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News from the acres

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

News from the Acres - December 17, 2015

17 December 2015

winter wonder land

Tomorrow, Friday, December 18, 8:30 am - 7pm, come to the 596 Acres Pop Up Gift Shop, 540 President Street, Brooklyn, NY. We will have such sweet gifts for your sweeties!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Prospect-Lefferts, Brooklyn - The Maple Street Community Garden will be presenting its story to Brooklyn Community Board 9 on Tuesday December 22 at 7pm, 400 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn NY 11225. Come voice your support for the garden! Anyone can sign up to speak. Do! You can also support the Maple Street Community Garden by writing letters to the state senators and assembly members who are reviewing the bills directing New York State to protect the garden by making it a Park, introduced by Jesse Hamilton and Diana Richardson; you’ll find all the materials right here.

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 certain property within the city of New York. To that extent, the commissioner of parks, recreation and historic preservation is hereby directed to take, through the use of the eminent domain procedure as established under the eminent domain procedure law, the parcel in the borough of Brooklyn known as 115 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, Block 1233 Lot 1, 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. 
 
Bushwick, Brooklyn - We heard from the agency that has jurisdiction over it that there are no plans for a lot on Dekalb down the block from Know Waste Lands. The spot would be great for outdoor movies and other community events. Time to start organizing! Sign up on the lot's pageor contact us at organizers@596acres.org / 718-316-6092 x 1. 

Bushwick, Brooklyn - At our urging, Council Member Espinal wrote a letter to the NYPD asking that this lot on Stockholm Street be considered for a potential new park and garden. It is a great letter. Time to get organized in support of this vision! Sign up on the lot's page or contact us at organizers@596acres.org / 718-316-6092 x 1.

Laurelton, Queens - Katia says, "This lot on Lovingham Place is adjacent to a school where I work. We would like to build a school/community garden." Sign up on the lot's page or connect with her to help make it happen: katiadepass@hotmail.com, 570-269-1615

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Harlem, Manhattan - Mandala Garden on West 126th Street and Adam Clayton Powell continuesde-paving by hand. The next strike is this Saturday, December 19 at 11am

COLLABORATORS
The Brooklyn Collage Urban Soil Institute will test your soil for all our health. They just concluded that community gardens in New York City are much safer, on average, than backyard gardens. You can read a summary of their study here. Specifically: "Public gardens tend to be more actively cultivated than backyard ones, and additions of new compost or topsoil can dilute contaminants." Go community! Get your soil tested by putting some in a ziplock bag and following the directions here.

Gowanus, Brooklyn - Our wonderful hosts Spaceworks have created more affordable workspace for artists in Gowanus. They are having an open house, tomorrow, Friday, December 18, 4-8pm, at 540 President Street, Brooklyn 11215, and are looking for both individuals and organizations to use the newly renovated spaces. More details here.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Time to get your Neighborhood Grants from Citizens Committee for New York City! Citizens Committee awards micro-grants of up to $3,000 to resident-led groups to work on community and school projects throughout the city. More info and application on their website. 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.


Eldert Street Gardeners in Bushwick using their newly found freedom to mulch and rake and fertilize last week.

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


Enjoy the season! Til the last of the year,

Paula, for 596 Acres

Let's Keep Collaborating in 2016!

10 December 2015

596 ACRES IS YOU: DONATE HERE

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“Community gardens, community parks, and turning empty lots into flourishing gardens is incredibly important to all New Yorkers.

Jason Price, dad, 123 Street Block Association Member, Harlem, Manhattan
 

The work of 596 Acres suggests that…. ordinary people are poised to reimagine and reconfigure the sacrifice zones left behind by the reigning calculus of land valuation … making maximum use of them as a collective resource, in a maximally inclusive way.” Adam Greenfield, Author, Scholar, London School of Economics
 

596 Acres is the catalyst that has saved [our] Garden.”

Andrea Drummond, Roger That! Gardener and Crown Heights Youth Collective Member, Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Dear Friend of 596 Acres,
 

Together, we are are winning. We are expanding the conversation about vacant land in cities around the world and getting ordinary New Yorkers involved in the land use decisions that affect their communities. Over the last four years, through our organizing tools, advocacy, and leadership, we have engaged hundreds of people and helped neighbors create thirty-four new community spaces where there were once only neglected vacant lots, including four in 2015.
 

