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News from the acres

News from the Acres - June 25, 2015

25 June 2015
today at 2 pm: emergency meeting at maple street community garden!!!

 

EMERGENCY MEETING FOR MAPLE STREET COMMUNITY GARDEN THIS AFTERNOON!
Yesterday an Emergency Order was drawn up by lawyers of Housing Urban Development LLC, a company claiming to own the property that Maple Street Community Garden (237 Maple Street near Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) is on, that called for an injunction barring gardeners from the property. Unfortunately, the order was signed by Judge Mark Partnow without hearing any arguments other than what the court attorney reported to him after the lawyers from each of the two sides gave him the main points of their cases. This is another tactic by the historically fraudulent operators to evict gardeners from land! Back in February, gardeners, via their attorney Paula Z. Segal of Mohen & Segal, got an order from civil landlord tenant court directing that Housing Urban Development LLC and their representatives should stay off the property as well. This order is still in effect. This means NO ONE is allowed on the property for the time being. 

*PLEASE HEAD OVER THE GARDEN THIS AFTERNOON, THURSDAY, JUNE 25TH from 2 pm to 4 pm* for an emergency planning session. All are welcome! Please show your support for this powerful community resource that is being threatened by fraud!

WE'RE HIRING A PROGRAM MANAGER FOR THE NYC COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS PROGRAM
Do you want to play a key role in helping neighborhood groups navigate the process of accessing land? We are looking for a flexible thinker who is ready to commit to a growing organization and would be thrilled to connect technology and organizing. Click here for more details on what the job entails, what we're looking for in an applicant, and how to apply.

SAVE THE DATES
Join the NYC Urban Sustainability Meetup and the NYC Energy and Environment Happy Hour onTuesday, July 7th where Paula will give a short presentation on land, access and sustainability. For more info and to RSVP, click here.

On Saturday, July 18th join 596 Acres in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the opening of1278 Myrtle (at the intersection of Cedar Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn) with a ribbon cutting! In July of 2014 596 Acres worked with the local nonprofit BK Rot, a collective dedicated to compost collection and redistribution via a youth employment program, get the abandoned lots transferred to the Parks Department! The ribbon cutting will kick off at 3 pm, shortly followed by a 596 Acres General Meeting that will run until 5 pm. This is a great chance to see what's happening in a newly established, active, land-secure site and come share updates of your organizing campaign. Contact Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or mary@596acres.org with questions!

On Friday, July 24th support 596 Acres continuing work to cultivate green spaces from vacant land by joining us in raising funds and fun at the 596 Acres' Summer *FUN*raiser from 7 pm to 2 am at Gowanus Studio Space (166 7th Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Avenues) in Brooklyn. Party with DJ DirtyFinger and more! Stay tuned for more information and how to pre-order tickets!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - The vacant lot on Suydam Street between Herkimer Street and Atlantic Avenuewas planned as "Open Space (Park & Playground)" in the Central Brooklyn Urban Renewal Plan and has been sitting in Housing Preservation and Development's inventory for decades - waiting to become open space! A women's astronomy club in the neighborhood is super motivated to transform the lot into community composting and vegetable-growing site that can host an array of other activities. The ladies are on the agenda for the next Brooklyn Community Board 3 meeting in September, and have the summer to plan and collect a bunch of support. Want to help? Contact Chopp at chopp.stewart@thefutureproject.org or 904-405-6291.

Morrisania, Bronx - Neighbors organizing around the former Department of Transportation (DOT) roadbed on East 159th between St. Ann's and Eagle Avenues have crafted an online petition (sign it!) and their own signs now hanging on the lot (scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see them!) to help draw in support for their future garden. Contact Victor at maldonvic@aol.com or give him a call at718-665-4281 if you have questions or want to help out in some way!

South Bronx - At a recent Bronx Community Board 4 Parks Committee meeting, we met neighbors who were concerned about the MTA-owned lot on East 150th Street near Grand Concourse, which is dimly lit and attracts trash and rodents. Lamine, who runs the catering company behind the lot, would like to see the space turned into a well-lit park with seating to help improve the safety and aesthetics of the block. Contact Lamine at 718-885-5723 or LamineSylla@netzero.com if you're a neighbor who can lend your support!

South Bronx - Do you live within Bronx Community District 3? Last week 596 Acres visited the Parks Committee of the Community Board, who would love to see more neighbors getting motivated to start new open space and garden projects on some of the vacant, City-owned land in the district, such as the tiny lot at 829 Freeman near Prospect Avenue that's only 17 feet wide, or the triangular corner lot with sloping levels at Washington Avenue and East 161st. Contact organizers@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 to learn how to connect with neighbors to turn these spaces into something better than vacant lots!

Rosedale, Queens - Where Francis Lewis Boulevard meets 145th Avenue there's a lot filled with trees floating on the corner, waiting to become a pocket park or neighborhood hang-out spot! Contact Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or mary@596acres.org if you want to find out how you can bring your neighbors together to make something happen!

Lots with Access
Long Island City, Queens - Smiling Hogshead Ranch (25-30 Skillman Avenue near Pearson Place) is holding a Post Workday Workday this coming Tuesday, June 30th from 6 pm to 8 pm. Join the weeding, fertilizing, and watering fun!

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Siempre Verde Garden (Stanton and Attorney Streets) is hosting a series of finger knitting workshop for people ages 7 and up in conjunction with Hamilton Fish Library on from 1 pm to 3 pm on Wednesdays for the entire month of July, kicking off July 1st. Make bracelets, necklaces and decorate fences! All are welcome!

COLLABORATORS
The Isabahlia Farmers' Market in Brownsville, Brooklyn is kicking off for the season starting this Saturday, June 27th! The market will run every Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm through November 7th at the Powell Street Garden at 410 Livonia Avenue between Powell and Junius Streets. You'll find eggs, jam, fresh produce from the garden, cooking demos and more! For questions contactisabahlialoef@aol.com or call 718-498-3174.

 
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $180,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us an email atorganizers@596acres.org and let us know!

yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - June 18, 2015

18 June 2015
community boards supporting community land!

Thanks, Patchen Community Square (at the corner of Patchen and Putnam Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn), for hosting 596 Acres' general meeting this past Saturday!

UPDATE: GARDENS AT RISK
Last Thursday night Brooklyn Community Board 8 voted in favor of sending a letter to Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) asking that the Imani II Garden (Pacific Street at Schenectady Avenue) in Crown Heights be removed from the list of sites being offered to developers for $1 and that the garden be transferred to the Parks Department. Thanks, Brooklyn CB 8! (Scroll down to the News from the Acres section to hear what else was in this awesome letter that 596 Acres drafted!)

Last night Brooklyn Community Board 4 in Bushwick voted unanimously (with 1 abstention) to advise HPD that the lot the EL Garden (Jefferson Street at Evergreen Place) is on be removed from #HPDlist as well! Hooray!

This Saturday, June 20th #HPDlist space Tranquility Farm (659 Willoughby Avenue at Throop Avenue) in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn is hosting an Open House from noon to 2 pm with Council Member Robert Cornegy as special guest! Head over to show the Council Member how important public open space is to you!

For two years the Roger That Garden Project (at the corner of Rogers Avenue and Park Place) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn has been battling a real estate company who claims to have purchased the property the garden is on for $10. Head over to the space this Saturday, June 20th from 4 pm to 7:30/8 pm to help gardeners paint some text on the fence that draws attention to the fact that the space's beautiful mural, created by the Crown Heights Youth Collective, is also a risk and encourages residents to contact Council Member Robert Cornegy's office. Gardeners are also getting geared up to head back to court on Tuesday, July 7th. Save the date! More details to come!

ON THE ROAD
596 Acres's Paula Z. Segal is headed to Detroit this Sunday, June 21st to share the Living Lots framework, strategy and open source tools at the 2015 Allied Media Conference, as part of the Building the Other World That's Possible track of conference programs organized by the New Economy Coalition. Check out the archive of Beautiful Solutions that the organizers created that also feature 596 Acres.

