactive mobile pop-up library featuring over 350 books authored by Black women writers. The library accepts books of every genre written by cis and trans Black women, for donation or trade - bring one! Join in May Day celebration activities throughout the day, including a May pole, music, refreshments and more! Kids and families are welcome at both events - free and open to the public! Stay in the loop on their facebook page,here.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - Patchen Community Square, on the corner of Patchen and Putnam, is back in action for Spring! This Saturday, April 30th at 2pm, come by to meet and greet neighbors and garden members. More info on the Patchen Community Square facebook page, here, and on their website, here.

Red Hook, Brooklyn - The South Brooklyn Children’s Garden has started its free children’s garden classes! Classes are on Wednesdays from 3:30-pm to 4:15pm for 3 to 5 year olds until June 8th, and for 6 to 8 year olds June 29 to July 27. More info on the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden facebook page, here.

COLLABORATORS 
Join Green Map NYC on Saturday, May 7, 11am-1pm to explore the green side of a quickly changing neighborhood bounded by Sara D Roosevelt Park and Hamilton Fish Park from HOuston to DeLAncey (Hola!). Meet at Stanton between Forsyth and Chrystie to walk and talk with the designers who created a new Green Map: Hola LES, which juxtaposes ever-mounting development pressures alongside existing green sites and plans for the neighborhood. This tour is a Jane's Walk and an LES History Month event. RSVP here. It will end at Siempre Verde Garden (a 596 Acres site) where all are invited for cake and a Hola LES Celebration!

From May through October, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) welcomes you to joinCelebrating the City: Jane Jacobs at 100, a celebration dedicated to legendary urban activist Jane Jacobs on the 100th anniversary of her birth. Are you creating the City in your neighborhood? You can find or list an event here.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.

Partnerships for Parks’ next Capacity Fund Grant is due on June 1! Up to $5,000 available to community garden, park, and street tree groups stewarding NYC Parks Department property. Questions? Reach out to Grants@cityparksfoundation.org or 212-602-5348, schedule anindividual consultation or join a webinar.

Wanda and Joe, standing on a public lot in Rockaway that has been vacant for decades. With help from 596 Acres, they are transforming it into something way better. Wanda recently wrote: 

“I would like to take this time out to thank Paula and any one else involved in posting the lots I am Involved in and all of the pictures and valuable information connected to the lots. Thank you for letting me be a part of this amazing journey we will be partaking in an letting me be come a organizer. I admit I will be new to a lot of things but I'm sure I will be helpful in many other ways. So if any one needs me as you see my e-mail is 
wandaone@optonline.net and I will be looking forward to meeting other people involved this program."

Meet them 
 sign up as an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58968/

ours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - April 21, 2016

21 April 2016
la lucha continua

NEXT SATURDAY: BIKE RIDE TO COMMUNITY SPACES IN JEOPARDY 
Saturday, April 30 at 12pm, 596 Acres and Public Space Party host the Gardens are Community, Community Spaces in Jeopardy Ride (it was postponed to this date due to rain). We will start in Little Italy and head through the Lower East Side into Brooklyn to visit five gardens at risk, following this route. Event details here. Facebook event page here.

WORK WITH US: PART-TIME FACILITATOR AND RESEARCHER FOR NYCOMMONS
Common Cause/NY is hiring a part-time Facilitator and Researcher for NYCommons, a collaborative project of Common Cause New York, the Community Development Project (CPD) at the Urban Justice Center, and 596 Acres.  Graphic design and mapping skills are highly desired and candidates must be able to work between 2 and 3 days a week from April through July 2016. Pay will be $15/hr and the position starts ASAP, so apply ASAP. More informationhere.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Prospect-Lefferts, Brooklyn - On April 13, 596 Acres’ Paula Z. Segal and gardeners from Maple Street Community Garden appeared again in Brooklyn Supreme Court (bottom left photograph). The order that permits the garden to grow (see onions growing, bottom right), and forbids the developers who claim they own the land from making any moves, endures –Maple Street Community gardeners have started sowing new seeds (pictured at top; more photos of the workday here). The garden is safe for now, but the struggle continues. Listen to the story: There Goes the Neighborhood, Episode 6: Trickery, Fraud, and Deception in Brooklyn, a podcast by The Nation and WNYC Studios, for an amazing radio moment: our first contact with the heirs of the family that once lived here, recorded live! 

East New York, Brooklyn - The #hpdlist drama continues. Green Valley Community Farm was one of the community green spaces announced as being permanently preserved in December 30, 2015 through a transfer to NYC Parks. In a stunning twist, the coordinators of Green Valley Community Farm learned last week that only one fifth of their site was actually on municipal record as a community green space; therefore, only a small portion of the farm was preserved through a transfer to Parks. Last week, HPD told GreenThumb that they would like get a developer to build on the rest of the lots. Follow the story and join the community in advocating for its preservation by signing up as an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58882/If you can join this evening, gardeners meet with the New York City Community Garden Coalition at 6:30pm at the garden on New Lots and Sackman.

East Flatbush, Brooklyn - Tropicalfete, a Brooklyn-based Caribbean culture organization, is starting a campaign to transform a vacant public lot on Rockaway Boulevard and Avenue D into a place for positive cultural community programming! They say, “As we explore all possibilities, we welcome the public to be part of this venture with us.” Join them! Sign up as an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3036440210 or contact Alton at 646-504-3383 or info@tropicalfete.com.

Melrose, Bronx - 596 Acres recruited a team of architects to design Hill Street Community Garden with local community members. Join neighbors and the design team for a discussion of what you would like to see in the hillside space on 159th street between Eagle and St. Ann's onMonday, April 25 at 5pm at New Life School, 831 Eagle Ave, Bronx, NY 10456. Questions:organizers@596acres.org. Join us as an Organizer: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001 or email Victor at maldonvic@aol.com to get involved!

Edgemere, Queens - Ten neighbors have been gathered to begin growing plans for a vacant public lot on Edgemere Avenue between Beach 34th and 35th Streets. Plug in by signing up as an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4158610047/

Flushing, Queens - Neighbors are creating a garden on a vacant public lot to the east of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park! Alishia says, “We need more volunteers to sign up as members on our application to Greenthumb. Anyone interested, please contact me at 718-600-0121 (or alishia0220@yahoo.com to be added to our mailing list).” Or become an Organizer here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4063910024/.

Rockaway, Queens - Slowly but surely, a derelict City-owned property on Beach 84th Street that has been empty since 1973 is becoming something better. Join your neighbors by signing up as an Organizer or contacting them via information here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58968/

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn: This weekend, get in on the gardening at Myrtle Village Green, located on Myrtle between Franklin and Kent. Stay connected on the MVG facebook, here.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - Patchen Community Square, on the corner of Patchen and Putnam, is back in action for Spring! Mark your calendar for these upcoming events: Kids Gardening, everyMonday from 5:30 to 6:30pm - for school-aged kids who would like to help at the garden every Monday evening until it gets cold. First Work Day, April 23, 11am to 5pm - help clean up the garden for the year and in shape for the meet and greet the next weekend! Meet and Greet,April 30th, 2pm - Meet and Greet neighbors and members (co-hosted with Patchen Avenue Block Association). Save these dates: End of School BBQ, June 25th at 1pm - BBQ and fun with a slip n slide (weather permitting). Patchen Ave Block Party, August 6 - Fun! Food! Awesomeness! The block association goes all out, so stop by. More info on the Patchen Community Square facebook page, here, and on their website, here.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - 462 Halsey Community Garden is hosting the Free Black Women’s Library, Foodie Edition next Sunday, May 1 from 12pm to 4:45pm. Bring a book written by a Black woman to donate or trade. More information here. (P.S. The apiary’s queen bee made it through the winter! Photo here.)  

Bushwick, Brooklyn - BK ROT, a youth-run composting service, is now hosting regular food scrap drop off in the Know Waste Lands garden at Myrtle and Cedar on Sundays from 12:30 to 3pm. Come by! Stay in the loop on the Know Waste Lands facebook page here.

Red Hook, Brooklyn - The South Brooklyn Children’s Garden has started its free children’s garden classes! Classes are on Wednesdays from 3:30-pm to 4:15pm. From now until June 8, classes are for 3 to 5 year olds. From June 29 to July 27, classes are for 6 to 8 year olds. More info on the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden facebook page, here.

Ozone Park, Queens - Pitkin Community Garden on Pitkin and 87th Street is having three upcoming garden planning meetings! Participation in the Garden Planning Meetings is essential for the Pitkin Community Garden to actually succeed; your opinions and feedback truly matter! Meetings are Tuesday, April 26, 7:30 to 9pmWednesday April 27, 7:30 to 9pm; andWednesday, May 25, 7:30 to 9pm. All meetings will take place in Nativity Church at 101-41 91st Street, Corner of Rockaway Blvd. Please RSVP at: Pitkin87cg@gmail.com or 347-709-7119. We look forward to sharing and listening! Feel free to bring healthy snacks for the group! More information on Living Lots NYC, here.

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Save the date! Siempre Verde Garden is hosting a Lower East Side (LES) History Month Event - Come Protest the Great Meat Boycott - on Wednesday, May 25 from 5pm to 7pm. The Great Meat Boycott took place in May 1902 in the Lower East Side and was the first consumer boycott in America; 20,000 women took to the streets to protest the sudden increase in meat prices of meat monopolies, succeeding in getting the monopolies to lower their prices. “We’ll be remembering these ladies fondly and loudly.” More info here.

IN THE PRESS & IN THE WORLD
596 Acres' tools tools are being used by advocates in LA! Read about it in here. 596 Acres' Paula Segal was interviewed for a City Limits story about creating affordable housing on the city’s vacant land: "The empty spaces on the city's map—some of which are the vestiges of old urban renewal schemes—reflect failed past efforts by government to dictate the future of individual communities, Segal says, and the city must learn from its history before it builds over it." Read the full story here.

JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth Services (BACDYS) is offering a paid Summer Internship in Community Organizing that focuses on the development of a comprehensive community assessment of the Bangladeshi and new immigrant communities served by BACDYS within the City Line, Brooklyn, and Ozone Park, Queens neighborhoods. Part of the job includes assisting staff in the delivery of core programs and services, including the BACDYS community garden. Send resume and cover letter detailing your interests in working with BACDYS and relevant community organizing experience to info@bacdys.org with a subject “Community Organizing Intern” by May 15. More information here.

Citizens Committee for New York City is hiring a full-time program coordinator: “In short, we're looking for someone whip-smart, friendly, with strong work ethics, and a passion for supporting the self-determined projects of small community groups across NYC.” More information here.

COLLABORATORS 
Next Friday, April 29 at 6pm, join Picture the Homeless at 104 E 126th Street # 1B in Harlem for a Spring Potluck Patio Spruce Up and Opening! Event information here. Gardeners and gardening gear needed!

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.

Compost Giveback! The NYC Compost Project hosted by LES Ecology Center in partnership with Harlem Grown are having an Earth Month and Arbor Day celebration at Harlem Grown's NEW urban farm: next Saturday, April 30th, 11am to 2pm at 71-77 W 127th Street. FREE compost will be available to NYC residents and community groups on a first-come, first-served basis. The compost is loose, so those interested in getting compost will need to bring their own strong storage containers. We will not have compost storage containers or bags onsite. Doubled garbage bags, sand bags, or pails are excellent options. There will be seed starting activities and street tree care demonstrations. Questions about the event? Reach out to Vanessa Ventola: vanessa@lesecologycenter.org or call 212-477-4022. Event information here.

GreenThumb community gardens are eligible to win $20,000 to refresh their garden space. During Earth Month, the National Recreation and Park Association is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN on the Parks Build Community Contest. You can nominate and vote on parks in your neighborhood throughout the month of April. The website is here.



With help from 596 Acres, East New York's Warwick Street Greenery Glow Garden has been brought back to life! More photos of last weekend’s workday here. East New Yorkers, help steward this revived garden – contact your neighbors through Living Lots NYC: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3040630015/

no terminara facilmente,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - April 6, 2016

06 April 2016
blooming with you

Flowers are a sign of spring and our sings are a sign of flowers to come. Thanks so much to the Green City Force cohort (pictured above) who is following up on our workshop last week by labeling lots in all five boroughs! Organizers we met at GreenThumb's GrowTogether picked up signs for the lots in their lives in Queens and the Bronx. There are so many opportunities to transform neglected land into gardens, parks, farms and other community resources! Scroll down to News from the Organizing Acres to find a lot in your neighborhood, or look at livinglotsnyc.org.

MARCH WRAP-UP: IN THE PRESS & AROUND THE WORLD
In March, 596 Acres was in China, in Brooklyn with youth from EcoPracticum, on Community Garden Revolution Radio and a P2P foundation Project of the Day!

