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News From The Acres Vol 2 Issue 38

October 25, 2012

Organizing & Daffodill Planting!


We're creating a directory of vacant lot transformation facilitators in other cities! Check it out and let us know if there's some fabulous group that we've neglected to list! 

JOIN US THIS WEEK - two chances to talk to organizers on Monday!  
596 Acres Rockaway General Meeting
Monday, October 29 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 178 Beach 92nd Street, Rockaway Queens.
This is a follow up discussion and support conversation for projects instigated by 596 Acres' Rockaway Residency this summer. There will be a pot luck meal - bring a dish to share. Also bring: friends, neighbors, your co-organizers, your dreams for vacant lots, your stories of city agency phone mazes, and a spare smile. RSVP:

Volunteers Needed: East Harlem 596 Acres Watchers & Organizers Phone Bank
Monday, October 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m at Green Map System's NYC Office, 220 A East 4th Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan.
Come help us call everyone who is engaged with 596 Acres platform in Upper Manhattan. This is a great chance to talk to local organizers and learn about their successes and challenges! Bring your phone - we'll have pizza! For more information or to sign up, please contact And if you're one of the Upper Manhattan watchers and organizers - expect a call from us on Monday! We're looking forward to chatting with you!

596 Acres is making a new poster for the Bronx this Fall!!!  We're looking for a designer to design the map (which will be printed in English & Spanish with our organizing guide on the back). We will pay an honorarium of $100. Designs will be completed by December 1, so we are looking for folks who have time to devote in November. Please submit three samples of relevant work and a short statement about your connection to the Bronx to by 11:59p.m. on FRIDAY, October 26, 2012 to We'll get back to you within the week. 

TALKING AND LISTENING HELP WANTED:  Seeking a Journalism Student to Do Some Structured Reporting About 596 Acres Sites
596 Acres engages with all sorts of communities all over the city. We are looking for help telling the story of our advocacy support from the communitiies' perspectives. We would like to partner with a jounalism student who can make a 6-12 month commitment to doing a set of structured interviews with the folks that we work with. We will publish your work on our website (occasionally with a by line if you like) and use it in our press releases and reporting materials. You will be contacting groups that engage with the 596 Acres team 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and one year after their engagement begins. We'll work together to develop a protocol. To apply, send a sample of your work, a cover letter, and a short story about small scale change to by 11:59pm on Saturday, November 4, 2012. 

Greenpoint, Brooklyn - The Java Street Garden Collaborative has 200 daffodil bulbs they'll be planting this Sunday October 28 1pm – 5pm; come by for a visit! and help plant If you have access to a trowel, please bring it.

Southside Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Folks who are organizing around a set of lots in the nieghborhood are meeting on Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 6:30pm at El Puente CHE, 289 Grand Street (between Roebling and Driggs) to plan next steps. Want to help make the Southside Greener - there's lots of room for you to help. Join them! Or connect with organizers of specific sites through those sites' pages from the map. 

Wallabout Village, North Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, Community Composting continues this Sunday, October 28, 10:30-5pm at Myrtle Village Green! There will be a Fall Health Fairwith yoga, pumpkin painting & carving, blood pressure screenings, music and local organizations sharing their bounty from 2pm to 5pm. 636 Myrtle Ave. 

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn - Come out for a workday at Patchen Community Square, corner of Patchen & Putnam, on Saturday, October 27th from 10:30am to 3pm. They need all the hands they can get!

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn - From the organizers at 100 Quincy, "We've heard from Green Thumb!!! They're reviewing our packet of information (including the names of our volunteers, our possible lot plans, the results of our survey, and much more) and will be discussing with HPD our use of the space. Very exciting!" Meet them this Saturday, October 27 from 10 am to 1 pm while we tiding up the lot and planting some daffodils. Bring any gloves, rakes, shovels, or garbage bags you can. Don't forget to wear safe shoes!

Bushwick, Brooklyn - We're finally some documents about the NYPD-owned lot that has been waiting to become a parking lot since 1986. Earlier this year, a group of neighbors opened up the handcuffs that were keeping the gate closed and cleaned up the lot; NYPD seemed to approve, then backed out of an agreement with the community.  On July 25, 2012, with the help of the Foundation for Responsible and Open Government and our Friends at Rankin & Taylor, we filed a Freedom of Information Law Request w ith the NYPD for documents relating to plans for this site. The NYPD finally responded on October 15, 2012, that they have 23 pages of such documents. We sent them a check for $5.75 to cover the copying fees and are awaiting the response. Folks here interested in having a meeting to re-group. Join them!

Jackson Heights, Queens - A community is re-envisioning this space. Get in touch!

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Last Tuesday, the entire Community Board 3 voted in support of Sempre Verde Community Garden's use of two lots on Attorney and Stanton. Here's the news in the words of Jared, one of the organizers: "Proud to say that last night we got a unanimous vote of support from the Community Board for our interim gardens at SIEMPRE VERDE! Five speakers were heard, outlining our mission and vision for the space, and the audience was very enthusiastic about the cause. After a unanimous decision by the board members, an amendment was made to be sure that BOTH lots of 181 Stanton and 137 Attorney were to be included in the decision. We will be given a letter of support from the community board and will be the last piece of our application for Green Thumb! We are all very happy to be finally moving forward and cant wait to further develop our lovely ideas into a collaborative community garden! More updates coming soon!!"


This section of our newsletter highlights grant opportunities that may apply to your group's project. See a money opportunity you wanna share? Email it to Drew Tucker (

Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb Community Garden Grants: Ten applicants will receive $5,000 in cash and tools for neighborhood beautification, community collaboration, and healthy, sustainable food sources; and one applicant will receive a complete garden makeover. Nonprofit organizations in the US are eligible to apply. (DUE December 15, 2012).

Citizens Committee for New York City Community Grant is $500 to $3,000 to resident-led groups to work on community and school improvement projects addressing issues that they identify as important to them in primarily low-income neighborhoods. (DUE January 31, 2012). 

Don't forget about The Awesome Foundation NYC ($1000 grant made every month; rolling deadline)!

***Note that many grants require 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor. If your group or organization doesn't have 501(c)(3) status, is a great local option for fiscal sponsorship.

596 Acres