SAVE THE DATE: 596 ACRES' *FUN*RAISER 
Help us continue to cultivate green spaces from vacant land by joining us in raising funds and fun at 596 Acres' Summer *FUN*raiser on Friday, July 24th from 7 pm to 2 am at Gowanus Studio Space (166 7th Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Avenues) in Brooklyn. This event will be kid- and adult-friendly and include a plant sale, facepainting, a magician, haircuts, photobooth, snacks, drinks, live music, a dance party with DJing by DJ DirtyFinger and more! Stay tuned for more information and how to pre-order tickets!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Weeksville, Brooklyn - On Wednesday, June 24th starting at 2:45 pm teachers and students from PS 335 Granville T. Wilson School will be collecting signatures and hanging signs on the corner lot across the street from their school at 1662 Bergen Avenue at Rochester Avenue. Head over to sign your name and share what you're excited to see in the space! Last Thursday night Brooklyn Community Board 8 voted in favor of sending a draft letter that 596 Acres crafted to HPD and Mayor di Blasio asking that an interim-use community garden be allowed on this site and the site at 175 Buffalo Avenue, where the Celestial Church of Christ has been organizing. Awesome!

Bushwick, Brooklyn - So much happened at last night's Brooklyn Community Board 4 meeting:

  • The board voted to put approval of the plans for the property at the corner of Bushwick Avenue and Beaver Street on hold, pending a redesign by the Parks Department to reflect community concerns about safety and input in the design process. In the future there will be a meeting with the Parks Department and the architecture team, hosted by the Community Board, and all are invited! Add your name and contact info to the lot's page by clicking the "organize" button to stay in the loop!
  • The board voted not to recommend that the Department of Citywide Administrative Services-controlled lot on Moffat Street and Broadway Avenues should not go through ULURP to be auctioned to private bidders. This is an opportunity for neighbors to get organized and advocate to have the property transferred to the Parks Department to become a secure community space! Contact Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or mary@596acres.org to find out how to get started!
  • Parks Department is in the process of acquiring the property on Moffat Street where Knickerbocker Avenue ends to create a new skate park for the neighborhood! Keep in touch with Brooklyn Community Board 4 to stay updated on the progress!

Flatbush, Brooklyn - At the 596 Acres General Meeting on Saturday we chatted with Sophia who has been working to turn the lot at 2334 Tilden Avenue at Lott Street into a garden. Next step? Sophia is going to connect with Council Member Mathieu Eugene (who has expressed support for open space) and find out what he can do to turn the last vacant, public lot in his district into a valuable neighborhood resource! Contact Sophia atgreenlodging20@yahoo.com or 718-501-2395 to join the efforts.

Edgemere, Queens - This past Sunday the 596 Acres team headed to the Rockaways for a sign-making and signature-gathering event at at the corner of Beach 43rd Street and Beach Channel Drive, where neighbors have been organizing to create a new community growing space. (Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter to see photos of the action!) Over 70 signatures were gathered! With the help of 596 Acres, these residents are teaming up with other Edgemere organizers, like Steve Cooper, who is organizing around316 Beach 46th Street at Rockaway Beach Boulevard, to arrange a meeting with Council Member Donovan Richards to find out how these groups can gain access to their sites despite HPD's recent refusal to issue interim-use licenses!

Lots with Access
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - 462 Halsey Community Garden (at Lewis Street) is co-hosting a Dig In Art workshop on "Printmaking with Everyday Objects" this Saturday, June 20th from noon to 3 pm. Check out the Facebook flyer for more details.

Harlem, Manhattan - This Sunday, June 21stSt. Nicholas Miracle Garden (St. Nicholas Avenue between West 126th and 127th Streets) is a venue for performances as a part ofMake Music New York. Click here to see the full line-up for the day!

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Siempre Verde Garden (Stanton and Attorney Streets) is looking for a Living Wall Expert. The garden will be working with the school LES Prep in July and August during their summer term to build a living wall and are looking for experts who can speak to the kids on how to do it, provide them with best practice example and give them feedback on their designs. If you or someone you know can help, contact Sylvia Clow-Wilson at sylviacw@gmail.com or Ursula Murphy at ursulam@gmail.com.

COLLABORATORS
New York City Community Garden Coalition's monthly general meeting is TONIGHT, June 18th at 6:30pm, near the Boardwalk Community Garden in Coney Island. Take the D, F, N, or Q to Coney Island, head south to the boardwalk, and make a right, and walkjust past the Brooklyn Cyclones Stadium to a boardwalk gazebo. In addition to general community garden happenings, updates in the Boardwalk Community Garden case will be discussed. The NYCCGC are planning to take part in the Mermaid Parade this Saturday, June 20th to draw attention to the ongoing case and need your support! Head to the meeting to learn more!

The Isabahlia Farmers' Market in Brownsville, Brooklyn is kicking off for the season starting Saturday, June 27th! The market will run every Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm through November 7th at the Powell Street Garden at 410 Livonia Avenue between Powell and Junius Streets. You'll find eggs, jam, fresh produce from the garden, cooking demos and more! For questions contact isabahlialoef@aol.com or call 718-498-3174.

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

yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - June 11, 2015

11 June 2015
596 acres general meeting: this saturday, june 13th at 3 pm in brooklyn

SEE YOU SATURDAY!
Our next general meeting for aspiring and seasoned land stewards 
is this Saturday, June 13 at 3pm!
Whether you're stuck in the middle of a land access campaign or just curious about how to get started, come to 596 Acres' General Meeting to get the scoop! We'll be meeting at the lovely Patchen Community Square (at the corner of Patchen and Putnam Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn), a site 596 Acres helped access in the spring of 2012 anda garden at risk! Take the J or Z Trains to Gates Avenue and take an 8 minute walk south, or take the A or C Trains to Utica Avenue and take a 15 minute walk north. Contact Mary at mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 with questions.

UPDATE: GARDENS AT RISK
This past Tuesday morning, members of the Maple Street Community Garden (237 Maple Street near Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) and Paula Z. Segal, the garden's attorney, headed back to Supreme Court to fight the speculators who are claiming to be the owners of the land the garden is on. Another new lawyer for Housing Urban Development LLC appeared and their unpreparedness meant that their underlying motion for a default judgement and the gardener's motion to dismiss were adjourned until September. Now the gardeners have the summer to enjoy their space!

Last Thursday 596 Acres and gardeners from a few of the at-risk #hpdlist gardens in Brooklyn were a part of the Van Allen Institute's HANGOUTS! A Medley of Presentations, Conversations, and PerformancesImani II Garden (Pacific Street at Schenectady Avenue) in Crown Heights, Patchen Community Square (at Patchen and Putnam Avenues) in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and 462 Halsey Community Garden (between Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Lewis Avenue) in Bedford-Stuyvesant all participated in talking about their spaces. (That's a shot of the action at the top of this newsletter!)

For two years the Roger That Garden Project (at the corner of Rogers Avenue and Park Place) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn has been battling a real estate company who claims to have purchased the property the garden is on for $10. Read more about the history of the lot, the efforts of gardeners, and the sneaky last-minute call to court in this article from Gothamist.

SAVE THE DATE: 596 ACRES' *FUN*RAISER 
Help us continue to cultivate green spaces from vacant land by joining us in raising funds and fun at 596 Acres' Summer *FUN*raiser on Friday, July 24th from 7 pm to 2 am at Gowanus Studio Space (166 7th Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Avenues) in Brooklyn. This event will be kid- and adult-friendly and include a plant sale, facepainting, a magician, haircuts, photobooth, snacks, drinks, live music, a dance party with DJing by DJ DirtyFinger and more! Stay tuned for more information and how to pre-order tickets!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Weeksville, Brooklyn - 596 Acres has been working with both the Celestial Church of Christ and PS 335 Granville T. Wilson School, to help turn the publicly-owned spaces at175 Buffalo Avenue and 1662 Bergen Avenue, respectively, into thriving community gardens! Brooklyn Community Board 8 is considering combining the draft letter that 596 Acres crafted to Housing Preservation and Development and Mayor di Blasio asking that these groups be allowed steward these spaces with a support letter advocating for the preservation of Imani II Garden (Pacific Street at Schenectady Avenue) in Crown Heights! The full board is voting on the letter TONIGHT, Thursday, June 11th at 7 pm at 1291 St. Marks Avenue between Rochester and Buffalo Avenues. Fingers crossed!