INTERN WITH US
596 Acres is seeking an intern who can work with us 10 hours per week for 10 weeks, May 16 to August 19. Your tasks will include putting up signs on vacant lots, helping us transition our online tools and generally helping us improve the work that we do with a focus on the New York City Community Land Access program. Applications are due by 5:59pm on Friday, April 15. Details are here.

THIS SATURDAY: BIKE RIDE TO COMMUNITY SPACES IN JEOPARDY
Saturday, April 9 at 1pm, 596 Acres and Public Space Party host the Gardens are Community, Community Spaces in Jeopardy Ride, starting in Little Italy, heading through the Lower East Side into Brooklyn:

  • 1pm Elizabeth Street Garden (Elizabeth Street between Prince and Spring, Manhattan): The only green oasis in Little Italy and SoHo and is in danger of disappearing to make way for City-sponsored housing construction. More here.
  • 1:45pm Children’s Magical Garden (129 Stanton St, Manhattan): A portion of the garden was illegally fenced by a private developer. Gardeners sued, claiming they owned the private parcel due to "adverse possession" (Squatters' Rights).
  • 3pm Roger that Garden (Rogers Avenue and Park Place, Brooklyn): Roger That Garden is currently under threat of being built on by a company that purchased the deed to the land for $10, subject to $244,654.07 in tax liens. Support the campaign asking the City to buy the property to preserve it as a NYC Parks garden by connecting with organizershere.
  • 3:45pm Maple Street Community Garden (237 Maple Street, Brooklyn): Sign this letter to let City Council Member Mathieu Eugene know that you support NYC Parks acquiring the Maple Street Community Garden, a crucial community space, for permanent preservation. There is a lot of story here, involving a beautiful old house, a fire, a dumping ground and a very shady developers. Learn more and connect with the organizers here or email maple3garden@gmail.com to plug in.
  • 4:45pm Imani Community Garden (87 Schenectady Ave, Brooklyn): Gardeners are negotiating to keep a private developer from cutting down the historic willow tree in the heart of Imani and dividing the garden; connect to organizers through contact informationhere.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES: ABUNDANCE! 
Flushing, Queens - Neighbors are organizing to get access to a vacant public lot to the east of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park! Alishia will be making a presentation about the potential of this space to Queens Community Board 7 next Monday, April 11 at 7pm at the Union Plaza Care Center located at 33-23 Union Street, Flushing, NY 11354. Come support! And get involved in the campaign by becoming an organizer here, or contacting Alishia at alishia0220@yahoo.com or 718-600-0121.

Rockaway, Queens - Several vacant public lots on Beach 84th Street are on their way to becoming a community garden! Thanks to our sleuthing and advocacy, a hold that NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) had on them since 2009 has been lifted. NYC Parks was then able to request jurisdiction for use as a community garden! Are you a neighbor who wants to help transform these long-vacant lots? Get involved here or email organizers@596acres.org to be connected directly with your neighbors (they are a little shy!). 

Ozone Park, Queens - The future Pitkin Community Garden on Pitkin and 87th Street is having four upcoming garden planning meetings! Meeting dates: Tuesday, April 19, 7:30 to 9pm;Tuesday, April 26, 7:30 to 9pmWednesday, April 27, 7:30 to 9pm; and Wednesday, May 25, 7:30 to 9pm, all at Nativity Church at 101-41 91st Street, Corner of Rockaway Blvd. Please RSVP at Pitkin87cg@gmail.com or 347-709-7119. Feel free to bring healthy snacks for the group! More information here. Proposals developed at these meetings will help neighbors convince the private owner of this lot that allowing the garden is a great idea for him and for the neighborhood!

Brownsville, Brooklyn - The #hpdlist drama continues, and continues to threaten the Green Valley Garden & Community Market. We thought we had this licked in December but the administrative errors are keeping us busy - and gardeners in Brownsville fearing they will lose most of their space due to a transcription error. Watch a video news segment here here.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - Addie and Chris are gathering support a to make a vacant lot on Jefferson Ave near Malcolm X Boulevard into a garden. A core group of neighbors will meet in early May. Want to be there? Become an organizer and contact your neighbors via information here or reach out to Addie, addieny@gmail.com, 917-⁠749-⁠2183.
 
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - A neighbor contacted us and said, "I'm interested in finding out if this lot onHerkimer Street between Albany and Kingston Avenues can be developed into a community garden.” It can! Join your neighbors in making this happen by becoming an organizer here

East New York, Brooklyn - Warwick Street Greenery Glow Garden, on Warwick Street between Blake and Dumont, is ready for stewards! This garden was used in the past by Warwick Street neighbors and gardeners. It has not been used in several years and has the potential to become a flourishing community space once again. Neighbors, make it happen by connecting with one another here.

Canarsie, Brooklyn - Neighbors are working towards access to over an acre of vacant land onEast 105th Street and Farragut Road. Make it happen together: sign up to organize and contact your neighbors through information here.

Parkchester, Bronx - Help neighbors get a City-owned lot on Ellis Avenue near the Cross Bronx Expressway that has been informally a garden for years transferred to NYC Parks for permanent preservation and to facilitate community participation. Become an organizer here or contact Nilka Martell to get involved at nilkamartell@yahoo.com or 347-992-2860.

Melrose, Bronx - Neighbors are coming together over their shared desire to make a long-neglected Housing Preservation and Development-controlled lot on Home Street and Southern Blvd into a garden. The first step is to get together and put a garden vision on paper, then ask for the support of Bronx Community Board 3. Join the campaign by becoming an organizer here, or contact Pramash: homestreetcommunitygarden@yahoo.com, 929-375-9727.

LOTS WITH ACCESS 
Harlem, Manhattan - Saint Nicholas Miracle Garden on 125th St and St. Nicks is having a Garden Music Series Kick-Off Party this Saturday, April 9 from 2 to 5pm! Event informationhere.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - Patchen Community Square, on the corner of Patchen and Putnam, is back in action for Spring! Kids Gardening is every Monday, 5:30-7pm, first Work Day of 2016 is April 23, 11-5pm, and a meet and greet is April 30 at 2pm. And that's just the beginning! More information here.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - BK ROT, a youth-run composting service, is now hosting regular food scrap drop off in the Know Waste Lands garden at Myrtle and Cedar on Sundays from 12:30 to 3pm. Come by! Stay in the loop through the garden's facebook page here.

COLLABORATORS
La Perla, a 24-year old garden on West 105th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam in the Upper West Side, will shrink but stay intact. This garden was put in jeopardy because a private land-owner owns the middle lot of the three lots of this garden, and was attempting to evict the gardeners. The other two lots are owned by Manhattan Land Trust and the NYC Parks. Gardeners have been advocating for a swap that would leave two lots next to each other for the garden, and have succeeded in their campaign! Read more here.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.


This magay in Oaxaca, Mexico blooms once in its life, when it reaches 35 years of age. 596 Acres has helped neighbors create 35 new community-managed spaces in NYC. Coincidence? Most probably.

Con amore,
596 Acres

Intern With Us: Spring 2016

29 March 2016

 

596 Acres is seeking an intern who can work with us 10 hours per week for 10 weeks, May 16 - August 19, 2016. 

Your tasks will include putting up signs on vacant lots, helping us transition our online tools 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. 

This is an unpaid internship, though we would love it if someone else was paying you! In the past, we have worked with the East New York Farms! Externship program (another intern reflection is here). 

You will be working out of our office at Spaceworks (540 President Street) in Gowanus, Brooklyn at least 2 days per week. 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, April 15, 2016, to organizers@596acres.org with the subject "Spring 2016 Intern Application."


News from the Acres - March 17, 2016

17 March 2016
on our way! 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
On March 8, South Bronx residents, SoBRO staff, and 596 Acres’ Paula Z. Segal met with Department of Transportation Bronx Commissioner Constance Moran to agree to work together towards turning a huge abandoned roadbed in Melrose into Hill Street Community Garden! Are you a neighbor who wants to get involved? Join us as an Organizer: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001 or email Victor at maldonvic@aol.com to get involved!

Prospect Lefferts, Brooklyn - Neighbors are urging NYC Parks to acquire the Maple Street Community Garden, a crucial community space, for permanent preservation. Now is the time to let City Council Member Mathieu Eugene know this is important to you: sign this letter, then connect with the organizers: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3050300072/ or email maple3garden@gmail.com to plug in.

Flushing, Queens - Several neighbors are organizing to transform a city-owned vacant lot right to the east of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park! Are you a neighbor who wants to be involved in this campaign? Become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4063910024/ or contact Alishia at alishia0220@yahoo.com or 718600121 to get involved. She will be making a presentation about the potential of a garden here to Queens Community Board 7 on Monday, April 11 at 7pm. The meeting will be at the Union Plaza Care Center located at 33-23 Union Street, Flushing, NY 11354. Mark your calendar and come support! 

Bushwick/Bed Stuy, Brooklyn - Daniel is looking for other neighbors who want to turn a space onWilloughby Avenue and Stuyvesant Avenue into a garden. Want to join? Become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3015890058 or email Daniel at daniedrankwalter@gmail.com.

Rockaway, Queens - A Rockaway-based doctor, Nancy, is gathering support for the creation of the Rockaway Labyrinth Project, a public meditation space on NYC Parks property at Beach 78th Street, between Shore Front Parkway and the Boardwalk! She wants to hear from folks who want to help make this meditation labyrinth real. Become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000040006/ or email nancygahles@gmail.com.

JOIN US!
Trenton, NJ - This Friday, March 18, 2016, 2-3:15pm, Paula Z. Segal will be part of aconversation on opportunities for urban land conservation at the 2016 Land Preservation Rally in Trenton, New Jersey, facilitated by Isles, with Olin Studios (Philadelphia) and the Greater Newark Conservancy. The Greater Newark Conservancy facilitates community gardens on vacant public land. Last year, when the City of Newark held a Valentine’s Day land sale, several active garden sites were sold to private individuals without the knowledge of the Conservancy or the gardeners. The sites were sadly lost, highlighting how tools that connect municipal plans with land stewards remain acutely necessary.  

Bronx - 596 Acres will lead workshops on “Organizing ourselves: the basics of working in groups” at this year’s GreenThumb's GrowTogether gathering, 11:30 am to 12:45 pm and 2:15 pm to 3:30 pm this Saturday March 19, 2016, at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451.

Manhattan and Brooklyn - On Saturday, April 9 at 1pm at Elizabeth Street Garden in Little Italy (entrance on Elizabeth Street between Prince and Spring), join 596 Acres and Public Space Party for Gardens are Community, Community Spaces in Jeopardy Ride. We will start in Little Italy and head through the Lower East Side into Brooklyn to visit gardens in danger of disappearing. Event details here.

LOTS WITH ACCESS: GETTING READY FOR SPRING! 
Greenpoint, Brooklyn - Java Street Community Garden garden workday is on Saturday, March 19. Join them on Java between Franklin and West to get the garden ready for spring!

Greenpoint, Brooklyn - 61 Franklin Street Community Garden is having an open enrollment and member meeting on Wednesday, April 6 at 7pm at the garden. Stay in the loop here!

Flatbush, Brooklyn - Q Gardens is getting ready for spring! Are you a neighbor? Email qgardensinfo@gmail.com to get involved.

Harlem, Manhattan - Membership for the 2016 season is open at Saint Nicholas Miracle Garden! Enjoy communal and individual plots, composting, garden event space, and community. Join or renew your membership here. The Garden is also preparing for its concert series, which will resume in April or May. If you are interested in playing in one of these family-friendly shows contact the gardeners here or email stnickgarden@gmail.com.

COLLABORATORS
The Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project, an urban rooftop farm in Hell’s Kitchen, is looking to contract an Urban Agriculture Specialist for the 2016 season to consult with us on growing techniques and related expertise for this spring. Proposals are due by March 25. For more information or to submit a proposal, email Tiffany and Joe at info@hellskitchenfarmproject.org or call (212) 594-4464.

Urban geographer Jack Eichenbaum is leading two upcoming walks: On Sunday, April 10, the New World of the Number 7 Train walk will explore what the 7 train has done to and for surrounding neighborhoods since it began service in 1914. On Sunday, April 30, the Right-of-Way of the Flushing Central Rail Road walk will go through parkland and pleasant residential neighborhoods from Central Flushing to Fresh Meadows on the phantom rails of the railroad that ran from Flushing to Hempstead for only a few years in the 1870s. Walk details are here.