In 2015 alone, we provided organizing and litigation support that helped three community garden groups win in court and avoid eviction. We facilitated bringing the 1100 Bergen Street Garden in Crown Heights into the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, protecting a 35-year old community institution in perpetuity. We curated Reviewing Renewal, a historic exhibition at the Queens Museum that transformed the Panorama of the City of New York into a tool to see the impacts of urban renewal area planning on NYC and the opportunities for community control that remain. Our research and advocacy has led to the inclusion of vacant and abandoned properties on the NYC City Council agenda as they study the impacts of the annual tax lien sale on New Yorkers and neighborhoods. We got legislation introduced at the State level to preserve not one but two existing community spaces that are at risk of disappearing to speculative housing development: reminding New Yorkers and lawmakers that eminent domain can be used for good! These are only a few of the hundreds of land access stories we helped make possible in 2015. More are in our 2015 Annual Report. None of them would have been possible without the support of donors like you – you helped lay the groundwork for an exciting and challenging year of community land access advocacy. I am writing today to ask for your continued collaboration as we expand our impact.

 

This is an exciting and challenging time for community land access. Citywide changes in land-use priorities require us to constantly improve and invent organizing strategies; new development programs and unscrupulous developers threaten to uproot vibrant but unprotected community spaces. Yet, new organizers by the hundreds are joining Living Lots NYC, our online platform, and advocates in cities around the world are planting the seeds of technical and advocacy innovations modeled on 596 Acres. I write to you this week having just returned from speaking at a convening of government actors and potential land stewards in Chicago on the subject of collaboration and pathways to community access to public land.
 

Our work is needed, more than ever. We are committed to democratizing urban spaces in the face of new challenges. Your gift will ensure that we can reach more communities, get more neighbors involved, unlock more fences and continue to serve as an in-demand thought leader to advocates around the world. I hope that you will consider supporting 596 Acres as we head together into 2016. Happy holidays!

 

In solidarity and gratitude,


 

Paula Z. Segal

596 ACRES IS YOU: DONATE ONLINE HERE 

News from the Acres - December 5, 2015

05 December 2015

2015 was a stunner!

Over the last twelve months, 596 Acres has helped hundreds of New Yorkers create thriving spaces out of decaying vacant lots in their neighborhoods. This year, our organizing tools, community land access advocacy, and leadership have led to decisive wins. Read our annual report here and help us keep going in 2016. 596 ACRES IS YOU: DONATE HERE

IN THE PRESS
Last week, 596 Acres was featured in Next City and on Gothamist's list of local organizations to support this season.

CITY COUNCIL FOCUS ON URBAN AGRICULTURE & LAND ACCESS
On Thursday, we testified before City Council's Committee on Economic Development at a hearing on a proposed Urban Agriculture Advisory. You can read Paula's full testimony here. An excerpt:
"Agriculture in the city is a vibrant, local and regenerative infrastructure, practiced as a craft and a business. I commend you for recognizing that, and look forward to conversations through which the broadness swath of regulatory and policy issues each of our urban agriculture practices touches becomes a regular subject in the council... Land disposition for municipal real estate may need its own focused committee to address a multiplicity of community needs, not just the needs of urban agriculture practitioners. I urge that such a committee be created, and focused on land disposition."

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, December 18, 8:30 am - 7pm, come to the 596 Acres Pop Up Gift Shop, 540 President Street, Brooklyn, NY. We will have such sweet gifts for your sweeties!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Jamaica, Queens - Pastor Doris Johnson, of the Holy Ghost Upper Room of Faith Tabernacle Church, would welcome a collaboration on a sunny corner lot at 105th Avenue and Liverpoolowned by the church that would bring fresh fruits and vegetables to the neighborhood and some income to the church (in the form of rent or grants or income from produce sales). She can be reached at 718-791-1183 / pastordoris1@aol.com. 

Long Island City, Queens - This week, our efforts towards a collaborative vision for a the reuse of a former rail line in Long Island City were extensively covered in Curbed. It's not too late to join the Cut Off Coalition in responding to MTA's invitation for an adaptive re-use plan for a former rail line. The next formal meeting will by on January 6, 2016, but send a note to Montauk Cutoff RFEI  and review notes from past meetings anddocuments to get caught up. The proposal is due February 26, 2016. 