Edgemere, Queens - Last week, Queens Community Board 14 sent off a letter directly to Housing Preservation and Development requesting that the agency allow neighbors to transform the lot at the corner of Beach 43rd and Beach Channel Drive into a garden! With the help of 596 Acres, organizers are holding a pop-up event this Sunday, June 14thfrom 12 pm to 4 pm to make signs and gather more supporters! All are welcome! We're also looking for some folks who want to sell or share art, crafts, plants, food, and more!Contact Alexis at 347-606-9925 or Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 if you want to help.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - Last night neighbors gathered for a meeting in front of the lot at 463 Tompkins Avenue between MacDonough and Macon Streets to plan next steps. Next, a signature-gathering campaign begins! If you live in the area and want to help by gathering some support from whomever you know in the neighborhood, contact Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or mary@596acres.org.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - Attention Bushwick residents! Wednesday, June 17th at 6 pm Brooklyn Community Board 4 will be holding their monthly general meeting with a presentation by the Parks Department on the design plans for the property at the corner of Bushwick Av and Beaver Street. The meeting will be held at the Hope Gardens Multi-Service Center at 195 Linden Street at the corner of Wilson Avenue. Anyone interested in this future of this long-awaited park should head to this meeting to hear what's planned and also voice your input!

Morrisania, Bronx - Neighbors organizing around the former Department of Transportation (DOT) roadbed on East 159th between St. Ann's and Eagle Avenues have created bilingual petitions and fliers, and written letters to local businesses, schools, churches, and the Bronx Borough President! Contact Victor at maldonvic@aol.com or give him a call at718-665-4281 to get your name on the petition or stay looped in for the next meeting.

Lots with Access
Greenpoint, Brooklyn - Java Street Community Garden (Java Street at Franklin Avenue) is having a SPRING into SUMMER party this Saturday, June 13th from 12 pm to 4 pm. This party will host food, a raffle, a compost workshop, seed bomb making, and more!

Flatbush, Brooklyn - Members of Q Gardens (at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue) will be working on the garden's awesome mural and the rainwater harvesting system this Sunday, June 14th at 10 am. If you're interested in learning how to do either of these things, head on over!

COLLABORATORS
Am I Invisible? NYC | SP Open Call 2015 invites everyone to make visible their experience of city biking and urban mobility through art and photography. The Open Call is free to enter, and runs from May 3rd to June 30th, 2015. Submit your images to win prizes! Find out more at bicycleutopia.com.

Since 2009, Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ has been successfully runninga community garden on their school grounds and helping to raise produce for needy families in the area. This August, the university if hosting its first regional community garden conference, Gardening for Good, from August 6th through 9th and will feature three keynote speakers and 4 subthemes: Health and Gardening, Community and Sustainability, Urban Gardening and Poverty and Gardening and Education. A call for proposals is running now through June 30th! Click here for more info and to apply!

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

Free Sod?
Neighbors Allied for Good Growth are hosting the Williamsburg Walks in Brooklyn this weekend, and will have a LOTS OF SOD to give away following the event on Sunday, June 14th!  It will be ready for pick up at 5:30 pm along Bedford Ave between North 5th and 7th Streets and between North 9th and 11th Streets. Keep in mind there will be no thru traffic on Bedford so you will need to park at one of the cross street intersections. Just show up if you're interested!


The NYC Environmental Law Leadership Institute visits Isabahlia Garden in Brownsville, Brooklyn, another garden at risk on HPD's list of sites offered to developers for $1.


yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - June 4, 2015

04 June 2015

 

tonight: #hpdgardens hanging out with the van allen institute

#HPDLISTGARDENS AT THE VAN ALLEN INSTITUTE
TONIGHT, Thursday, June 4th from 7 pm to 9 pm 596 Acres and gardeners from a few of the at-risk #hpdlist gardens in Brooklyn will be part of the Van Allen Institute's HANGOUTS! A Medley of Presentations, Conversations, and Performances at BRIC Arts Media House at 647 Fulton Street at Rockwell Place in Brooklyn. Come hear from Imani II Garden (Pacific Street at Schenectady Avenue) in Crown Heights, Patchen Community Square (at Patchen and Putnam Avenues) in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and 462 Halsey Community Garden (between Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Lewis Avenue) in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver will be there as well! There are still tickets available!

SAVE THE DATE
Our next general meeting for aspiring and seasoned land stewards will be in a garden in Brooklyn on Saturday, June 13 at 3pm. Watch this space to find out which garden and mark your calendar now! 

UPDATE: GARDENS AT RISK

On Tuesday night, the Brooklyn Community Board 8 Parks Committee unanimously voted to request that the full board write a letter advising that the Imani II Garden (Pacific Street at Schenectady Avenue, Crown Heights) be removed from Housing Preservation and Development's list of sites being offered to developers for $1 (the #hpdlist!) and asking for the garden to be transferred to the Parks Department! This community is making its opinion known! Keep going! 

This coming Tuesday, June 9th at 9:30 am Maple Street Community Garden (237 Maple Street near Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) and Paula Z. Segal, the garden's attorney, will be back at the Kings County Civil Supreme Court at 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, Room 441 fighting speculators who are claiming to be the owners of the land the garden is on. Attendance is important! We need all the bodies we can get to show the judge that Prospect-Lefferts residents will be impacted by the court's decision!

LAST WEEKEND AT IDEAS CITY 
Great to see those of you that came out to visit 596 Acres' booth (pictured at the top of this newsletter) at the New Museum's Ideas City Festival on Saturday! 596 Acres, Deborah Berke Partners, and GRT Architects presented "What do we do with our land?," a set of audio tours which focus on the mechanisms residents of the Bowery and Lower East Side can and have used to affect development in their neighborhoods. Missed coming out to take the tour? Listen to the oral histories of land stewards from the Cooper Square Committee, the Elizabeth Street and Siempre Verde Gardens, and El Jardin de Paraiso at your own convenience. You can also check out the cool map of these sites we shared at the festival.

UPDATE: NYC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT COOPERATIVE
The first membership meeting of the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC) was last Thursday night. An REIC is way for people to pool money to buy buildings and land, and chose to own the what they buy and lease affordably! Together, over the next few months, members will be working and learning in area-specific workgroups and will come together again in September for a membership report back. If you're interested in joining the REIC, click here to learn how! If you're interested in joining a workgroup, check out the workgroup meeting schedule and emailreic4nyc@gmail.com to have a facilitator plug you in.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn - Caitlin runs The Movement Creative, a company that teaches natural movement in schools and builds pop-up playgrounds around the city. Her organization is interested in creating an inter-generational playground in the 20' by 75' space on Malcolm X Boulevard and Chauncey Street, even if it's only temporary! Contact Caitlin at info@Themovementcreative.com or 973-768-2915 to help gather neighborhood support!

Morrisania, Bronx - The company that manages the apartment buildings on either side of the formerDepartment of Transportation (DOT) roadbed on East 159th between St. Ann's and Eagle Avenues is extremely supportive of neighbors stewarding the space and have had conversations with the Borough Commissioner Constance Moran and DOT about making it happen! The company can even provide tools and soil to turn this eyesore into a vibrant resource when the time comes! All that's missing is the neighbors! Email Victor, a neighbor from across the street, at maldonvic@aol.com or give him a call at 718-665-4281 to let him know when you're free for a first meeting.