Want to see where all the 1000+ lots New York City has been warehousing as "urban renewal" are? Comptroller Scott M. Stringer describes the situation really well here. 596 Acres mapped it for you last year here: http://www.urbanreviewer.org/

ON THE ROAD, AN EVENT RECAP
São Paulo, Brazil: 596 Acres’ Paula Z. Segal was an invited expert for a weeklong workshop with municipal employees, academics and activists in São Paulo last month: Public Policies for Transitional Spaces. What an amazing honor and what incredible company from around the world! The event coincided with the launch of Lanchonete.org's print publication Grow Your Own Food: a guide to urban faming for urban occupations of Latin America at the Centro Cultural da Ocupação São João. That guide was inspired by 596 Acres' own A New York City Advocate's Guide to Community Land Access from our print archive. You can see the full PDF here (you'll see us in the credits if you look really, really closely).

Just Food Conference, NYC: 596 Acres and the NYC Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) facilitated a Campaign Action Session: "Communities Protecting Growing Spaces in NYC" last Sunday. Gardeners who are currently facing the potential loss of their spaces told their stories including folks from East Harlem’s Friendly Garden and Pleasant Village Community Garden, Little Italy’s Elizabeth Street Garden, Bushwick’s Eldert Street Garden, and Prospect-Lefferts’ Maple Street Garden. Gardeners and the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT) told their stories of success in preserving their green spaces in their neighborhoods including members of Brownsville’s Ten Neighbors Garden, Crown Heights’ 1100 Bergen Street Garden, Bed Stuy’s462 Halsey, Lower East Side’s Siempre Verde, and Jamaica’s Merrick Marsden Neighborhood Association Garden. Photos hereSign the petition to save Maple Street Garden HERE!

Next System, NYC: Last weekend, 596 Acres also co-sponsored the Next System Project’s 2016 Conference where Paula Z. Segal facilitated a session, From Open Data to Collective Action: Living Lots! and lots of collaborators also presented (including the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative!).

Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Making Brooklyn Bloom: On Saturday, 596 Acres, the NYCCGC andFarming Concrete taught participants strategies for conveying the importance of their gardens in a workshop: "What’s So Great About Your Garden?" (photo).  

Nanjing, China: Right now, 596 Acres’ signs and posters are included in Silk Road International, an exhibition by the Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts (AMNUA) from March 4 to 31. The exhibit explores contemporary art practices from around the world that engage in political economy practices with both operation systems and ideologies. Event details are here.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN:  DEADLINE COMING UP QUICK!
Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.

Community organizations in Harlem, Canarsie and Brownsville have been invited to partner in starting new farms on NYCHA campuses! Organizations will get paid up to $50,000 per year for supporting the development of these new projects. Partners are NYCHA, Green City Force and the Fund for Public Health in NY. Details are here. Applications due March 25, 2016.

Gardeners speaking UP! at the Just Food Conference. 

<3
596 Acres

Civic Groups Welcome Launch of NYC Open Records Web site

15 March 2016

Important step towards faster, fairer FOIL responses

Released March 11, 2016  Major New York City civic groups thanked Maya Wiley, Counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Pauline Toole and her team at the NYC Department of Records, and NYC DoITT for launching the beta version of the new OpenRECORDS website. The groups say the Open RECORDS website is an important first step towards making New York City’s FOIL process fairer, more transparent, and more efficient.

Based on the 2014 study Beyond Magic Markers, the groups think the new website, when adopted by all agencies and including a full set of features, will save taxpayers as much as $12 million a year in reduced FOIL costs.

The groups are optimistic the site will continue to evolve and will help reduce the widespread delays and agency non-compliance that Public Advocate Bill de Blasio documented in his 2013 report Breaking Through Bureaucracy.

Additionally, the groups believe the new website will help show what data is most frequently FOILed and should be published on the city’s Open Data Portal.

In early 2014, dozens of organizations, led by the NYC Transparency Working Group, wrote in support of the “OpenFOIL” bill, which mandated the creation of a website displaying all Freedom of Information Law requests and responses like the federal FOIA Online portal. That bill was sidelined by City Hall in favor of the just-launched OpenRECORDS portal, which contains few of the transparency features called for in the council bill. 

Despite praise for an important first step, the groups note that the launch version of the Open Records portal is far less transparent than the Port Authority’s FOI web page, or the federal government’s FOIA Online portal: both of which publish the names of requesters, the request, and the agency response. The groups say that for the NYC OpenRECORDS portal to be at all useful as a transparency tool, it will have to equal these sites. The groups also note that journalists submit less than 2% of all FOIL requests in NYC and NYS, and that FOIL needs to work for the entire public.

Lastly, the groups say the new website provides an ideal opportunity for NYC to create a uniform FOIL process, for all agencies, including a written guidance like the U.S. Department of Justice provides to federal agencies.

For Further Comment, Contact:

 

News from the Acres - February 27, 2016

27 February 2016
unreasonable magical futures, here we come

"The Ranch on Rails will generate a thriving social economy and natural ecology in the heart of Long Island City. Our vision for the Ranch on Rails is representative of how we see our community: diverse, creative, cooperative, and committed to the future of New York." 
- Cutoff Coalition, response to the MTA's Request for Expressions of Interest in the Adaptive Reuse of the newly abandoned rail line next to Smiling Hogshead Ranch

Over the last four months, 596 Acres has managed a process of community visioning and collaboration to produce a visionary master plan for a regenerative re-use. It's the beginning of the future and we are all in it together. Read about the proposal and the process in DNAinfo here, click here to see the full plan and sign up to organize here to get updates. 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Southside, Brooklyn - Hooper Park! It's really happening. The lot on the corner of Hooper and South 5th has been waiting to become open space planned in 1992 for decades. Thanks to local organizing with our support, the transformation is just around the corner. NYC Parks will have jurisdiction of the lot within weeks and then its time to "plant til your're planted." The local organizers are planning a meeting for next week. Sign up on the lot's page –  http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3024500028/ – or email hooperstreetpark@gmail.com to get meeting details.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn - The Newtown Creek Alliance has developed a vision for ecological restoration and community access for the Newtown Creek-facing end of North Henry StreetView their plan here and sign up on the lot's page to become part of making it happen. 

Harlem, Manhattan - The NYC Parks Department GreenThumb program is looking for stewards for this vacant lot at 128 West 127th St.who want to help get it transferred to the NYC Parks Department for permanent preservation as a community garden. Several neighbors have been in touch and have started organizing, including a teacher from MS 129. Contact them here.

Melrose, Bronx - A note from a neighbor and new organizer of this Housing Preservation and Development-controlled lot on Home St. and Southern Blvd. (one of hundreds the City has been holding on to for decades): "I have been cleaning the outside of this lot for six years now and i just got on this website cause i saw the signs up years ago. i have the info now. i see all this the city has to to do something with this lot. i have neighbors thats willing to build a community garden here." Want to help make this dream real? Get in touch here or contact Pramash, homestreetcommunitygarden@yahoo.com, 9293759727. The first step is to get together and put a garden vision on paper, then ask for the support of Bronx Community Board 3. 

COMMUNITY LAND AT RISK
Plan ahead for an endangered community space bike ride with 596 Acres and Public Space Party on Saturday, April 9 at 1pm. We are constructing the route now. If your endangered space would like to be included, send a note tobenjamin.hankcowboy.shepard11@gmail.com or call Ben at 917 586 7952.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Roger That! garden goes back to Landlord Tenant court in Brooklyn in the eviction case that may displace the garden on March 10 at 10am at 141 Livingston Street, Brooklyn. Plan to be there! And in the meantime, drop a note to Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey (Kevin.jeffrey@parks.nyc.gov) to let him know that you support the garden becoming permanent vie eminent domain. Read more in DNAinfo or Curbed.  

COLLABORATORS
The NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative is having an All-Workgroup Spring Kick Off Meeting on Monday, March 7 at 6:30pm at Brooklyn Law School. RSVP hereEvent details are here.

Join 596 Acres and many of our collaborators for the Next System Project - NYC Convening, March 10-12 at The Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, CUNY, 25 W 43rd St, Fl 19th, Manhattan. More details here; RSVP here.

On February 18th, the NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Office released an audit revealing that New York City owns 1,131 vacant lots. That’s a lot of lots! Over half of them have been owned by the city and left vacant for 30-39 years, and another quarter for 40-50 years. This audit echoes the parallel efforts of 596 Acres and Picture the Homeless to make information about the City’s property portfolio public and put land and buildings to use. Comptroller’s press release and full report here.

The East Rockaway Growing Coalition, which includes Edgemere Farm at Beach 45th Street Community Farm, is looking for Rockaway residents between the ages of 18 and 25 who might be interested in learning all aspects of urban farming and gardening! They are hiring a few paid interns for 20 hours/week from April to September. To apply, submit resumes to jobs@rytf.org.

SAVE THESE DATES
Brooklyn, NYC - 596 Acres, the New York City Community Garden Coalition and Farming Concrete are leading the "What’s So Great About Your Garden?" workshop at Making Brooklyn Bloom on Saturday, March 12, 2016, 10-11am, with a lunchtime breakout session to followEvent details are here.

Manhattan. NYC - 596 Acres is facilitating a Campaign Action Session at the Just Food Conference on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Teacher's College at Columbia University in Manhattan: "Communities Protecting Growing Spaces in NYC." Event details are here.

Manhattan, NYC - A Talk through NYC's Gardens, Parks & Community Spaces at Fordham Law School, hosted by the Community Economic Development Clinic & the Fordham Urban Law Center on Tuesday, March 15, 4-6pm at 150 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023, Room 3-09. Everyone is welcome. RSVP here.

Trenton, NJ - On Friday, March 18, 2016, 2-3:15pm, Paula Z. Segal will be part of a conversation on opportunities for urban land conservation at the 2016 Land Preservation Rally in Trenton, New Jersey, facilitated by Isles, with Olin Studios (Philadelphia) and theGreater Newark Conservancy. The Greater Newark Conservancy facilitates community gardens on vacant public land. Last year, when the City of Newark held a Valentine’s Day land sale, several active garden sites were sold to private individuals without the knowledge of the Conservancy or the gardeners. The sites were sadly lost, highlighting how tools that connect municipal plans with land stewards remain acutely necessary  

Bronx, NYC - 596 Acres will lead workshops on “Organizing ourselves: the basics of working in groups” at this year’s GreenThumb's GrowTogether gathering, on March 19, 2016 at 11:30 am and 2:15 pm at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.

Beginning farmers in New York State who have been farming for at least three years can apply to receive support for a New Farmer Profit Team that provides customized, one-on-one guidance from farm professionals over an 18-month to two-year period. The project has up to $2,000 in matching funds available to 16 farms. Apply here by March 15, 2016

Community organizations in Harlem, Canarsie and Brownsville have been invited to partner in starting new farms on NYCHA campuses! Organizations will get paid up to $50,000 per year for supporting the development of these new projects. Partners are NYCHA, Green City Force and the Fund for Public Health in NY. Details are here. Applications due March 25, 2016.

"A little love from Montréal. Keep changing the world, one lot at a time, you're an inspiration to us!" 
Lande. Aw! 

To March! 
596 Acres

RFP for Community Partners at New! NYCHA Campus Farms

26 February 2016

We are reposting the opportunity that Fund for Public Health in New York has announced.

The original can be found here: http://fphny.org/whatsnew/rfps (click on the little "RFEI" link)

 

Request for Expressions of Interest:

Seeking Non-Profit Community Based Organizations to Participate in the

NYCHA Urban Agriculture Initiative

 

Issue Date: February 22, 2016

Response Due Date: March 25, 2016




Focus Neighborhoods: (1) Brownsville, Brooklyn (2) Canarsie, Brooklyn (3) East Harlem, Manhattan  

 

To:       New York City Community-Based Organizations


Re:      Partnering with Fund for Public Health (FPHNY) on the NYCHA Urban Agriculture Initiative at select New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments


 

Summary:


The Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc. (FPHNY), in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, NYCHA, and Green City Force, is seeking expressions of interest from community-based organizations to participate in the NYCHA Urban Agriculture Initiative at select developments:


·      Howard Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn

·      Bay View Houses in Canarsie, Brooklyn

·      Site to be selected, East Harlem, Manhattan

 

A separate Request for Expressions of Interest for partnership at additional target developments in Staten Island and the Bronx is expected to be issued at a later time.

 

Each participating organization will receive up to $50,000 per year (with potential for renewal) for their involvement in this project. 


 Interested community-based organizations must complete the Expression of Interest Application, and include an IRS tax form indicating the organization has non-profit status. Deadline for Submission: Friday, March 25, 2016 at 11:59pm.

A.  Introduction

This request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) is issued by The Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc. (FPHNY).  Founded in 2002, FPHNY is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the health and well-being of all New Yorkers. FPHNY mobilizes capital and leadership for sustainable innovations that protect and promote the health of New York City’s almost 8.5 million residents. Working closely with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and other city agencies, including the New York City Housing Authority, FPHNY pilots and expands world-renowned programs to address pressing public health needs and supports research regarding new ways to combat threats to the health of all NYC’s residents. 