Edgemere, Queens - Housing Preservation and Development's Second Visioning Session for a new community plan for the whole neighborhood will be on Saturday, December 12, 11am to 2pm, at the Beach 41st St Cornerstone Community Center. You can RSVP here. This is a good opportunity to shape the future of the neighborhood and to advocate directly for the Edgemere Community Coalition Garden, the Frank Avenue Civic Association Garden and a future children's garden on Beach 36th Street
 
South Bronx - It was great to hear Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo voice her public support of the future Hill Street Community Garden at City Council's hearing on a bill proposing an Urban Agriculture Advisory. The Council Member is stepping down at the end of the month; give her office a call so that getting the Department of Transportation to sign a contract permitting the garden doesn't fall off her list of final to-dos: 718-402-6130 . 
LOTS WITH ACCESS
Harlem, Manhattan - Electric Ladybug Garden is holding a coat drive on December 12, 12 pm - 4 pm at the garden, 237 W. 111th Street. Come drop off your old coats! Welcoming all shapes and sizes!

Harlem, Manhattan - Mandala Garden on West 126th Street and Adam Clayton Powell continuesde-paving by hand. The next strike is Sunday, December 19 at 11am. "Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Meade

COLLABORATORS
The NYC Compost Project at Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hiring an Outreach Coordinator! Details are here

Does your park or Parks Department Garden have a fence that just gets in the way? NYC Parks Department's new Parks without Borders wants to take it down! Connect with them here and let us know how it goes. 

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Get up to $2000 for an event on your public land from the National Environmental Education Foundation. Applications are due December 15, 2015. More details here

Time to get your Neighborhood Grants from Citizens Committee for New York City! Citizens Committee awards micro-grants of up to $3,000 to resident-led groups to work on community and school projects throughout the city. More info and application on their website. Application Deadline: January 25, 2016.

We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $200,000 for their growing spaces. Shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know! A volunteer to update this list would also be great! Is that you?

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

yours,
Paula, for 596 Acres

News from the Acres - November 25, 2015

25 November 2015

Thankful to be building the big picture, together, one space at a time. 

596 ACRES IS YOU: DONATE HERE. 
This holiday season, we're sharing ‪#‎596Stories‬ - stories and pictures from four years of 596 Acres: hard work, unlocking fences, community dialogue, sunflowers, tomatoes, playing, growing, fighting side by side for what matters. Here's an early story, via video from Feedback Farms. Please share your stories with us too! 

BOOK BINDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: SUNDAY NOVEMBER 29
Spend a bit of the holiday season with us! Come to the 596 Acres office and help assemble our little books 11-3pm. There will be hot beverages, fortified for grown ups, and pie. And chat-chat-chatting. Email organizers@596acres.org to RSVP.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
East New York, Brooklyn - The Warwick Street Community Glow Garden is nearly back in action! Neighbor Taylor has organized a group and submitted a registration packet to GreenThumb. The abandoned lot is already in the inventory of the Parks Department, so land access is just a fence-repair and signature away! This will be #33 in vacant-lot-to-community-space transformations that 596 Acres has facilitated! 

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - The organizers focused on 463 Tompkins met this week and will meet again on Tuesday, December 1 at 4 pm at Learning Loft Center, 350 Tompkins Ave(between Madison and Monroe) to help galvanize the community for a new open space. Join them! It's going to be an uphill battle to get this land for a community use in the face of the threat of privatization via the Mayor's Housing Plan - but it will be gorgeous if it works! 

Long Island City, Queens - Help create an ambitious new vision for the old Montauk Cutoff spurin LIC! Community stakeholders are meeting as the newly-formed "Cut Off Coalition" on Wednesday, December 2 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm to continue planning adaptive reuse of the Montauk Cutoff rails. This is a follow-up to a meeting earlier in November (see notes here). New folks are welcome! This event is on facebook here.
 
LOTS WITH ACCESS
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - The 462 Halsey Community Garden GrowNYC Fresh Food Box is moving inside for the winter. Starting Tuesday, December 1 the Food Box will be at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, 228 Decatur at Lewis Ave., from 4:30pm - 7:30pm. For $12 the Fresh Food Box provides around $30 of fresh, affordable food to the neighborhood. Sign-ups happen on a weekly basis, join anytime! For more info or to find out about getting the Fresh Food Box program into your community, click here. 