Flushing, Queens - Neighbor Marina wants to start gardening project on the Department of Citywide Administrative Services-controlled lot on 63rd Road near 136th Street, next to Mt. Hebron Cemetery. Interested neighbors can reach out to Mary at 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or mary@596acres.org to be connected with her!

Lots with Access
Flatbush, Brooklyn - Q Gardens (at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue) is having a building and planting-focused workday this Saturday, June 6th kicking off at 12:30 pm. Help the garden finish building and installing three pallet beds that have been started! (That's some gardeners painting signs at the last workday, pictured below!) All are welcome!

Brownsville, Brooklyn - Ten Neighbors Garden (at the corner of Saratoga and Blake Streets) is holding a workday this Sunday, June 7th from 12 pm to 4 pm. Bring gloves, water, breathing masks and sunscreen to share, if you can! Call Carlos at (347) 653-7366 with any questions.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn - Java Street Community Garden (Java Street at Franklin Avenue) is having aSPRING into SUMMER party on Saturday, June 14th from 12 pm to 4 pm. This party will host food, a raffle, a compost workshop, seed bomb making, and more!

COLLABORATORS
Attention: East Harlem! As part of the East Harlem rezoning planning process, the Council Speaker’s office is hosting a series of public workshops on important topics for the East Harlem community. The first workshop focuses on open space, recreation, and culture, and it will be held TONIGHT, Thursday, June 4th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, 2180 Third Ave at East 119th Street. You can learn more about this process and stay looped in to future workshops on other topic by heading to the Council Speaker’s webpage, and if you have questions, reach out to the Speaker's Office (212-788-9121), Manhattan Community Board 11 (212-831-8929), or Community Voices Heard (212-860-6001).

GreenThumb is holding a Summer Supply Giveaway this Saturday, June 6th from 10 am to 2 pm at the GreenThumb Compound at Queens Plaza South and 10th Street in Queens. There is one pick-up per registered GreenThumb garden! More details in the link above.

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

yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - May 28, 2015

28 May 2015
THIS WEEKEND AT IDEAS CITY: LAND ACCESS IN THE L.E.S. & FREE SOIL TESTING!

TONIGHT: FIRST MEMBERSHIP MEETING OF THE NYC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT COOPERATIVE
The first membership meeting of the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC) will be on TONIGHT, THURSDAY, May 28th at from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at IATI Theater (64 East 4th Street between Bowery and 2nd Avenue, Manhattan on the 2nd floor). An REIC is way for people to pool money to buy buildings and land, and chose to own the what they buy and lease affordably! To learn more, click here and check out this article in Crain's New York.

THIS WEEKEND AT IDEAS CITY 
Join 596 Acres this Friday, May 29th and Saturday, May 30th at IDEAS CITY, a +festival hosted by The New Museum built around key challenges and opportunities facing cities around the world today, with the belief that art and culture are essential to their future vitality.

  • On Friday at 7 pm, Paula Z. Segal will be presenting at Pitching the City 2015 as part of the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (mentioned above). Pitching the City is a platform for five innovative projects to pitch their ideas to a live audience and an esteemed panel of experts in a competition format.
  • On Saturday, from 12 pm to 6 pm, 596 Acres, Deborah Berke Partners, and GRT Architects will present "What do we do with our land?" to focus on exposing the mechanisms residents of the Bowery and Lower East Side can and have used to affect development in their neighborhoods. Visit Cooper Square Cooperative, Elizabeth Street and Siempre Verde Gardens, and El Jardin de Paraiso (all highlighted in the map above!). The tour kicks off at Booth #59 in Sara D. Roosevelt Park at the intersection of Chrystie and Stanton Streets, Manhattan.

While you're there, need to get some soil tested? Jan Mun, eco-artist and citizen bioremediator from the Greenpoint Bioremediation Project (gBP), will be collecting garden soil to be tested in collaboration with the Urban Soils Institute at Brooklyn College. There will be free, on-site soil testing from 12 pm to 6 pm at Booth #60, also in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, next to the 596 Acres booth. Anyone is welcome to bring a sample to be tested!

UPDATE ON GARDENS AT RISK!
Last Thursday, Harlem City Council Member Inez Dickens wrote a letter to Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been asking for active community gardens operating under "interim use agreements" in her district (Harlem Valley Garden,Harlem Grown, and Electric Ladybug Garden) to be removed from the list of sites offered to developers for $1 at this time. Read the letter here!

On Tuesday, Maple Street Community Garden (237 Maple Street near Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) and Paula Z. Segal, the garden's attorney, were in Supreme Court fighting speculators who are claiming to be the owners of the land the garden is on. The garden will head back to court on Tuesday, June 9th at 9:30 am, at Kings County Civil Supreme Court at 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, Room 441. The journey continues!

#HPDLISTGARDENS AT THE VAN ALLEN INSTITUTE
On Thursday, June 4th from 7 pm to 9 pm Paula Z. Segal of 596 Acres will give a presentation at the Van Allen Institute's HANGOUTS! A Medley of Presentations, Conversations, and Performances with gardeners from a few of the at-risk gardens in Brooklyn: Imani II Garden (Pacific Street at Schenectady Avenue) in Crown Heights, La Casita Verde (451 Bedford Avenue at Division in Williamsburg), Patchen Community Square (at Patchen and Putnam Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant), and 462 Halsey Community Garden (between Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Lewis Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant)will each speak briefly about their spaces! Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver will be there as well! This event will take place at BRIC Arts Media House at 647 Fulton Street at Rockwell Place in Brooklyn. This event is likely to sell out, so grab a ticket as soon as possible!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Harlem, Manhattan - Neighbors who are organizing to create garden and performance space on the 17-foot wide lot at 174 East 108th Street between 3rd and Lexington Avenues need to gather 100 signatures of support to show Manhattan Community Board 11 that the community is excited for and in need of this new space! Join neighbors for a walk around the neighborhood to gather signatures  this Sunday, May 31st at 3 pm, meeting in front of the lot. Email John at triplemgarden@gmail.com or call Mary at 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3 if you have questions!

East New York, Brooklyn - Joseph is an East New York resident who is interested in starting a garden in the trash-filled lots on Essex Street between Atlantic Avenue and Folsom Place, which are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Contact him at josephsanchez017@gmail.com or 917-702-1435to help him gather local support!

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn - In the middle of Suydam Place between Atlantic Avenue and Herkimer Street, sits a lot that was planned as Open Space (Park & Playground) in the Central Brooklyn Urban Renewal Plan, but has been sitting locked up for years! When 596 Acres hung signs on the lot's fence last summer, we heard from neighbors who want to see a park happen, and just this week, we heard from a stellar observation club who wants to use it to view the skies!  Do you live in the neighborhood and want to help open up the space? Call Mary at 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or emailmary@596acres.org.

Lots with Access
Brownsville, Brooklyn - Ten Neighbors Garden (at the corner of Saratoga and Blake Streets) is having their second clean up day this Saturday, May 30th from 9 am to 12 pm. There will be weed pulling so come ready to get dirty! Bring gloves, a breathing mask, sunscreen, and drinking water! All are welcome.

Flatbush, Brooklyn - Q Gardens (at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue) and the Church Ave BID are co-sponsoring a neighborhood beautification event this Saturday, May 30th kicking off near Downtown Natural Market at Church Ave and East 17th Street at 9 am. The BID will be distributing T-shirts and sending teams to take on a variety of tasks: painting over graffiti, doing weeding around the neighborhood, and helping out at Q Gardens - including building more of the awesome pallet planters pictured at the bottom of this newsletter!

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Siempre Verde (at Stanton and Attorney Streets) is hosting Dig-In-Art: Manhattan Memory Boxes/Journals, an Artfully Unforgotten workshop for kids this Saturday, May 30th from 11 am to 3 pm! Kids can learn to turn old shoeboxes into memory boxes and learn to hand-bind recycled paper into journals. Participants will decorate their creations with recycled paper. Participants should try to bring an old shoebox (or two!) if they can! (In case of rain, the location will be at the Hamilton Fish Park Library at 415 East Houston Street at Columbia Street.)