The NYCHA Urban Agriculture Initiative is a component of Building Healthy Communities (BHC), a new initiative by the de Blasio administration that aims to improve community health outcomes in 12 neighborhoods by increasing access to fresh food, improving opportunities for physical activity, and promoting safe and vibrant public spaces.   BHC will align the resources and programs of 11 agencies, leverage the City's investment to secure significant new private funding, and connect City efforts to individual, nonprofit, business, and community efforts to maximize collective impact.  Building Healthy Communities is coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and FPHNY.

 

B. Partners

 

In addition to the Fund for Public Health in NY and the Mayor’s Office, other project partners include Green City Force (GCF) and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

 

Green City Force 

The primary partner in this project is Green City Force, which recruits NYCHA residents (age 18-24) to work in teams to build and cultivate the new farms.  Green City Force will hold license agreements assuming legal responsibility for the farm sites.  Green City Force Corps Members receive a monthly stipend and an AmeriCorps award of $5775 upon completion of the program for college or job training. During their 10-month assignments, the Green City Force team members work full time at the farms and attend classroom training sessions on job readiness, eco-literacy, and technical training. This work-learn model prepares graduates for full-time employment, and ideally, can be hired by community-based partners.

 

NYCHA

NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America, serving low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing decent, affordable housing in a safe and secure environment. NYCHA provides city agency leadership for the project. The agency develops necessary agreements with Green City Force, coordinates with property management and helps guide engagement of local residents and community based partners. NYCHA collaborates closely with GCF and helps execute the build out of the farms.

 

C. Purpose of the RFEI and Process of Selection

 

FPHNY, in cooperation with New York City Housing Authority and Green City Force, is leading the initiative to seek qualified community-based organizations to serve as local partners in the NYCHA Urban Agriculture Initiative, lending local technical expertise and building long term project sustainability. Project partners anticipate selecting one community-based organization to serve as the local partner for each of the three farms expected to be established in 2016. 

 

This RFEI seeks to determine the readiness of the organization to work within the parameters of the NYCHA Urban Agriculture Initiative. The information provided in the RFEI will be the only written opportunity for organizations to demonstrate their readiness and capacity to meet eligibility requirements. Written RFEI responses will be reviewed and scored by a committee in March. Selected applicants will be asked to participate in an in-person meeting in April.  Applicants selected as local partners for each of the three target farms will enter into an agreement with participating organizations.

 

D. Background Information

 

The first large-scale NYCHA urban farm at Red Hook Houses was launched in June 2013 in close collaboration with Green City Force, the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity, the NYC Department of Sanitation, and Added Value (current community partner at Red Hook). Since 2013, the NYCHA farm in Red Hook has grown 2.6 tons of vegetables for distribution to the Red Hook community. The farm has collected 195 pounds of food scraps for composting and composted 200 tons of food scraps and leaves. Hundreds of residents have engaged in compost-for-food exchanges, volunteering, and events at the farm. Nearly 500 students have been educated through farm-based learning, and community members have participated in 10 healthy cooking demonstrations at the farm.

 

The project is expanding to include 5 other farms in 2016-2017.  The table below shows the proposed farm build schedule.

 

Timeline

Neighborhood

NYCHA Development

YEAR 1 (March 2016-Jan 2017)

Brownsville, Brooklyn

Howard Houses

 

Canarsie, Brooklyn

Bay View Houses

 

East Harlem, Manhattan

Site to be confirmed

YEAR 2 (Feb 2017-Jan 2018)

North Shore, Staten Island

Site to be determined

 

South Bronx

Site to be determined

YEAR 3 (Feb 2018-Jan 2019)

Full scale, year-round programming at all sites

 

 

The proposed project includes planned NYCHA Urban Farms in Brownsville, Canarsie, and East Harlem in 2016, as well as farms in Staten Island and the Bronx in 2017 (sites to be determined). The program will leverage the success of the pilot site in Red Hook as part of the newly launched city-wide program called Building Healthy Communities (BHC). BHC is a place-based initiative that recognizes that a community’s health is not limited to access to medical care. Physical health and mental health, and quality of life are critical elements for improving social well-being.

 

Vibrant public open spaces are a crucial feature of livable urban neighborhoods. Parks, pedestrian plazas, community gardens, and recreation centers are essential community resources where people come together to play, learn, grow food, exercise, and relax. Despite this, many of NYC’s more densely populated and higher-poverty neighborhoods have been neglected from public investment in the preservation, rehabilitation, and activation of open spaces and playgrounds. Many of the same communities continue to report high rates of crime, and equally high rates of obesity and diabetes. Building Healthy Communities aims to address these inequities and improve community health outcomes in the neediest neighborhoods by increasing access to physical activity, healthy food, and promoting public safety. Urban agriculture can enhance the health and quality of life of its residents and surrounding communities, preserve green space, sustain biodiversity, and provide sustainable career pathways.

 

E. Role of Community-Based Partner

The local CBO partner is a critical component to community connectivity and long-term sustainability of the farms. This document is meant to solicit input from a range of community partners active in and around the new farm sites. Selected partners will be convened on a regular basis to establish a learning community and ensure continuity in roles and responsibilities across the farms.

 

The community-based partner will help to build on the capacity and resources that already exist in the surrounding community. CBO partners will be brought on board as place-based partners for each farm site. CBO partners will also help develop and lead a plan to sustain farms beyond the original three year development phase.

 

NYCHA, FPHNY and Green City Force will provide:

·      A New Urban Farm site

·      Funding and Administrative oversight

·      Green City Force AmeriCorps Members’ workforce and workforce oversight

·      Common standards and practices, coordination among partners for coherence and sharing of resources.

 

Together, partner groups will be involved in activities that take place at the farm site. A sampling of tasks for 2016 is below (note that not all sites will be operational in May):

May

Plant warm-weather crops and annuals, weeding, composting, plan community programs, start weekly cooking demonstrations, plan farm stand and produce distribution

June-July

Weeding, harvesting, composting, cooking demonstrations, farm stand and produce distribution. Continue succession planting.

August

Continue planting, weeding, harvesting, compost, and planning healthy cooking demonstrations.

September

Plant fall crops, plan harvest celebration, distribute harvest, and participate in ongoing technical training classes.

October

Execute annual harvest celebration, monitor weeding, manage farm stand and continue to supervise resident compost collection.

November-December

Continue to harvest last of fall crops, oversee end-of-season farm clean up and winterizing garden, assist with recruitment of new team of GCF Corps Members.

Ongoing

Attend partner meetings, facilitate relationships with residents and community groups, work with corporate partners and funders, help manage and train volunteers, and liaise with other environmental groups to help with job development for GCF Corps Members.

 

F. Scope of Services:

The community-based partner:

1. Brings "local” capacity to the designated farm: helps engage public housing residents, helps recruit Green City Force Corps Members from among local residents who meet the requirements, aids with distributing produce, publicizes events, recruits local volunteers, disseminates farm information, and acts as a “thought partner.”

2. Once the farms are operational, takes responsibility for the day-to-day managing of the farm, with oversight, assistance and partnership from GCF and NYCHA: ensures that the designated farm is productive and well-tended and operates as a training and service location for the Urban Farm Corps, as well as community space for residents.

3. Works on job creation: prioritizes hiring of graduates from the Green City Force Urban Farm Corps for farm management work with support and guidance from GCF and NYCHA.

4. Adheres to guidelines and instructional practices of farm management and operation established by NYCHA and Green City Force. 

 

5. Collaborates with GCF and NYCHA to develop farm-based community programs in areas such as cultivation, cooking and nutrition, and composting.

6. Is willing to work with project funders including corporate partners to advance farm goals and objectives.

7. Participates in monthly meetings with all core project partners and contributes to a learning collective.

 

8. Builds the capacity over time to assume more direct responsibility for farm planning and management.

 

G. Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be non-profits with tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  

 

Organizational Competency:

1. Must have a “developed base” (defined by a physical or programmatic presence and a strong network of community and partner support and engagement) in the target neighborhood or in an adjacent neighborhood.  Applicants should have a demonstrated record of leading projects in and around public housing communities and be able to show evidence of a strong record of resident engagement and working in partnership.

 

2. Must hold expertise in one or more of the following areas: urban agriculture, composting, land improvement, organic farming, food distribution, organic food preparation, community health. Can demonstrate an ability to build new capacity in areas not yet developed.

3. Has experience managing volunteers.

 

4. Motivation for the goals of the project and willingness to take part in a multi-faceted, multi-stakeholder initiative.

 

H. Considerations

 

1. RFEI Format and Responses

Interested community based organizations must submit responses using the attached documents.

 

Responses not submitted on the prescribed form(s) may be considered incomplete or non-responsive, resulting in rejection. Failure to furnish required documentation may result in delay in review or rejection. Applicants who wish to submit additional materials are welcome to do so; these materials may be considered during the evaluation process at the sole discretion of the Fund for Public Health.

 

All responses are due no later than Friday, March 25, 2016. All responses are to be submitted electronically to: jwhite@fphny.org. Responses received after that time may be reviewed at a later date, at the sole discretion of the Fund for Public Health.

 

 

2. Inquiries  

We encourage inquiries and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from all interested applicants. Questions must be submitted to Jacquelyn White at jwhite@fphny.org. All questions are due by Friday, March 11, 2016. The responses to all questions will be posted on the FPHNY web site (http://fphny.org/whatsnew/rfps) by Thursday, March 17, 2016. Any oral communication with regard to this RFEI should be considered unofficial and non-binding.

 

3. Right to Reject Proposals

FPHNY may reject any or all proposals received, and may ask for further clarification or documentation. Submitted information that does not respond to all items in this RFEI may be excluded from further consideration, and alternative information may not be accepted. FPHNY may decline to review an application in the event the applicant submits a response after the submission deadline and/or any disparity is found during the evaluation process.

 

4. Costs

FPHNY is not responsible for any costs incurred by any vendor in preparing delivering, or presenting responses to this RFEI.

 

5. Fulfillment of Requirements

By submitting an information package, the organization acknowledges that it has read and understands this RFEI and is capable of fulfilling all requirements.

 

6. Submitted Information

Once submitted, vendor responses will be the property of FPHNY and will not be returned.

 

7. Right to Amend or Cancel this RFEI, or Solicit a New RFEI

FPHNY may amend or cancel this RFEI at any time, without any liability, at its sole determination. FPHNY may solicit new requests for information regarding the products and services addressed in this RFEI at any time.

 

8. Amount of Business

FPHNY does not guarantee the recipients any specific amount of business, revenue, or contracts as a result of this RFEI.

Important Dates to Remember:

February 22, 2016     RFEI Released

March 11, 2016          Questions regarding RFEI due by 11:59PM to Jacquelyn White at jwhite@fphny.org

March 17, 2016          Answers to all RFEI questions will be posted on the Fund’s website http://fphny.org/whatsnew/rfps 

March 25, 2016          Expression of Interest due by 11:59PM to jwhite@fphny.org 

April 15, 2016                        Deadline by which finalists will be notified of their selection to the next phase

April 18-29, 2016       Finalists will be interviewed and additional information may be requested

May 6, 2016                Final notification decisions are announced

 


 

Fund for Public Health in New York: Expression of Interest Application

NYCHA Urban Farm Initiative: Seeking Non-Profit Community Based Organizations

Summary: The Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY), along with NYCHA and Green City Force, invites organizations to participate in the 2016 NYCHA Urban Agriculture Initiative. Participating organizations can receive up to $50,000 per year (with possibility of renewal). If selected, partner organizations will engage in support of managing the farm site and its programmatic initiatives.

 

To submit your program’s expression of interest, complete the attached form, scan, and send as a PDF attachment to Jacquelyn White at jwhite@fphny.org no later than March 25, 2016. Please also include letter of support (if applicable) and an IRS tax form documenting non-profit status.

PLEASE NOTE: Application should be no more than 4 pages in length (single-spaced, 12 point font). 

Organizational Information

Organization Name

 

Address

 

Website

 

Primary Contact Name

 

Primary Contact Email

 

Primary Contact Phone Number

 

Director’s Name

 

Director’s Email

 

Director’s Phone Number

 

For which site are you applying? (please check all which apply)

2016 Sites:

Brownsville, Brooklyn                   Canarsie, Brooklyn                      Manhattan (East Harlem)                    

1.     If you are an affiliate of a larger organization, please attach a letter of support from the executive leadership of your parent organization.  This letter should demonstrate a commitment to support the NYCHA Urban Agriculture Initiative.  