COLLABORATORS
The New York City Community Gardens Coalition is hosting a design competition: click here to find out how you can win $500 for the winning Gardens Rising logo!

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $200,000 for their growing spaces. Shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know! A volunteer to update this list would also be great! Is that you?

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

We added the 596 Acres Story Map to our Etsy shop. And also, we’re selling it live on Friday, December 18, 8:30 am - 7pm in the lobby of our building in the 596 Acres Pop Up Gift Shop, 540 President Street, Brooklyn, NY.

yours,
Paula, for 596 Acres

News from the Acres - November 20, 2015

20 November 2015

It's not about beautification, it's about participation.

The Roger That! Garden and Eldert Street Garden are not getting evicted! Both cases were discontinued in response to gardeners' motions. Check out Gothamist's great summary of three of 596 Acres' eviction prevention efforts on behalf of Brooklyn communities (including a win for the Maple Street Community Garden).

596 ACRES IS YOU: DONATE HERE. We are $14,2500 of the way to the $40,000 we need to raise by December 1 so we can hire a Community Land Access Program Manager for 2016 and keep supporting grassroots neighborhood development in the New Year. 

And we’re on Etsy!
Buy some of our handmade goodies for the one you love: https://www.etsy.com/shop/596Acres

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - Join the organizers focused on 463 Tompkins on Tuesday, November 24th at 4 pm at Learning Loft Center, 350 Tompkins Ave (between Madison and Monroe) to help galvanize the community for a new open space.

Brownsville, Brooklyn - Join Dierell in his vision to transform the lot at 743 Blake Avenue in East New York into the Eden Learning Center. Dierell has put a lot of effort into this campaign and could use some support. Read his letter about the once-and-future garden here, then give him a call: 347-863-8694!

Bushwick/Bed-Stuy Border, Brooklyn - Jasmine is drafting a proposal to send to HPD to gain access to this lot near Myrtle and Dekalb! Send her an email to get involved,jazcamillenyc@hotmail.com.

East New York, Brooklyn - Chris is designing the landscape for the lot on 162 Glenmore. Here needs a designer to make it pretty for the proposal to NYCHA to give us access to this lot. Reach out to him at citrus0345@gmail.com, 718-708-3762.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - After our successful intervention last June bringing the potential auction of public land in Bushwick to private developers to the attention of residents, elected officials and the Community Board, GreenThumb is encouraging the community to start organizing the lot at 9 Moffatt Street in Brooklyn to get it transferred to the Parks Department and turn it into the garden. Who wants to jump on this awesome opportunity? This land remains ours, but only if we care for it!

Prospect-Lefferts, Brooklyn - Join the Maple Street Community Garden in a letter-writing campaign to save the garden! They are writing to New York State Senators and Assemblymembers to urge them to move the bills introduced by Senator Jesse Hamilton andAssemblymember Diana Richardson out of committees and to the floor where they can be voted on quickly. Neighbors will meet on Sunday, November 22 in the afternoon. Call or email Tom LaFarge ((917) 400-2187 or tomlafarge@gmail.com) or check the garden's facebook page for more details. 

Citywide - #hpdlist gardens from across the City gathered at the Brooklyn Museum this Tuesday to protest a real estate summit held there, bringing very real threats of community to be replaced by development (click to see 2 of the 21 garden-specific signs 596 Acres provided). 18 NYC gardens remain at risk of turning into expensive apartments ("affordable" units that can actually cost up to $3200 per month). You can read more about the situation in Brooklyn Deep.
 
LOTS WITH ACCESS
Harlem, Manhattan - Mandala Garden is DEPAVING this Saturday, November 21, 10am-sunset at West 126th Street and Frederick Douglas Blvd. Literally, removing the pavement to replace it with flowers. RSVP: René Calvo (917) 275-6577 or renecalvo@gmail.com).