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - This Sunday, May 31st from 11 am to 4 pm La Casita Verde (at the corner of Bedford Avenue at Division Street) is having a workday to do some planting, compost-turning, and re-organizing their space around the cool new tool shed they're going to build using the Love Your Block Grant the garden won from Citizens Committee of New York. Neighbors who are also interested in membership should also head over to sign up!

Congrats to Smiling Hogshead Ranch (25-30 Skillman Avenue at Pearson Place, Long Island City, Queens) and 462 Halsey Community Garden (between Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Lewis Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn), two of the 32 gardens we helped neighbors start and secure since 2011, for making Gothamist's list of the 10 best community gardens in NYC! Swing by these special spots sometime and say hi! Smiling Hogshead Ranch is holding a planting workday this Sunday, May 31st from 10 am to 3 pm.

COLLABORATORS
Bullettrun is a collaborative performance group which uses Parkour (a movement discipline often described as skateboarding without skateboards) as a form of self expression to build self esteem and create leaders in communities lacking social, educational and economic resources. They are currently looking for a garden or park space to create a site specific performance and would love to offer maintenance work in exchange! See examples of the group’s work here and contact Nadia atnadialesy@gmail.com or 718-486-6252 for more information.

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



yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - May 21, 2015

21 May 2015
spring into action: future and existing projects to support!

HELP KICK OFF SPRING BY SUPPORTING THESE GARDENS AT RISK!
Harlem Valley GardenHarlem Grown, and Electric Ladybug Garden are three Harlem gardens within Manhattan Community District 10 that are on Housing Preservation and Development's list of 181 City-owned properties available for purchase for $1 by developers (described here). On Tuesday night, the Board toured these three gardens at risk to observe what valuable and thriving community resources they are(That's some of the crowd at Electric Ladybug pictured above!)TONIGHT, Thursday, May 21st at 6:30pm the Board's Land Use Committee will vote decide whether to write a letter of support for these keeping these gardens in place! Head over to show your support: 215 West 125th Street (between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevards) on the 4th Floor. There are over a dozen other gardens at risk of being sold for $1 throughout the City! Click here to learn how to contact your elected officials and let them know you want these spaces protected!

Stand in solidarity with Maple Street Community Garden (237 Maple Street near Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) on Tuesday, May 26th at 9:30 am, at Kings County Civil Supreme Court at 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, Room 441. Housing Urban Development LLC, the guys who claim to own the garden lot at 237 Maple Street, have filed a motion to "quiet title." If that's upheld, it means that their claim to ownership can no longer be legally challenged, regardless of any irregularities in the original filing. Learn more about the case here, and click here to read about all the fun stuff happening in the garden. (That's some of their young, carrot-harvesting members, pictured at the bottom of this newsletter!)

NEW MAP FEATURE!
When you take look at a specific lot or garden page on LivingLotsNYC.org, you'll be able to tell if it's part of an Urban Renewal Plan. There will be a link on the page that says "Urban Renewal" and can take you straight to UrbanReviewer.org to learn more about the plan that encompasses that neighborhood and to find out what was planned for each specific lot!

LAST CHANCE TO APPLY: WE'RE HIRING AN NYC COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS PROGRAM ORGANIZER!
Do you want to play a key role in helping neighborhood groups navigate the process of accessing land? We're looking for a key team member to help with program management, outreach, and land access organizing for 21 hours a week! Click here for more details on what the job entails, what we're looking for in an applicant, and how to apply. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 27th at 12 pm.

"WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR LAND?" AT IDEAS CITY 
As a part of IDEAS CITY on Saturday, May 30th, from 12 pm to 6 pm 596 Acres, Deborah Berke Partners and GRT Architects will offer self-guided audio tours focused on exposing the mechanisms residents of the Bowery and Lower East Side can and have used to affect development in their neighborhoods. Visit Cooper Square Cooperative, Elizabeth Street and Siempre Verde Gardens, and El Jardin de Paraiso. The tour kicks off at Sara D. Roosevelt Park at the intersection of Chrystie and Stanton Streets.

ACTIVE DESIGN FOR SCHOOLS
BSCAH Saratoga Farm is a garden stewarded by two schools and the Bedstuy Campaign Against Hunger in Brooklyn that 596 Acres helped to access their space in 2013. They're listed in The Partnership for a Healthier NYC's Active Design Toolkit for Schools on Page 26 as a "success story." Awesome!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn - For over a year neighbors have been trying to uncover the details from the community board and Parks Department about the design plans for the park-to-be at the corner where Bushwick Avenue meets Beaver Street. 596 Acres is helping to gather letters from local groups expressing a need for neighborhood input to pass along to Council Member Antonio Reynoso's office, who is planning to meet with Parks about the creation of this exciting new park. If you're affiliated with a school, religious institution, nonprofit, or civic association in the neighborhood that would like to help, contact Mary at mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Morrisania, Bronx - The company that owns and manages the properties on either side of the former Department of Transportation roadbed on East 159th between St. Ann's and Eagle Avenuesis completely supportive of neighbors stewarding the space and will speak to the DOT about how to make it happen! Email Victor, a neighbor from across the street, at maldonvic@aol.com or give him a call at 718-665-4281 to help plan the first neighborhood meeting.

Edgemere, Queens - Steve is a longtime Rockaway resident who leads the Franklin Avenue Civic Association of Edgemere. On Beach 43rd between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach Channel Drive (the same block as Edgemere Farm!) there are two lots that Steve would love to transform into another community growing space. If you'd like to help him organize, contact him atloc375@aol.com or 646-737-4996.

Harlem, Manhattan - Neighbors who are organizing to create garden and performance space onthe 17-foot wide lot at 174 East 108th Street between 3rd and Lexington Avenues headed toManhattan Community Board 11's Environment, Open Space, and Park Committee meeting last Thursday night. The board would love to see 100 signatures gathered supporting to the space before they issue a letter of support. No problem! Join the neighbors on Sunday, May 31st at 3 pm in front of the lot to go on a door-to-door signature-gathering adventure. Email John attriplemgarden@gmail.com or call Mary at 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3 if you have questions!

COLLABORATORS
The New York City Community Garden Coalition's monthly meeting is TONIGHT, Thursday, May 21st at 6:30 pm at Green Oasis Community Garden (8th Street between Avenues C and D, East Village, Manhattan). This is their first outdoor meeting of the year!

Mommies of Rockaway Parks United is hosting an It's My Park day at the Conch playground (Beach 49th Street and Beach Channel Drive, Edgemere) this Saturday, May 23rd from 11 am to 2 pm. There will be fence and bench painting and flower planting! All ages welcome!

Bullettrun is a collaborative performance group which uses Parkour (a movement discipline often described as skateboarding without skateboards) as a form of self expression to build self esteem and create leaders in communities lacking social, educational and economic resources. They are currently looking for a garden or park space to create a site specific performance and would love to offer maintenance work in exchange! See examples of the group’s work here and contact Nadia atnadialesy@gmail.com or 718-486-6252 for more information.

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

yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - May 14, 2015

14 May 2015
solar-powered cart needs a garden home!

Thanks for all who came out to the 596 Acres general meeting last Thursday night! It was a great conversation around Housing Preservation and Development's halt on issuing interim-use licenses for the creation of community gardens. We chatted about how gardens at risk can protect themselves and how organizing groups can forge ahead. The takeaway: strengthen your numbers! In addition to writing letters to all your elected officials, the best way to draw attention to your space is to have it be thriving and full of excited neighbors who truly value it! Whether you're campaigning for access or fighting to protect your space, we encourage you to hold a membership drive, throw a party to gather petition signatures, or paint welcoming signs (like the new Ten Neighbors Garden in Brownsville, Brooklyn, pictured above at their first workday last Sunday)!