 

2.     Describe your organization’s experience with urban agriculture and/or community gardening. (20 points) 

 

3.     Describe your organization’s experience in the following areas:  community engagement, environmental education, cooking and nutrition education, youth leadership and workforce development, and volunteer management. (15 points)

 

 

4.     Describe the neighborhood and population your organization currently serves. (15 points)

 

 

 

5.     What is your organization’s past experience engaging with NYCHA residents? (10 points)

 

 

 

6.     Please describe how NYCHA residents and the surrounding neighborhood would benefit from your participation in the NYCHA Urban Farm Initiative. (10 points)

 

 

 

 

7.     Describe partnerships in which your organization has been involved, including those that may have included corporate partners. (10 points)

 

 

 

8.     How will you measure success and evaluate your involvement at the farm site? (10 points)

 

 

9.     How does the operation of a NYCHA-based urban farm align with the long range strategic plans of your organization? (10 points)

 

 

 

10.  How would your organization prioritize the recruitment of Green City Force graduates for positions that you would create to support your involvement in the NYCHA Urban Farm? (considered)

 

 

 

 

 

Name and Title of Project Coordinator

 

Name and Title of Executive Director/Designee

 

 

 

Signature of Project Coordinator

 

Signature of Executive Director/Designee

News from the Acres - February 12, 2016

12 February 2016
a garden the size of the city

Last week, 596 Acres's Paula Z. Segal and Maple Street Community Gardener Tom LaFarge connected the dots between community land, the tax lien sale and deed fraud at a New York City Council hearing about what the City is doing to protect vulnerable communities from property theft. You can watch the video of the whole hearing by clicking here. CUNY School of Law's magazine also published a nice story on 596 Acres and the Maple Street struggle. Read it here. La lucha continua!

596 Acres is a member of the New York City Community Land Initiative, making community land trusts possible for New York City. What is that, you ask? Here is a fantastic new comic to tell you how we can work together to stabilize our neighborhoods.

COLLABORATORS WANTED: NYCOMMONS
596 Acres, Common Cause/NY, and the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center invite neighborhood groups to collaborate with us this spring on workshops about power over public real estate assets. We will help your members and neighbors learn to protect and expand publicly owned and controlled land and buildings in our neighborhoods. And we will pay you a little bit of money. All groups encouraged to apply and to form coalitions to invite NYCommons to your 'hoods. No need to be formal or incorporated. Details here. Deadline extended to February 19, 2016. 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Jamaica, Queens - Recall that city-owned Department of Health building in Jamaica we kept out of the surplus real estate auction in October? After that intervention, neighbors started to organize for community control of land assets in Jamaica. Join them on Wednesday, February 17 at 7pm for a community conversation: GENTRIFICATION​, DISPLACEMENT & LAND,​ a roundtable discussion hosted by Pastor Doris Johnson at Holy Ghost Upper Room, 145­59 105th Ave, Jamaica NY 11435. Contact Pastor Doris Johnson at pastordoris1@aol.com​ or (718) 791­-1183.

Rockaway, Queens - Queens Community Board 14 used the process for issuing a letter of support for a new garden on Beach 84th Street, that they designed as a result of our presentation to them last summer. Live near Beach 84th and want to help make this garden dream real? Get in touch through the lot's page to continue the momentum!

Harlem, Manhattan - The NYC Parks Department GreenThumb program is looking for stewards for this vacant lot at 128 West 127th St. who want to help get it transferred to the NYC Parks Department for permanent preservation as a community garden. Several neighbors have been in touch and have started organizing. Contact them by leaving a note here

Concord, Staten Island - We have been working with local gardener Harry since May 2014 to transform this stretch of City-owned lots on Sands Street into a productive landscape. Here is the plan for the future garden here. This week, Harry got a letter of support from SI Community Board 2 and is now waiting for the City to release the land to Parks. GreenThumb is standing by to facilitate the transfer. It's a big lot and going to need a lot of hands. Get involved here

East New York, Brooklyn - We're so thrilled to be facilitating the re-opening of the Warwick Street Greenery Glow Garden for residents new and old with the help of GrowNYC, East New York Farms!, the Nature Conservancy and NYC Parks GreenThumb. When resident-organizer Taylor reached out to us last spring to ask about the vacant lot on his block, we were able to tell him that the lot was actually a former garden and the land is the jurisdiction of NYC Parks. We are making sure that the necessary repairs are done and resources directed to re-open the space! What a great discovery! Jump into the fun here!

Brownsville, Brooklyn - At our urging Council Member Espinal is exploring the potential of havingthis vacant NYCHA-owned lot on Glenmore and Powell activated as a community space instead of being a repository for trash behind a fence. He wrote a letter to the NYCHA CEO about our collaboration with Guns Down, Life Up. Follow the progress and help galvanize support here.

COMMUNITY LAND AT RISK
Harlem, Manhattan - Come to a a Winter Vigil at the Mandela Garden on Sunday, February 21 at sundown. There will be a bonfire, treats, marshmallows. hot chocolate and maybe live music. North side of West 126th behind the Apollo Theater. This community space – the site of heroic de-paving efforts last year – is slated to be replaced with a huge apartment building as the administration's plans to rezone the area for taller buildings move forward. 

Crown Heights, Brooklyn -The next appearance at Landlord Tenant court in Brooklyn in the eviction case that may displace the Roger That! garden is on March 11 at 10am at 141 Livingston Street, Brooklyn. Plan to be there! And in the meantime, drop a note to Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey (Kevin.jeffrey@parks.nyc.gov) to let him know that you support the garden becoming permanent vie eminent domain. Read more in DNAinfo orCurbed

COLLABORATORS
On Tuesday, February 23 at 6pm New Yorkers for Parks is offering a free webinar, Using Data to Advocate for Your Park, to teach you how to use their City Council District Profiles to make the case for better parks and open space funding. RSVP here by February 18.

Join the Newtown Creek Alliance for a public discussion and presentation of a study of a city-owned property running alongside the Creek at North Henry Street. There will be snacks and scheming for the future: Wednesday, February 24, 7:00-8:30pm at Sunview Luncheonette, 221 Nassau Avenue (at North Henry Street), Greenpoint, NY 11222. RSVP on facebook here.

ON THE ROAD: SAO PAOLO
Sao Paulo: Promoting Non-Speculative Property, a talk with Paula Z. Segal at the Centro Cultural da Ocupação São João (an autonomous social center in an occupied and formerly abandoned hotel. Co-sponsored by Lanchonete.org. Saturday, February 13, 4pm, Av São João 588, São Paulo, BrazilEvent details are here.

Sao Paulo: Public Policies for Transitional Spaces, a conference organized by tGoethe Institut, São Paulo, Brazil, for February 15-17, 2016, will feature Paula Z. Segal. More details here. 

SAVE THE DATES
Brooklyn, NYC: 596 Acres, the New York City Community Garden Coalition and Farming Concrete are leading the "What’s So Great About Your Garden?" workshop at Making Brooklyn Bloom on March 12, 2016, 10-11amEvent details are here

Manhattan. NYC: 596 Acres is facilitating a Campaign Action Session at the Just Food Conference on March 13, 2016 at Teacher's College at Columbia University in Manhattan: "Communities Protecting Growing Spaces in NYC." Event details are here.

Manhattan, NYC: A Talk through NYC's Commons at Fordham Law School, hosted by the Community Economic Development Clinic & the Fordham Urban Law Center. Tuesday, March 15, 4-6pm, 150 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023. Everyone is welcome; let Paula know if you want to join the presentation to talk about your community space and the process of commonification you have been through: paula@596acres.org. 

Bronx, NYC: 596 Acres will lead workshops on “Organizing ourselves: the basics of working in groups” at this year’s GreenThumb's GrowTogether gathering, 11:30 am to 12:45 pm and 2:15 pm to 3:30 pm on March 19, 2016, at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.


Just the tip of the deed fraud iceberg. 

Doing our best,  
Paula, for 596 Acres

News from the Acres - January 22, 2016

25 January 2016

17 gardens that took the place of vacant lots via 596 Acres' facilitation became permanently protected community gardens this month!

As The New York Times took note last Saturday, “Community gardens are the most vulnerable spaces in the city,” which makes the transfer of seventeen (17!) interim spaces created and supported through 596 Acres' advocacy this winter all the more remarkable. Read more in the Brooklyn Paper.  

COLLABORATORS WANTED: NYCOMMONS
596 Acres, Common Cause/NY, and the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center invite neighborhood groups to collaborate with us this spring on workshops about power over public real estate assets. We will help your members and neighbors learn to protect and expand publicly owned and controlled land and buildings in our neighborhoods. And we will pay you a little bit of money. All groups encouraged to apply and to form coalitions to invite NYCommons to your 'hoods. No need to be formal or incorporated. Details here. Deadline is February 12, 2016. 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
South Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Amazing news! Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is finally willing to transfer the lot on the corner of Hooper and South 4th Streets to the NYC Parks Department, 24 years after the community planned it as "Open Space" and City Council adopted the plan. Contact Robert to hold to their promise and get involved in planning this long-awaited community park: hooperstreetpark@gmail.com.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - The Police Commissioner seems to think there are more police cars in the neighborhood than existing NYPD parking lots (click the link to read his letter). We have noticed that not only the lot next door to this City-owned lot that has been vacant for decades, but the nearby NYPD lots on Dekalb Avenue, often have many empty spaces. Time to organize "Police Parking Lot Watch" and document the actual use of the existing spaces. Who's up for setting up a monitoring system?

Ozone Park, Queens - Lianna, a teacher at a school near this handsome City-owned lot on 99th Street, is looking for collaborators to plan a community park with her. Get in touch if this is your neighborhood: lianna.a.brenner@gmail.com.

GARDENS AT RISK
Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Letter writing party tomorrow to bring the eminent domain bills recently introduced to preserve the Roger That! garden to the attention of legislators in Albany! Watch a great short film about the garden here then come out: Tuesday, January 26, 7-10pm at Two Saints, 753 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn. Event details here

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Join gardeners of Imani I in protecting this fantastic willow tree and and over three decades of continuous gardening at this site. Come to Council Member Robert Cornegy's office on Saturday, January 30 at 10 AM at 1360 Fulton Street, Suite 500 between NY Ave and Brooklyn Ave in Restoration Plaza to show him this garden matters and brainstorm next steps to getting it back from the private speculators who just bought it at auction. 

Prospect Lefferts, Brooklyn - On January 6, the Maple Street Community Garden eminent domain bill in the State Senate (introduced by Jesse Hamilton last fall to put the garden on a path to preservation) was referred to the Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee. This means a whole new group of Senators needs to be hearing from the Maple Street Community via this letter campaign. The members are here. A little indoor advocacy goes a long way! 

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN: GRANT DEADLINES APPROACHING
Neighborhood Grants from Citizens Committee for New York City of up to $3,000 to resident-led groups are due at midnight tonight January 25, 2016.

Partnerships for Parks' Capacity Fund Grant program grants of up to $5,000 to groups working on NYC Parks Department property are due February 1, 2016.
Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.

SAVE THE DATES
Sao Paulo: Promoting Non-Speculative Property, a talk with Paula Segal at the Centro Cultural da Ocupação São João (an autonomous social center in an occupied and formerly abandoned hotel. Co-sponsored by Lanchonete.org. Saturday, February 13, 4pm, Av São João 588, São Paulo, BrazilEvent details are here.

Brooklyn, NYC: 596 Acres, the New York City Community Garden Coalition and Farming Concrete are leading the "What’s So Great About Your Garden?" workshop at Making Brooklyn Bloom on March 12, 2016, 10-11amEvent details are here

Manhattan. NYC: 596 Acres is facilitating a Campaign Action Session at the Just Food Conference on March 13, 2016 at Teacher's College at Columbia University in Manhattan: "Communities Protecting Growing Spaces in NYC." Event details are here.

Manhattan, NYC: A Talk through NYC's Commons at Fordham Law School, hosted by the Community Economic Development Clinic & the Fordham Urban Law Center. Tuesday, March 15, 4-6pm, 150 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023. Everyone is welcome; let Paula know if you want to join the presentation to talk about your community space and the process of commonification you have been through: paula@596acres.org. 

Bronx, NYC: 596 Acres will lead workshops on “Organizing ourselves: the basics of working in groups” at this year’s GreenThumb's GrowTogether gathering, 11:30 am to 12:45 pm and 2:15 pm to 3:30 pm on March 19, 2016, at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451.

COLLABORATORS
Join our friends from Picture the Homeless on the steps of City Hall this Wednesday, January 27 at 11am for the roll-out of the Gaining Ground campaign. In their words: "We collaborated with nonprofit housing developers to create the Gaining Ground Pilot Project, which uses the community land trust model to save taxpayers money at the same time as it develops housing, incubates small businesses, creates jobs, and slows down displacement from gentrification."Event details here. 596 Acres is a Gaining Ground co-sponsor. 