COLLABORATORS
Plant trees with the Parks Department in Cypress Hills! Come out on November 24th, 9am-1pm, Jamaica Avenue and Elton Street. For more info or questions, contact Leslie McIntyre, 347.971.0848, leslie.mcintyre@parks.nyc.gov.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Project Orange Thumb is now accepting applications for their 2016 grant cycle. They fund communities who need tools and resources to help reach their goals for neighborhood beautification, community collaboration and healthy, sustainable food sources.http://www2.fiskars.com/Community/Project-Orange-Thumb/ 

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

yours,
Paula, for 596 Acres

News from the Acres - November 13, 2015

13 November 2015
winning, with you

Hello from 596 Acres! 

As we approach the end of a productive and exciting year in community land access, we are taking stock of all we have accomplished together and planning ahead for continued advocacy and growth. Can you please help us in three ways? 

1. Can you take a moment to send a sentence or two about 596 Acres has impacted you and your neighborhood? We’re planning a #596stories fundraising appeal and need you. Did we help you get access to the lot in your life? Connect you with neighbors to help on workdays? Tell you abourt grant opportunities? Warn you about risks to your space or teach you about preservation opportunities? Send stories and pictures to organizers@596acres.org.

2. After you got access to your space, what other kinds of resources could you get? Did you get any grants or other support? Do you read Green for Your Green? When we last surveyed, in November 2014, we found out about $157,367 directed straight to your communities. We'd love to know about resources we've helped you bring into your communities. Tell us atorganizers@596acres.org.

3. Do you think this work is important enough to support? Now is the time to do it: please give $20 (or $50, or as much as you can!) here: http://596acres.org/en/donate/. Then share this link with your members and neighbors. This is the start of our fundraising campaign - let’s launch in style! 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Long Island City, Queens - Together with Smiling Hogshead Ranch and the Citizens Committee for New York City, 596 Acres facilitated a public visioning session in response to the MTA'sRequest for Expressions of Interest in adaptive re-use of the Montauk Cut-Off, 4.2 acres of available public authority land. Participants decided to organize as the Cut-Off Coalition and collaborate on a response. We'll be guiding the process, supported by a $1000 grant from the Awesome Foundation. Join the next Cut-Off Coalition meeting on Wednesday, December 2 at 6:30pm at Nomad Cycles, 47-10 Austell Pl, Long Island City. Details & RSVP here. To reach the Cut-off Coalition, email montauk-cutoff@googlegroups.com. 

Prospect-Lefferts, Brooklyn - The Maple Street Community Garden got a fantastic decision from the Kings County Supreme Court this week. The garden is safe and open for now, the estate of the family that owned the land in 1990 has been appointed a guardian and "Housing Urban Development LLC," the entity that claims to own the garden now, has been forbidden from moving forward with development. 596 Acres spent the last few months looking for potential relatives and reached out to some people that seem to be her family (that's our letter above). Gardeners and their elected official supporters are working on a long term preservation strategy, too. Read more here and listen to WNYC's Brian Leher to learn more about deed fraud and how the garden story is part of an epidemic

GARDENS AT RISK NEED YOUR SUPPORT IN COURT 
Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Monday, November 16 at 10am, support the Roger That! Community Garden in Crown Heights as they fight eviction at Landlord Tenant Court at 141 Livingston Street Room 603, Brooklyn NY. The gardeners will be there and will have a T shirt for you to wear! Here is a bit of back ground on the garden’s story from Gothamist: Developer Claims It Bought Crown Heights Community Garden Property For $10

Bushwick, Brooklyn - Wednesday, November 18 at 10am support the Eldert Street Garden in Bushwick at Landlord Tenant Court at 141 Livingston Street Room 603, Brooklyn NY. They are fighting to reverse a sneaky eviction! Read about the the wins so far in Gothamist here: Gardeners Stave Off Eviction From Bushwick Green Space They Say Was Fraudulently Bought.

COLLABORATORS
Bed Stuy, Brooklyn- The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is planning a Hexagonal raised bed workshop on Saturday 11/21/15 from 11 am until 2 pm at the brand new Feeding Tree Garden on Monroe and Tompkins. Bring work gloves! 

WE NEED YOU: SUPPORT 596 ACRES' COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS FOR NEW YORKERS. WE WANT TO BRING YOU MORE NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES BUT WE CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOU. DONATE HERE. 

 

yours,
Paula, for 596 Acres