Stay tuned for info about the next 596 Acres general meeting taking place the second week of June, at a TBA garden location! If you'd like to host a 596 Acres meeting in your space contact mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

FIRST MEMBERSHIP MEETING OF THE NYC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT COOPERATIVE
The first membership meeting of the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC) will be on THURSDAY, May 28th at from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at IATI Theater (64 East 4th Street between Bowery and 2nd Avenue, Manhattan on the 2nd floor). An REIC is way for people to pool money to buy buildings and land, and chose to own the what they buy and lease affordably! This meeting will give a report back on what happened two weeks ago at our first gathering, and encourage you to get involved! To learn more, click here.

WE'RE HIRING AN NYC COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS PROGRAM ORGANIZER!
Do you want to play a key role in helping neighborhood groups navigate the process of accessing land? We're looking for a key team member to help with program management, outreach, and land access organizing for 21 hours a week! Click here for more details on what the job entails, what we're looking for in an applicant, and how to apply. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 27th at 12 pm.

"WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR LAND?" AT IDEAS CITY 
As a part of IDEAS CITY on Saturday, May 30th, from 12 pm to 6 pm 596 Acres,Deborah Berke Partners and GRT Architects will offer self-guided audio tours focused on exposing the mechanisms residents of the Bowery and Lower East Side can and have used to affect development in their neighborhoods. Sites will include Cooper Square Cooperative, Elizabeth Street and Siempre Verde Gardens, and El Jardin de Paraiso. The tour kicks off at Sara D. Roosevelt Park (at the intersection of Chrystie and Stanton Streets), and physical maps, audio guides, and other visual artifacts will help tell the histories of each site and help visitors navigate among them.

596 IN THE NEWS!
Check out this great coverage from Care2 of our projects across cities!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Harlem, Manhattan - Join neighbors heading to the Manhattan Community Board 11 Environment, Open Space, and Parks Committee Meeting for TONIGHTThursday, May 14th at 6 pm at the Board's office at 1664 Park Avenue at West 117th Street, to ask for the committee's support to create a garden and performance space on the 17-foot wide lot at 174 East 108th Street between 3rd and Lexington Avenues. If you live in the neighborhood, head over to show your enthusiasm for a new community space! Extra bodies in the room make a big difference!

Edgemere, Rockaway - Last night neighbors and Paula from 596 Acres went to the Queens Community Board 14 meeting to speak with the board about the status of the proposal for a temporary garden on the lots at 357 Beach 43rd at the corner of Beach Channel Drive. Community Board 14's District Manager and Chair committed to having the board write a letter to Housing Preservation and Development as soon as possible, urging the agency to release the lots and allow the garden to move forward this season if possible. Hooray!

Morrisania, Bronx - At our fantastic 596 Acres general meeting last Thursday night we met Victor, a Bronx resident who is interested in a few different spots to create community space! His top pick is the large piece of land behind behind the middle school at Rae Street and St. Ann's Avenue, owned by the Department of Education. Victor has already reached out to the facilities office in charge of Bronx Schools and has been asked to email a letter of interest and intent to be discussed! Victor is also talking to neighbors about the former Department of Transportation roadbed on East 159th between St. Ann's and Eagle Avenues. Email Victor maldonvic@aol.com or give him a call at 718-665-4281 to help him work on campaigns for either of these sites!

Lots with Access
Lower East Side, Manhattan - Council Member Margaret Chin sent a letter to Vicki Been, the Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development asking that Siempre Verde(at Stanton and Attorney Streets) be protected by transferring their lots to the Parks Department. Thank you Council Member Chin! You can read the letter here!

Flatbush, Brooklyn - Q Gardens (at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue) will be having a workday this Saturday, May 16th from 12 pm to 4pm to transport the group's second set of composting bins from Flatbush Reformed Church, to do some trellis set up, and to build three pallet A-frame vertical planters. There's weeding, too! All are welcome!

Long Island City, Queens - Smiling Hogshead Ranch (25-30 Skillman Avenue at Pearson Place) is looking for someone to help sketch out an idea for a fun construction project this summer. Shoot them a message through their Facebook if you're interested!

COLLABORATORS
Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation is hosting a free book fair this Saturday, May 16th from 11 am to 2 pm at the Powell Street Garden (410 Livonia Street between Junius and Powell Streets, Brownsville). The Powell Street Garden is also on the list of gardens at risk due to Housing Preservation and Development's two small homes programs - so even if you're not in need of books you should head over and show your support for their awesome community work! For more information contact Brenda Duchene at 718-498-3174.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know!
 
NEED A SOLAR-POWERED CART?
We've got a solar paneled unit that we'd love to be shared between gardens! It can provide is up to 300W at 120VAC (regular residential outlet electricity). This awesome little guy pictured below was created by R. David Gibbs and his students is great for charging cordless tool batteries, radios, lights, other small appliances, but larger tools - table saw, chops saw, a refrigerator are not OK. Email organizers@596acres.org if your garden is interested!



yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - May 7, 2015

07 May 2015
TONIGHT: 596 GENERAL MEETING, 7 PM, 540 PRESIDENT STREET, BROOKLYN!

JOIN US TONIGHT AT 7 PM: 596 ACRES' NEXT GENERAL MEETING FOCUSING ON HPD
Recently, Housing Preservation and Development (with control over approximately half of the vacant public land Citywide) has stopped issuing interim-use licenses for the creation of community gardens. But never fear! We can help groups organize to find solutions, such as advocating for having a City-owned properties transferred to the Parks Department to become a garden. Whether you're stuck in the middle of a land access campaign (like Edgemere Coalition Garden, who are moving forward with creating plans for the space, pictured at the bottom of this newsletter) or just curious about how to get started, come to the 596 Acres' General Meeting on TONIGHT, THURSDAY, MAY 7th at 7 pm to get the scoop. We'll be meeting at our NEW offices at 540 President Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues, near the R and F trains) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. We'll have snacks! You can also contact mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 with questions.

GARDEN AT RISK: AN UPDATE ON MAPLE STREET COMMUNITY GARDEN
On Monday, the gardeners of Maple Street Community Garden (237 Maple Street, Brooklyn) and their lawyer, Paula Z. Segal, headed back to housing court for the 4th time! Again the case was adjourned by the judge after hearing testimony about whether papers that initiated the case were properly given to the gardeners. The judge then ordered both sides to submit formal legal briefs by May 26th, following which another hearing will be scheduled. If you're an attorney and want to help do some research by May 20th, please contact paula@596acres.org. To learn more about the details behind Maple Street's attempted unlawful eviction, check out this press release from 596 Acres and this story from DNAInfo New York.

WE'RE HIRING AN NYC COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS PROGRAM ORGANIZER!
Do you want to play a key role in helping neighborhood groups navigate the process of accessing land? We're looking for a key team member to help with program management, outreach, and land access organizing for 21 hours a week! Click here for more details on what the job entails, what we're looking for in an applicant, and how to apply. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 27th at 12 pm.

"WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR LAND?" AT IDEAS CITY 
As a part of IDEAS CITY on Saturday, May 30th, from 12 pm to 6 pm 596 Acres,Deborah Berke Partners and GRT Architects will offer self-guided audio tours focused on exposing the mechanisms residents of the Bowery and Lower East Side can and have used to affect development in their neighborhoods. Sites will include Cooper Square Cooperative, Elizabeth Street and Siempre Verde Gardens, and El Jardin de Paraiso. The tour kicks off at Sara D. Roosevelt Park (at the intersection of Chrystie and Stanton Streets), and physical maps, audio guides, and other visual artifacts will help tell the histories of each site and help visitors navigate among them.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Harlem, Manhattan - For about a year and a half John has been working with and organizing his neighbors to create a proposal for a garden and performance space on the 17-foot wide lot at 174 East 108th Street between 3rd and Lexington AvenuesNow, John is headed to the Manhattan Community Board 11 Environment, Open Space, and Parks Committee Meeting for next Thursday, May 14th at 6 pm at the Board's office at 1664 Park Avenue at West 117th Street, to ask for the committee's support. If you live in the neighborhood, head over to show your enthusiasm for a new community space! Extra bodies in the room make a big difference! Email John at triplemgarden@gmail.com or call Mary at 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Morrisania, Bronx - There's a wide but shallow lot at 405 East 161st at Melrose Avenuethat is a great spot for a neighborhood hub! Neighbors Laura and Victor have reached out to us to let us know they'd like to work creating a plan for the space! Do you want to join us for the first meeting? Email Victor maldonvic@aol.com or give him a call at 718-665-4281 to express your interest!