The New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative is establishing a Steering Committee and continuing to build a financing cooperative to strike back at the displacement of key cultural, retail, cooperative and manufacturing space in NYC. Read the latest here. The next All Member meeting and opportunity to join is this Thursday, January 28, 2016, at 6pm at New Middle Collegiate Church on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street in ManhattanEvent details here. Already a member and can't make it but want to vote? Download the REIC Steering Committee Proxy and write in your vote then send someone to the meeting with it. 

GREEN WARRIORS AT WORK (THE JOB LISTINGS SECTION)
Randall Island  Park Alliance is looking for a gardener. Paid position, details here.

Big Reuse (formerly Build It Green) has openings in the reuse stores and their compost program. Look here.

Got a story you need to tell? Here is a paid opportunity to write about your local land access campaign of another environmental justice issue in Uneven Earth. 


Did you miss us? 
Paula, for 596 Acres

NYCommons Request for Neighborhood Collaborators

22 January 2016


This is an invitation from NYCommons to collaborate on workshops to help New Yorkers learn to  protect and expand publicly owned and controlled land and buildings in our neighborhoods. NYCommons is a collaboration between Common Cause/NY, the Community Development Project (CDP) at the Urban Justice Center, and 596 Acres, Inc. The next phase of our work includes focusing on 2-3 neighborhoods to pilot workshops where we spotlight means to participate effectively in current land use processes, as well as challenges shared by many community groups working around local land use struggles.


Contact.

Prudence Katze, Common Cause, Inc., pkatze@commoncause.org, (212) 691-6421

Background. We have already spent a year conducting research through meetings with over 100 organizations and community activists across NYC. Through our initial phase of outreach and research, we identified five types of public assets that present important opportunities for public participation and community input in many communities:


  1. Vacant public land and community gardens on land owned by City agencies and State Authorities;

  2. Post offices;

  3. Libraries;

  4. New York City Housing Authority campuses and other property; and

  5. Publicly-owned waterfront property.            

We now invite collaborators from NYC neighborhoods to join us as co-hosts of workshops focused on helping to foster an understanding of what neighbors can do to ensure that public assets continue to be a resource for their communities. If you have some or all of these property types in your community, NYCommons would like to collaborate with you to help local residents learn how decisions about these properties are made and how residents can participate in the process.

Formal organizations and groups of individuals are invited to apply. We encourage you to partner with other organizers in your neighborhood as hosts of these workshops. Through our individual organizations and our collaborative work so far as NYCommons, we have developed a deep network of New Yorkers focusing their advocacy on public real estate assets, land use, housing rights, community participation, and neighborhood-based advocacy. You can see a list of them here; let us know if you would like to be connected to anyone listed as a potential co-collaborator.


LOGISTICS

Compensation. NYCommons will provide food and facilitation for workshops, as well as funding for workshop outreach. In addition, collaborators will receive a minimum unrestricted stipend of $500 (final amount dependent on number of collaborators per neighborhood), which can be used to compensate individual participants or to compensate an organization as a whole.

Timeline. Collaborators must commit to a planning meeting with the NYCommons team, to be held between April 1 and April 15, 2016, and to co-hosting two public workshops in June and July.

Collaborator Applications. We encourage collaborations between groups and individuals who are doing diverse work in the same area. Application questions are listed below, in Appendix A. Collaborator applications are due Friday, February 19, 2016 at 5:59pm [DEADLINE EXTENDED]. Please email your proposal to Prudence Katze at pkatze@commoncause.org. Selections will be made by March 5, 2016.


APPENDIX A.

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

Main contact.

Name.
Organizational affiliation, if any.
Phone.
Email.
Website, if any.
Twitter, if any.
How did you find out about this collaboration opportunity?

Your team.

List the members of your team. Include organizations and individuals. For each, include:

Name.
Organizational affiliation, if any.
Phone.
Email.
Website, if any.
Twitter, if any.

Through our individual organizations and our collaborative work so far as NYCommons, we have developed a deep network of New Yorkers focusing their advocacy on public real estate assets, land use, housing rights, community participation, and neighborhood-based advocacy. You can see a list of them here; let us know if you would like to be connected to anyone listed as a potential co-collaborator.

Your neighborhood.

  1. Draw or describe the boundaries of the neighborhood you work in. Your neighborhood can be as small as one block or as large as one borough, but keep in mind that we want to make sure that the team we assemble is well-positioned to reach deeply into the area of focus.  

  2. Which of the following does your neighborhood have:

    1. Vacant public land

    2. Community gardens on land owned by City agencies and State Authorities

    3. Post offices that might close

    4. Libraries

    5. New York City Housing Authority campuses and other property

    6. Publicly-owned waterfront property

Your resources.

  1. List spaces in your neighborhood that you can access for hosting a public workshop.

  2. List public officials that your team has a relationship with, including NYC City Council Members and Community Boards. Describe the nature of the relationships and, if applicable, how you have worked on any land use challenges together.

Your reason.
In under 500 words (one page, single spaced), describe why you want to invite the NYCommons team to collaborate with you in a workshop series focused on how the community can impact the outcome and decisions around public assets in their neighborhood, and the development of training modules and materials to build local organizing around public asset disposition. How will this series contribute to your overall goals? What do you hope you and your team will learn? What do you hope you and your team will be able to teach?


APPENDIX B.


A collaboration between 596 Acres,  the Urban Justice Center and Common Cause New York, NYCommons seeks to provide local stakeholders with the tools they need to impact decisions around the future of their parks, libraries, community gardens, and other publicly held spaces. By creating accessible information about who controls these public assets, how decisions about these assets are made, and how members of the public can influence these choices, NYCommons will help communities raise their voices to ensure that local people will continue to enjoy the benefits of shared space for generations to come.


Why This Project?

Vibrant public spaces strengthen communities and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods. They provide opportunities for learning, health and recreation, as well as connecting with friends and neighbors.   But all too often, publicly owned spaces are sold or taken out of public control with very little meaningful public input. Publicly owned buildings and parking lots may also have unused air rights that create opportunities for development that people may not realize exist until it’s too late for the community to have a voice in how those development rights are used. Our project seeks to break this pattern and give local people a chance to have a say in the decisions that affect their communities. NYCommons will help reframe the public dialogue so the long term, inherent benefits of public spaces being maintained for the public interest are not overlooked in the decision-making process.


APPENDIX C

NYC groups working on the commons (who might want to collaborate with you)

CITYWIDE


Organization

Website

Alliance for a Greater New York

http://www.alignny.org/

Asian Americans for Equality

http://www.aafe.org/

Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development

http://www.anhd.org/

ATLAS: DIY (Developing Immigrant Youth)

http://www.atlasdiy.org/

Chinese Staff and Worker's Association

http://cswa.org/

Citizen Action of NY

http://citizenactionny.org/

Citizens Committee for NYC

http://www.citizensnyc.org/

Citizens Defending Libraries

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/

City Club of NY

http://cityclubny.org/

City Parks Foundation

http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/

Coalition of Block & Community Leaders

https://www.facebook.com/BlocksforBlocks

Community Voices Heard

http://www.cvhaction.org/

DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association

http://www.damayanmigrants.org/

DRUM - Desis Rising Up and Moving

http://www.drumnyc.org/

Green City Force

http://www.greencityforce.org/

Green Guerillas

http://www.greenguerillas.org/

GreenThumb

http://www.greenthumbnyc.org/

Grow NYC

http://www.grownyc.org/

Historic Districts Council

http://hdc.org/

Make the Road New York

http://www.maketheroad.org/

Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

http://waterfrontalliance.org/

Minkwon Center for Community Action

http://minkwon.org/

Neighborhood Plaza Partnership

http://neighborhoodplazapartnership.org/

New York City Community Garden Coalition

http://nyccgc.org/

New York City Community Land Initiative

http://nyccli.org/

New York City Park Advocates

http://nycparkadvocates.org/

New York Restoration Project

https://www.nyrp.org

New Yorkers for Parks

http://www.ny4p.org/

NYC Environmental Justice Alliance

http://www.nyc-eja.org/

NYC Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

http://www.lclaa.org/new-york

NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative

http://nycreic.com/

Partnerships for Parks

http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/partnerships-for-parks/

Picture the Homeless

http://picturethehomeless.org/

Public Space Party

http://www.publicspaceparty.org/

Right to the City-NYC

http://righttothecity.org/

Sarapis

https://sarapis.org/#

Solidarity NYC

http://solidaritynyc.org/

Streetwise & Safe

http://streetwiseandsafe.org/

Trees New York

http://www.treesny.org/

Urban Homestead Assistance Board (UHAB)

http://www.uhab.org/

VOCAL-NY

http://www.vocal-ny.org/

International Federation of Settlements

http://www.ifsnetwork.org/

Trust for Public Land

https://www.tpl.org/

Ugnayan

http://www.ugnayanyouth.org/about-us/






BRONX


Organization

Neighborhood

Website

African Communities Together


http://www.africans.us/

Banana Kelly

Hunts Point / Longwood

http://www.bkcianyc.org/

Bissell Garden

Wakefield

http://bisselgardens.org/

Bronx Green Up (NYBG)


http://www.nybg.org/green_up/

Bronx Land Trust


http://www.bronxlandtrust.org/

CASA/New Settlement


http://casapower.org/

Friends of Brook Park

South Bronx

http://friendsofbrookpark.org/

Friends of Mosholu Parkland

Norwood / Mosholu / Bedford / Jerome

http://mosholuparkland.wix.com/mosholu

Friends of Van Cortland Park


http://vancortlandt.org/

Friends of Williamsbridge Oval

Norwood

https://www.facebook.com/groups/83607129267/

Hill Street Garden

Melrose

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001

Knox Gates Neighborhood Association (The COVE)

Norwood

http://www.covebx.org/

La Familia Verde

Crotona / East Tremont / West Farms

http://www.lafamiliaverde.org/

Mothers on the Move

South Bronx

http://mothersonthemove.org/who.html

Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition


http://northwestbronx.org/

Sapna NYC

Westchester Square / Parkchester

http://www.sapnanyc.org/

SoBRO

South Bronx

https://sobro.org/

South Bronx Community Congress

South Bronx

https://www.facebook.com/South-Bronx-Community-Congress-996052360459462/

Sustainable South Bronx

South Bronx

http://www.ssbx.org/

The POINT CDC

Hunts Point

http://thepoint.org/index.php

Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice

South Bronx

http://www.ympj.org/about.html




BROOKLYN


Organization

Neighborhood

Website

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration

Bedford Stuyvesant

http://www.restorationplaza.org/

Benson Avenue Block Association

Bath Beach / Bensonhurst

http://www.citizensnyc.org/grantee/benson-avenue-block-association-0

BK Rot

Bushwick

http://bkrot.org/

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

DUMBO

http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/pages/aboutbbpc

Brooklyn Solid Waste Advisory Board & North Brooklyn Compost


https://www.facebook.com/BrooklynSolidWasteAdvisoryBoard/

Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Assoc

Caroll Gardens

http://carrollgardensbrooklyn.org/

CEC 15 Brooklyn


https://www.facebook.com/CECD15/

Celestial Church Buffalo Center

Weeksville

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3013630007/

Center for Family Life

Sunset Park

http://sco.org/programs/center-for-family-life/

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation

Cypress Hills

http://www.cypresshills.org/chw/

Dean St - Grant Sq.Block Assoc Crown Heights

Crown Heights

https://deanstgrantsq.wordpress.com/

Eden Learning Garden

Brownsville

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3037750150/

El Puente

Williamsburg

http://elpuente.us/

Eldert Street Garden

Bushwick

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3034130063/

Fifth Avenue Committee

South Brooklyn

http://www.fifthave.org/

Flatbush Tenant Coalition

Flatbush

https://flatbushtenantcoalition.wordpress.com/

Friends of Carroll Park

Caroll Gardens

http://www.carrollparkbrooklyn.org/

Friends of Sunset Park

Sunset Park

http://friendsofsunsetpark-brooklyn.blogspot.com/

FUREE

Carroll Gardens / Gowanus

http://furee.org/

Hooper Street Park

Williamsburg

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3024500028/

Imani Garden

Crown Heights

https://www.nyrp.org/green-spaces/garden-details/imani-community-garden/

Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation

Brownsville

http://www.isabahlialoefinc.org/

La Casita Verde: 451 Bedford Ave

Williamsburg

http://www.lacasitaverde.nyc/

Maple Street Community Garden

Prospect Lefferts

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3050300072/

Neighbors Together

Ocean Hill / Brownsville / Bedford-Stuyvesant

http://neighborstogether.org/

NHS of East Flatbush

East Flatbush / Flatbush

http://www.nhsofeastflatbush.org/

Open Space Alliance

Williamsburg / Greenpoint

http://osanb.org/

P.S.335 Granville T. Woods Community Garden

Weeksville

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3013560006/

Parents of Wonderful Children

Crown Heights

https://www.facebook.com/POWCcares

Patchen Community Square Garden

Bedford-Stuyvesant

http://www.patchensquare.com/

People for Green Space

Columbia Heights / DUMBO

http://www.savepier6.org/

Phoenix Community Garden

Brownsville

http://www.grownyc.org/openspace/gardens/bk/phoenix

Pratt Area Community Council

Ft Greene / Clinton Hill

http://pacc.publishpath.com/

Prospect Park Alliance

Prospect Park

https://www.prospectpark.org/

Roger That! Garden

Crown Heights

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3012330001/

Silent Barn

Bushwick

http://silentbarn.org/

Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp

Sunset Park / Red Hook / Gowanus

http://www.sbidc.org/

St. Nicks Alliance

Williamsburg / Greenpoint

http://stnicksalliance.org/SNA/

UPROSE

Sunset Park

http://uprose.org/

Workers Justice Project


http://workersjustice.org/

Brooklyn Queens Land Trust


http://bqlt.org/

Catholic Migration


http://catholicmigration.org/

University Settlement


http://www.universitysettlement.org/us/?