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn - Addie lives next door to the skinny vacant lot with the big, lovely tree in it on Jefferson Avenue between Stuyvesant Avenue and Malcolm X. Boulevard and has started a petition for neighbors supportive of creating a community space there. Want to help rally the neighbors and get this project moving? Email Addie ataddieny@gmail.com or call her at 917-⁠749-⁠2183.

Lots with Access
Long Island City, Queens - This Saturday, May 9th from 12 pm to 5 pm Smiling Hogshead Ranch (25-30 Skillman Avenue at Pearson Place) is hosting a community compost collection site while they offer info about Ranch membership and volunteer opportunities for the upcoming 2nd annual LIC Springs LIC, hosted by the Long Island City Partnership! Go hang out all afternoon and enjoy live music, dance, and theater performances plus interactive lessons, art & sculpture-making, fitness classes, outdoor dining, pop-up activities, a site-specific art gallery, sports games and more! Open to all ages. RSVP and find more details on the Facebook event page.

Bedford-Stuyvestant, Brooklyn - Patchen Community Square (at the corner of Patchen and Putnam Avenues) is having a volunteer day to build four new garden beds this Saturday, May 9th from 11am to 4pm. All are welcome, whether you're a garden member or not! If you have the time or a cordless drill, please head over and help out! If you're interested in gardening with us this summer, this would be a perfect opportunity to chat with the gardeners about joining as a members.

Brownsville, Brooklyn - Ten Neighbors Garden (at the corner of Saratoga and Blake Avenues) is having their first workday this Sunday, May 10th from 10 am to 1 pm. Make sure to come with gloves and comfortable dirty garden clothes! If you have any questions, contact Carlos at Carlosdjdiaz@gmail.com.

Edgemere, Queens - Edgemere Farm (385 Beach 45th Street at Beach Channel Drive) is holding a bundle dye workshop from 12 pm to 3 pm this Sunday, May 10th! During or after this workshop you can see what's growing and learn more about the exciting season ahead! Check out the Facebook page for more info.

COLLABORATORS
Calling all urban food production, security, and access business ideas! Agritecture andVertiCulture are hosting an Urban Ag Pitch happening next Thursday, May 14th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at 61 Local (61 Bergen Street between Smith and Court Streets, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn). This is a chance to share you ideas with industry professionals and get feedback while competing to win an aquaponics training course with VertiCulture. To enter, send your name, email, and a 250-word pitch of your idea to urbanagpitch@gmail.com by Sunday, May 10th.

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

NEED A SCALE? 
We still have some small scales for measuring food scraps or harvested produce. If you'd like one for your garden, shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3. Pictured below is students from PS 137K Rachel Jean Mitchell School using scales to weigh and measure foods scraps, pine cones, rocks and other objects. We're so happy we were able to contribute to their science and math curriculum!

NEED A GARDEN TABLE?
61 Franklin Community Garden in Greenpoint, Brooklyn has a very study table they built to stack water barrels on and didn't end up needing. It measures 4' W x 4"L x 4' 5" tall and would be available for pick-up any day this weekend, May 9th and 10th! Email 61franklinstgarden@gmail.com if you're interested!

yours,

596 Acres

News from the Acres - April 30, 2015

30 April 2015
free soil! a real estate cooperative! & more!

BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR!
We are working every day toward community control of public assets. Without your help, we couldn't continue to help neighbors access vacant, public land or continue to strategize with you about other incarnations of the commons! Please supporting 596 Acres bybecoming a monthly donor. Currently, your small monthly donations are adding $170 to our operating budget every month. That's great! But it would be amazing to double or triple it! Can you become a monthly donor today?

NEXT THURSDAY, MAY 7: 596 ACRES' NEXT GENERAL MEETING FOCUSING ON HPD
Recently, Housing Preservation and Development (with control over approximately half of the vacant public land Citywide) has stopped issuing interim-use licenses for the creation of community gardens. But never fear! We can help groups organize to find solutions, such as advocating for having a City-owned properties transferred to the Parks Department to become a garden. Whether you're stuck in the middle of a land access campaign or just curious about how to get started, come to the next 596 Acres' General Meeting on THURSDAY, MAY 7th at 7 pm to get the scoop. We'll be meeting at our NEW offices at 540 President Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues, near the R and F trains) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. We'll have snacks! You can also contact mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 with questions.

A NYC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT COOPERATIVE
Last Tuesday night in the East Village 596 Acres partnered with a lot of amazing organizations to present the possibility of a NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC). At the end of the night, the cooperative was born - we signed up our first 200 members! The first membership meeting will be on THURSDAY, May 28th at from 6 pm to 8:30 pm, with the location to be determined. (ART21 New York Close Up for the lovely photo at the top of this newsletter of the space meeting spot.) Members contribute $10 for a voting share. There is also a hardship fund with memberships slots for 20 folks that don't have the cash to spare.

We are in the process of establishing a way to join online, but if you're interested you can head over to the first member meeting on THURSDAY, May 28th at from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. There are two ways for folks to stay in touch: get on the mailing list and RSVP for the meeting by emailing info@nyctbd.com, or joining the Facebook group. More details to come! Also, if you'd like to lend some volunteer time to making this incredible project move forward, email paula@596acres.org to arrange a time to do some much needed data entry work!

WE'RE HIRING AN NYC COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS PROGRAM ORGANIZER!
Do you want to play a key role in helping neighborhood groups navigate the process of accessing land? We're looking for a key team member to help with program management, outreach, and land access organizing for 21 hours a week! Click here for more details on what the job entails, what we're looking for in an applicant, and how to apply. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 27th at 12 pm.

596 ACRES-INSPIRED PROJECT IN MONTREAL IS LAUNCHED!

Lande (previously named Urburb) launched this week in Montreat to allow resident to track down vacant land in their neighborhood and start the transformation. Read more about the project here! To explore the active network of land access facilitators across the world, check out our amazing community land access advocacy network.

AN INVENTORY OF WHAT'S POSSIBLE
Take a listen to this conversation between Deputy Director of Neighborhood Initiatives at NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) and some inspiring advocates pushing HPD towards a more just distribution of public assets, including Paula Z. Segal from 596 Acres.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn - Since early 2013 596 Acres has been working with neighbors to try to uncover details from the Parks Department and Brooklyn Community Board 4 about the future park at 544 Bushwick Avenue at Beaver Street. Although the space was transferred from Housing Preservation and Development to the Parks Department in August 2014, there is limited transparency about the design plans. We're excited that Council Member Antonio Reynoso is helping us investigate, and would like to share letters of support with his office to present in a meeting with Parks! If you live in the neighborhood and represent a local business, school, religious organization, or group of any sort, emailmary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 to find out how you can provide a simple letter requesting resident input!

Rosedale, Queens - Kenika is a Queens resident who is super excited to start the Rosedale Urban Garden Club on the grassy lot at the corner of Memphis Avenue and 225th Street. She spoke with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services who told her that there are no plans for the space and they would be willing to transfer the lot to the Parks Department if Parks is willing to accept it. Yay! Kenika has already started crafting a draft of an awesome proposal (see it on the lot's page!) and is reaching out to local associations and churches. If you live in the area and want to help out, emaildennis.kenika@gmail.com or call her at 718-600-3236.