MANHATTAN


Organization

Neighborhood

Website

After Dark CAT

West Village

http://www.fatcatmusic.org/

Brotherhood/Sister Sol


http://brotherhood-sistersol.org/

CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities


http://caaav.org/

Carrie McCracken Truth Community Garden St Nicholas

Harlem

https://communitygarden.org/find-a-garden/gardens/carrie-mccracken-truce-garden/

Central Park Conservancy


http://www.centralparknyc.org/

CHDC

Chelsea

http://www.clintonhousing.org/

Chelsea Reform Democratic Club

Chelsea

http://www.crdcnyc.org/

Commission on the Public Health System


http://www.cphsnyc.org/cphs/?

Cooper Square

East Village

https://coopersquare.org/

East Harlem Preservation

Harlem

http://eastharlempreservation.org/

Family2Family Healthy Eating Community Gardening Project

Harlem

http://www.citizensnyc.org/grantee/family-2-family-healthy-eating

Fred Samuel Resident's Association

Harlem

http://www.citizensnyc.org/grantee/frederick-e-samuel-resident-association

Friends of Morningside Park

Harlem

http://morningsidepark.org/

Goddard Riverside Community Center

Riverside

http://www.goddard.org/

GOLES

Lower East Side

http://www.goles.org/

Greenwich Village Historic Preservation Society

West Village / Greenwich Village / East Village / NoHo

http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/index.htm

Hamilton Heights-West Harlem Community Preservation Organization

Hamilton Heights / West Harlem

http://westharlemcpo.org/

Hester Street Collaborative

Lower East Side

http://hesterstreet.org/

LES Ready

Lower East Side

http://lesready.org/

Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

Harlem

http://mgpalliance.org/

Mirabal Sisters Cultural & Community Center

Hamilton Heights

http://www.mirabalcenter.org/

National Mobilization Against Sweatshops

Lower East Side / Chinatown

http://www.nmass.org/what-is-nmass/

Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coaliton

Lower East Side

http://sdrpc.mkgarden.org/

Siempre Verde Garden

Lower East Side

http://svgarden.org/

South Harlem CERT

Harlem

https://www.facebook.com/South-Harlem-CERT-699446600098499/

Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance

South Bronx

https://www.facebook.com/SBRWA/

Union Square Community Coalition

Union Square

http://www.unionsquarecommunitycoalition.org/

Village Independent Democrats

West Village

http://www.villageindependentdemocrats.org/

We Act for Environmental Justice

Harlem

http://www.weact.org/

University Settlement


http://www.universitysettlement.org/us/?


QUEENS


Organization

Neighborhood

Website

Chhaya CDC


http://chhayacdc.org/

Community of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together

Maspeth / Elmhurst / Woodside

http://www.cometcivic.com/

Edgemere Coalition Community Garden

Rockaway

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58285/

Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy

Flushing / Corona

http://www.fmcp-conservancy.org/

Flushing Workers Center

Flushing

http://www.sweatny.org/who-we-are/

Frank Ave Civic Association Garden

Rockaway

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4158370012/

Free Synogogue of Flushing

Flushing

http://freesynagogueflushing.org/

Green Earth Urban Gardens Inc.

Woodhaven

http://www.greenearthurbangardens.org/

Grenada Daycare Garden

Rockaway

http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4159520013/

Jackson Heights Beautification Group

Jackson Heights

http://www.jhbg.org/

Jackson Heights Green Alliance

Jackson Heights

http://jhgreen.org/

Kissena Park Civic Association

Kissena Park

http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/Kissena_Park

Malba Gardens Civic Association

Whitestone

http://malbagardens.blogspot.com/

Queens Civic Congress


http://www.queensciviccongress.org/

Queens Coalition for Parks and Open Spaces


http://www.oasisnyc.net/stewardship/organizationdetails.aspx?id=1429

Queens Community House


https://qchnyc.wordpress.com/

Queens Neighborhood United


https://www.facebook.com/QueensNeighborhoodsUnited

Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association

Ridgewood

http://www.rpoca.org/

Rocky Hill Civic Association


http://www.rockyhillcivicassociation.com/

Rosedale Civic Association

Rosedale

http://www.rosedalecivic.org/

Save Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Flushing Meadows Park

http://www.savefmcp.org/

Smiling Hogshead Ranch

Long Island City

https://www.facebook.com/SmilingHogsheadRanch

Woodside on the Move

Woodside

http://www.woodsideonthemove.org/

Queensboro Hill Flushing Civil Association

Queensboro Hill / Flushing

http://www.qhcivic.org/

Brooklyn Queens Land Trust


http://bqlt.org/

Catholic Migration


http://catholicmigration.org/

 

News from the Acres - January 9, 2016

09 January 2016

17 gardens that took the place of vacant lots via 596 Acres' facilitation became permanently protected community gardens over the holiday! 

The big news first: 36 gardens were transferred to the NYC Parks Department over the winter holiday for permanent preservation. 17 of them were vacant lots that neighbors transformed with through 596 Acres' facilitation. 15 had been offered for sale to housing developers for $1 last year and have now been decisively re-routed. You can read about the transfers and 596 Acres' role in Hyperallergic (January 8, 2016), CityLimits / Brooklyn Deep (January 4, 2016) and DNAinfo (December 31, 2015). Congratulations to all the organizers and advocates who worked tirelessly to make our key neighborhood spaces indispensable and thank you to our collaborators in the Administration who listened! Let's keep going! 

WORK WITH US
We are looking for a designer to co-create a new web tool called NYCommons. The project is a collaboration between Common Cause/NY, Community Development Project (CDP) at the Urban Justice Center and 596 Acres, Inc. Details are here; this is a paid project and responses are due January 20, 2016. 

We are also hiring a new Program Manager for our New York City Community Land Access Program. This is a paid full time position with benefits. Details are here. Applications accepted until the position is filled. 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Rockaway Park, Queens - Neighbors saw our signs on a lot on Beach 84th Street and started organizing for a new garden in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Now they have teamed up with the compost masterminds of Edgemere Farm at Beach 45th Street Community Farm to get the support they need. Join them by reading the notes on the lot's page or contacting Travis: t.andersoncap@gmail.com, 646 662 0585.

Jamaica, Queens - Katia says, "This lot is adjacent to a school where I work. We would like to build a school/community garden." Join her: sign up for updates on the lot's page or contact her directly: katiadepass@hotmail.com, 570-269-1615.

East Side, Manhattan - Community Board 8 Parks and Recreation Committee is actively pursuing having this MTA land on East 63rd Street at 2nd Avenue set aside as a park. The MTA will vacate in 2018. Community Board 8 Parks and Recreation Committee meets to discuss on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 6:30pm at Brick Presbyterian Church, 62 East 92nd Street (Madison-Park), Carnegie Room. Contact Jill, jappelny@hotmail.com and sign up for updates on the lot's page.

Brownsville, Brooklyn - Help make a new garden on private land! The family that owns this lot on Hegeman and Milford bought it to create a community garden. They are looking for collaborators. Contact organizers@596acres.org to be connected. 

Gowanus, Brooklyn - Back in 2013, 596 Acres connected members of the President Street Block Association with the process they would need to follow to create a new garden formally through GreenThumb and made a presentation explaining the same to their community board; we also connected them to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Block Association took it from there. We’re happy that the City-owned lot on their block is now a permanent open space asset in the inventory of the NYC Parks Department. You can read about the preservation of the President Street Garden in DNAinfo. #35!

Citywide - In the wake of recent transfers to NYC Parks, Housing Preservation and Development is reviewing stalled applications to have these still-vacant lots also transferred for permanent preservation as GreenThumb gardens: Eden Learning Garden in Brownsville, P.S.335 Granville T. Woods Community Garden and Celestial Church Buffalo Center in Weeksville, Edgemere Coalition Community Garden in Rockaway, and Hooper Street Park in South Williamsburg. These organizers have been waiting over a year to hear back from GreenThumb.
GARDENS AT RISK
Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Assembly Member Diana Richardson and Senator Velmanette Montgomery introduced identical bills at our urging last week aimed at protecting the Roger That! garden as a park. Both the Assembly (A. 8583) and Senate (S. 6093) bills contain this language: "The legislature hereby finds that it is necessary for a public purpose to procure [115 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, Block 1233 Lot 1], through the use of the eminent domain procedure... for a state park and community garden to be managed by neighborhood volunteers through the New York City parks department green thumb program." This is a great time to let Council Member Robert Cornegy know that you support the preservation of Roger That! as a community space: call the office at 718-919-0740. Gardeners will be spiffying up the place today, Saturday January 9, 11-2pm. Come by! 

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Save the date to come support the Imani I Garden in Landlord Tenant court as they resist an illegal eviction by the speculators who bought one lot of their garden at a post-tax lien foreclosure auction. A giant willow tree and the largest chicken coop in Brooklyn are what is at stake. The original debt that led to the foreclosure was $3,200; the speculator bought the property for $365,000 last year and now has it listed for $690,000. The gardeners are committed to resisting displacement via this flip. 596 Acres and Mohen & Segal LLP are supporting them. Join us in court to show you stand with communities against displacement: Friday, January 22, 10am at 141 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, Room 603

Harlem, Manhattan - Organizers of Mandela Garden, who have been de-paving the space by hand and establishing a wildflower oasis are building support to have it transferred to the NYC Parks Department. The agency that has jurisdiction over the land has offered it to housing developers instead (responses are due February 23, 2016). Last year, fifteen of the active gardens recently transferred to NYC Parks had been offered just like this. Organizers got the City to change direction via letters, rallies, and awesome gardens. Get in touch with Rene Calvo to organize for garden preservation (renecalvo@gmail.com, (917) 275-6577).

COLLABORATORS
The New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative is establishing a Steering Committee and continuing to build a financing cooperative to strike back at the displacement of key cultural, retail, cooperative and manufacturing space in NYC. Read the latest here. The next All Member meeting and opportunity to join is on January 28, 2016 at New Middle Collegiate Church on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street in Manhattan

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Partnerships for Parks' Capacity Fund Grant program provides small grants of up to $5,000 to strengthen the outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity of community groups who care for their neighborhood parks, gardens and green spaces in all five boroughs of New York City. Project work must be on NYC Parks Department property. Good news for all these transferred gardens! Next deadline: February 1, 2016.

Remember: resident-led groups can apply for up to $3,000 in Neighborhood Grants from Citizens Committee for New York City to work on community and school projects throughout the city. Application Deadline: January 25, 2016.

Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.


Patchen Community Square, a garden that was bulldozed once under Giuliani and brought back from the abandoned vacant lot that travesty left the neighborhood by neighbors working with 596 Acres, is now a protected NYC Parks Department garden. It was previously identified as a housing development site in Jan 2015. Gardeners and advocates organized all year to get it off the list of gardens doomed to close - and won! The land has been decisively re-routed from private development to public good!

Sweet sweet 16,
Paula, for 596 Acres

New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative January 2016 Update

08 January 2016

Dear NYC REIC Members, 

Happy 2016! The first newsletter of the new year focuses on our Governance! Read on for ways to get involved as we build our cooperative and formalize our structure.

WE NEED YOUR HELP

Scroll down for opportunities to help by facilitating upcoming meetings, making calls to remind members about upcoming events, helping with our member data management and joining workgroups.

NEED TO JOIN?

You can sign up here and complete your membership process IN PERSON on Thursday, January 28, at 6pm or 8:30pm at New Middle Collegiate Church, 2nd Ave and 7th Street, in the East Village in Manhattan. You will be an active member once you have done these three things:

(1) Read and signed the member agreement (in person or online);

(2) Contributed a membership fee of $10 (in person); and

(3) Attending a quarterly All-Member NYC REIC meeting (next chance: January 28, 2016!).

You will then be expected to conduct yourself in accordance with the principles of cooperation. Active members only can participate in Workgroups and the Steering Committee and make nominations, as described below.

ARE YOU FOLLOWING US FROM AFAR?

REIC U (the Case Studies Workgroup) is doing incredible research into best practices that can be applied to your nascent social justice-driven real estate investment projects as well. Scroll down for a detailed report-back.


WE’RE BUILDING OUR COOPERATIVE!

Our next steps will be to elect a Steering Committee and finalize its Charter. 

What is the Steering Committee?

The Steering Committee will be NYC REIC’s first democratically elected governing body. It will help govern the REIC and act on our behalf while steering our work on a longer-term governing structure. As part of this work, it will be responsible guiding the REIC to the point where we put in place a permanent governing body (such as a Board of Directors). The NYC REIC opened the nominations for Steering Committee on January 5th, and we will hold elections for those seats at our next General Meeting on January 28th. Members can nominate themselves or other members here.

Please come to the Meet the Candidates meeting to hear directly from nominees for the Steering Committee - and for a last chance to make nominations - on Thursday, January 14th at 6:30-8:00 pm, at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn on the 6th floor. 

What is the Charter?

The Charter is a short document defining the rights and responsibilities of the Steering Committee. It states, for instance, whether the Steering Committee will be able to sign contracts on behalf of the REIC, whether they will be able to spend money collected by the REIC, and whether they will be empowered to file the necessary documents with the State to form the REIC as a business entity. It also specifies how the Board will be established, or if the Steering Committee is required to bring this decision to back to the membership. Governance has presented a final draft Charter, and we invite all members to continue to provide final comments!

How will this all come together?

Here’s how the process will work:

  • ONLINE, January 5: The Governance Workgroup integrated feedback from the December 14 meeting into a draft of a Charter and sent it to all members for final objections. HERE IS THE FINAL DRAFT. Click to read it.

  • ONLINE, January 5: The nominations period for the Steering Committee has opened.

  • IN PERSON, January 14: We will hold a “Meet the Candidates” meeting on Thursday, January 14th at 6:30-8:00 pm, at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn on the 6th floor. On this night, we will incorporate final comments to the Charter so that it can be put into place, meet candidates for the Steering Committee nominated through the online form (here) and make floor nominations for new candidates. Nominees can accept their nominations, knowing what will be in the Charter.

  • IN PERSON, January 28: We will hold elections for the Steering Committee and ratify the Charter at our next General Meeting on Thursday, January 28, 6:30-8:30pm at New Middle Collegiate Church, 2nd Ave and 7th Street, in the East Village in Manhattan.

MEMBERS! Please come to the January 14 and January 28 meetings, as your involvement is crucial to the success of this work! This is a huge step for REIC and the result of a huge amount of effort and input from many of us, particularly the members of the Governance Workgroup. Many thanks to Governance and everyone who has participated in this process!

MEETING FACILITATORS NEEDED

Can you volunteer to come early or stay late to set up, clean up, sign NYC REIC members in, and sign new members up to join? We need members to volunteer to help at the following times:

Thursday, January 14, 5-7pm at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn

Thursday, January 14, 7-9pm at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn

Thursday, January 28, 5-7pm at 2nd Ave and 7th Street in Manhattan

Thursday, January 28, 7-9pm at 2nd Ave and 7th Street in Manhattan

If you can sign up, email info@nycreic.com with the date and time as the subject line. THANK YOU!

PHONE TREE!

Calling other REIC members is fun! Have a few minutes to spare this month? Want to wish lovely folks you are getting to know a happy new year? Give them a call on the phone to remind them about the key upcoming meetings on January 14 and 28. Directions are here.

WORKGROUP REPORT-BACKS!

ARTS & MEDIA

If you are interested in getting involved in our work, please come to our next meeting on January 21, from 7-9 pm, at 139 Fulton Street, in Manhattan (Apt. 903). Please contact Leland at leland.cheuk@gmail.com to post on a topic specific to your workgroup or anything else related to the REIC in the NYC REIC blog.

GOVERNANCE

The Governance Workgroup held a very well attended all-member meeting on December 14 to discuss what the Steering Committee’s rights and responsibilities should be. Based on this feedback, Governance has presented a draft Charter, and we invite all members to continue to provide additional comments! Please send us your thoughts, questions, and insights at reicgovernance@gmail.com.


MEMBER DATA MANAGEMENT

We could still greatly use some more technical help to join our crew - we're looking for someone who has great data / web skills. Ideally you're great at using CMSes with a solid grasp of HTML/CSS under your belt, have a good understanding of data formats (CSVs, JSON, etc.), maybe some familiarity with databases and web development, even? We really want to make sure we have good systems in place for communication, decision-making and tracking our input. Email info@nycreic.com with the subject PHONE TREE if this is you!

CASE STUDIES / REIC U

Case Studies began the month of December with a brainstorming meeting in pursuit of a new educational tool for REIC U that will highlight promising governing structures for the REIC and deal with other important questions, like mechanisms for keeping commercial space permanently affordable and for addressing systemic injustices through our structure and practices. To make this pursuit easier, members broke off into different research tracks in preparation for the month of January, some of which are highlighted below.

As part of their research, the facilitators of Case Studies and the Interim Facilitation work group attended a Skype session with Seth Leon from the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association, who gave the REIC a great range of ideas for governance structures, membership engagement, and financial mechanisms (more on ACCA’s work can be found here: http://acca.coop/, and the audio from this session can be found here: Audio Link).

Members spent the rest of the month pursuing additional investigation tracks in preparation for the January 7 meeting, where we shared the findings of our research and continued to brainstorm our next REIC U educational tool. New members are welcome to join! To reach Case Studies Workgroup by email: nyc-reic-case-studies@googlegroups.com


PBIG (Public Buildings Inventory Group & Community Outreach)

During the month of December, we continued to divide tasks among ourselves and the properties we have continued to consider feasible for potential REIC projects, in Jamaica, Coney Island and the South Bronx, as well as looking into other potential properties. We have been planning our best routes of community outreach, conducting further research, and connecting with the relevant government agencies.

PBIG made a strong showing at the Governance meeting in December, and then held its own meeting just before Christmas to plan our next steps in the new year. We hope to have a joint meeting with the Case Studies workgroup soon.

We are holding our next meeting just prior to the Meet the Candidates meeting, between January 11-13, TBD. If you would like to get involved, please email us at: nycreic--public-buildings-inventory-group@googlegroups.com

One more note:

A shout-out and a big thank-you are due to Urban Cartographies for a generous donation to Spaceworks, Inc. to support the expenses incurred by the NYC REIC in its incubation!

 

Become a Member of NYC REIC

There are 4 requirements for active membership in NYC REIC:

(1) Reading and signing the member agreement;

(2) Contributing a membership fee of $10;

(3) Attending a quarterly All-Member NYC REIC meeting (next chance: January 28, 2016!);

(4) Endeavoring to conduct membership in accordance with the principles of cooperation.


Check out our Calendar:

We maintain a Google Calendar with all workgroup meetings. Please add this to your gCal, or look at http://nycreic.com/meet to stay updated with our meeting times:

https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=audtb9vef3vbc7rt6jem0q0sss%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America%2FNew_York  


Please Help Cover our Current Operating Expenses!
You can support REIC’s development by making a charitable donation during this incubation period for very basic expenses, like the monthly charges that must be paid to circulate this e-newsletter. Please contact us at info@nycreic.com if you’d like to make a charitable contribution (not an investment) during the incubation period of the NYC REIC. 


REIC Learn and Share

What the REIC? Check Out Our Video:

http://nycreic.com/1-minute/

Please take a minute, literally, to check out this amazing video that NYC REIC members produced to explain the REIC in under 60 seconds, and share widely.

 


Stay connected:  

If you add reic4nyc@gmail.com to your email contacts, this newsletter will come directly to your primary inbox instead of your promotions inbox or your spam folder. Also, if you're interested in helping with this newsletter, please drop us a line at reic4nyc@gmail.com.

Join our mailing list for bi-weekly newsletters: http://eepurl.com/biNPEr

Join the FaceBook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/REIC4NYC/

Learn more online: http://nycreic.com

Come to a meeting: http://nycreic.com/meet

In Cooperation,  

New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative

NYCommons Call for Designers

06 January 2016

This is a request for proposals for graphic and interaction design support for NYCommons.org, a website tool modeled on LivingLotsNYC.org to be built on its source code by the 596 Acres team. The site will display information about five distinct types of public real estate assets:

 

  1. Vacant public land and community gardens on land owned by City agencies and State Authorities;

  2. Post offices;

  3. Libraries;

  4. New York City Housing Authority campuses and other property; and

  5. Publicly-owned waterfront property.  

Background. NYCommons is a collaboration between Common Cause/NY, Community Development Project (CDP) at the Urban Justice Center and 596 Acres, Inc. We have already spent a year conducting research through meetings with over 100 organizations and community activists across NYC. Through our initial phase of outreach and research, we identified the five types of public assets we will focus on during our next phase of the project.    

Contact. Paula Z. Segal, Esq., Director, 596 Acres, paula@596acres.org, (718) 316-6092 x 2

Request for Proposals. We are looking for graphic and interaction design support to build on the logo (above) and create a look and feel for NYCommons.org:

Logo: development of the logo and a branding style guide so the logo can is used across various platforms in a consistent way, both on the web and in print.

Website: Front end design of templates for interactive map tool, modeled on LivingLotsNYC.org, including associated illustrations, icons, and other digital assets.

Interaction design: Design of user experience and flow of elements, developed in conjunction with development team and based on LivingLotsNYC.org. 

Compensation. The budget for design of the entire project is $7,600 (this is exclusive of our budget to build).

Timeline. Graphic design elements must be ready for integration into development by June 1, 2016. Interaction design must be completed by July 1, 2016.

Please provide 3-5 samples of relevant past work, a suggested timeline for completion (including design iterations) and an (optional) draft design utilizing the logo above in a web element (e.g. a banner).  We are particularly looking to evaluate your strength in building on an existing visual identity. Samples of past projects that included building around an existing logo or other elements would be great to see.

Applications are due Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at 5:59pm. Selections will be made by February 1, 2016.


Terra Firma: A Letter from the 596 Acres Team to Close Out 2015

31 December 2015

____

34 vacant lots transformed into community spaces through 596 Acres's facilitation.
4 in 2015! 

28 community spaces on ex-vacant lots are now protected 
through 596 Acres' advocacy.
17 protected in 2015!


11 existing community spaces saved from eviction & demolition through 596 Acres' organizing & legal support.
10 saved in 2015!

____

SUPPORT 596 ACRES' COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS FOR NEW YORKERS. 

DONATE HERE. 


Wow! We have blazed a trail of awesomeness through 2015.

2015 was a year of rising to meet new challenges. This year, for the first time, we devoted significant resources to campaigns on behalf of groups with existing community spaces that were under threat of closure, development, or eviction. Some of those were spaces that we had helped neighbors create over the last four years, and some have been key community spaces in their neighborhoods for much longer than that. 

This new (and growing) practice of protecting existing community spaces is a natural outgrowth of our work transforming vacant lots and has produced huge results for communities in 2015. Today’s big news is that the NYC Parks Department has responded to our advocacy by permanently preserving 34 previously-precarious community spaces into the parklands inventory. You can read about this breaking development here from us, and in DNAinfoCapital New York, and The Lo-Down.

Through facilitation, advocacy organizing and legal support, we helped 24 community spaces gain protection this year, either by helping them become part of a land trust, sign a lease with a public Authority, or secure the transfer of their land to the NYC Parks Department. 

The landscape ahead remains challenging, but it feels pretty great to leave 2015 with these victories toward a greener, stronger, more awesome and more connected NYC. This year we helped communities exert real power in their neighborhoods and achieve real victories. 

Here’s the thing, though: it has been a constant fight to fund this work. That’s the truth. We’re ok for now, but to keep fighting this hard, innovating, and winning battles with communities, we need to be financially secure for the future

If you haven’t given to 596 Acres yet and you want to see what we can achieve in 2016, 2017, and beyond, please donate! Every donation counts -- if there is anything we’ve learned it’s that our strength lies in combining what we each can bring to the table. Together we are SO powerful. Please help us keep doing this work!

In community, 
Paula, Rachel, Eric, Patrick, Kris, Moses, Liz and the entire 596 Acres Team

SUPPORT 596 ACRES' COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS FOR NEW YORKERS. 
DONATE HERE.