North-Central Bronx - Aminul is a member of a long-standing Bronx garden, but want to expand her to work to involve residents in other nearby neighborhoods. Do you live in the North-Central Bronx and want to help Aminul organizing to create a new community space? Email mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 to get connected!

Lots with Access
Edgemere, Queens - Edgemere Farm (385 Beach 45th Street at Beach Channel Drive) is having its opening weekend is this Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday, May 3rd from 9 am to 2 pm both days. Get a free tree or purchase some plants for your garden, New York state honey, Rockaway Herbs, and more! Check out the farm's website for more information.

Long Island City, Queens - Smiling Hogshead Ranch (25-30 Skillman Avenue at Pearson Place) a hoola hooping workshop this Saturday, May 2nd from 11 am to 4 pm! This event is open to all ages and levels and will be taught be a few different performance artists! Bring your own hoop! RSVP and find more details on the Facebook event page.

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Siempre Verde (181 Stanton Street at Attorney Street) is launching their monthly summer story time for kids with Hamilton Fish Park Branch Library starting next Thursday, May 7th from 10:30 am to 11:30 am! Stories for ages birth through five years. Please join! This will be taking place the first Thursday of the month all summer long!

COLLABORATORS
The New York City Parks Department is calling for tree-loving gardeners to spearhead small volunteer events for the 2015 Tree Census. Parks will work with your neighborhood group to select a Census Zone that is close to your group's home base and develop a schedule of training and mapping events. Community gardens can help with the 2015 Tree Census by holding as little as 2 volunteer events with 10 volunteers each to map out trees on fifty 4-sided blocks. No experience with mapping technology or tree identification is necessary! If you're curious which block have already been signed up for, check out this map. To learn more and sign up, click here.

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

NEED A SCALE? 
We still have some small scales for measuring food scraps or harvested produce. If you'd like one for your garden, shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

NEED POTTING MIX, COMPOST, OR MULCH?
This year the Department of Sanitation is unable to supply gardens in the same manner with unlimited amounts of compost, mulch and potting mix, due to some physical infrastructure changes and upgrades within the department. However, between now and Friday, June 12th, the department will allow any registered not-for-profit organization to pick-up as much loose compost, mulch and potting mix as they can haul away from the Staten Island Compost Site Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8 am and 2 pmInterested groups can utilize 596 Acres as their not-for-profit organization. This offer is exclusively limited to the use of vehicles hired to haul compost on behalf of a not-for-profit and the department cannot accommodate individual small vans or small pick-up trucks at the site, nor anyone arriving with a few receptacles to fill with material. Gardens might want to join forces within a particular borough and try to use one operator to haul on behalf of a number of sites! Here's how to do it:
STEP 1. Email Mr. Lange at Sanitation at rlange@dsny.nyc.gov and copynyccompost@dsny.nyc.gov and organizers@596acres.org with the information regarding who is requesting material, what company has been hired to haul materials on your behalf, the types of materials and quantities you want to pick-up and finally the day and time that you would prefer to make the pick-up.
STEP 2. If all of the information requested is present you will be approved and receive email response. Print out that email and have your designated hauler bring it to the Staten Island Compost Site on the pick-up day. If the amount of materials you are requesting requires your hauler to make multiple trips to the Staten Island Compost Site then please instruct the driver to bring a copy each time. In which case Sanitation will be tracking your organization’s individual hauls from the total requested and stopping pick-ups once that total has been reached.


Last Thursday 596 Acres tabled at the Earth Week Celebration at Bushwick Campus Farm! Thanks EcoStationNY, for putting on such a great event!

yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - April 23, 2015

23 April 2015
gardens are worth saving!

Last Saturday's Bike Ride for Gardens at Risk was a hit! The photo above is from the garden stop over atMaple Street Community Garden, where gardeners shared the history of the space and recapped the current battle they are fighting in court. To see more photos from the ride, check out the Facebook album!

EARTH WEEK CELEBRATION TODAY WITH ECOSTATION NY
596 Acres will be tabling at EcoStationNY's Earth Week Celebration TODAY Thursday, April 23rd from 3 pm to 5 pm at Bushwick Campus Farm (400 Irving Avenue between Woodbine Street and Putnam Avenue). Visit our table to learn how you can work with your neighbors to start a campaign to get access to vacant, public land. While you're there, take a farm and greenhouse tour, visit a composting and sustainable agriculture workshop, or see cooking demonstrations and an art exhibit. There will also be performances of poetry, theatre, and music celebration of planet earth!

LET'S BUILD A REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT COOPERATIVE!
real estate investment cooperative (REIC) allows individuals to pool their money and energy to invest in land and buildings. We are building the political and fiscal power to preserve the spaces we care about for the long haul. Join us for an evening of teaching and learning next Tuesday, April 28th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Middle Collegiate Church (50 East 7th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, Manhattan). Please RSVP if you would like to attend by emailing info@nyctbd.com. At this initial gathering, we will talk about the REIC model, share examples of how cooperative financing has worked in other places, hear from groups that need financial investment to help them retain existing community space, examine opportunities for acquiring property outside the market paradigm and talk about how we might implement our own REICs.

DATE CHANGE: 596 ACRES' NEXT GENERAL MEETING ON *THURSDAY, MAY 7th*
Whether you're stuck in the middle of a land access campaign or just curious about how to get started, come to 596 Acres' next General Meeting on THURSDAY, MAY 7th at 7 pm at our NEW offices at 540 President Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues) in Brooklyn to get the scoop.

Recently, Housing Preservation and Development (who has jurisdiction over approximately half of the vacant public land Citywide) has stopped issuing interim-use licenses. But never fear! We can help groups organize to advocate for having City-owned properties transferred to the Parks Department to become a garden. To learn more, come to the meeting! You can also contact mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 with questions.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Morrisania, Bronx - Neighbor Laura walked by the vacant lot at 405 East 161st Street at Melrose Avenue every day when she comes home from work and would like to connect with neighbors to clean it up! Email Laura at lmp945218@gmail.com or call Mary at 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3.

East Harlem, Manhattan - Harlem resident John is still working on getting the support of Manhattan Community Board 11 to start a garden with a park vibe and a stage for local performances at 174 East 108th Street between 3rd and Lennox Avenues. He's got quite a list of supporters, but would love to get more neighbors in on these plans. Do you live in the neighborhood and want to head to a community board meeting with John? Shoot him an email at triplemgarden@gmail.com or call Mary at 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3.

East New York, Brooklyn - Kevin runs Progressive Youths Soccer Academy and would like to transformone of the vacant, public lots behind the homes at Sapphire Street and 155th Avenue into a soccer field so that the program can expand to engage more young people! 596 Acres has connected him with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (who has jurisdiction over the space) to discuss applying to a lease. Do you want to help make this happen or have some great ideas for this future youth hub? Email Kevin at blacstoc@gmail.com or call Mary at 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Jamaica, Queens - There's a wide, flat lot at 9043 Desarc Road between Redding and Sitka Streets that might be the perfect place for some communal growing, or a park to relax in! Join the lot's page as an organizer or give Mary at call at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or email at mary@596acres.org.

Lots with Access
East New York, Brooklyn/Cityline, Queens - Last Thursday the Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services (BACDYS) continued to build out the new BACDYS Community Garden(corner of Forbell Street and Glenmore Avenue) with the help of New York Restoration Project's Gardens for the City program. (Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see a super cute photo!)
596 Acres is so happy that our work facilitating a license with the MTA means that this space is finally open to the public! If you'd like to jump into the planning of the communal beds, head over to the gardenthis Saturday, April 25th at 10 am to join the discussion.

Long Island City, Queens - Smiling Hogshead Ranch (25-30 Skillman Avenue at Pearson Place) is hosting a clean up day to use their Love Your Block grant this Saturday, April 25th from 11 am to 4 pm to do some street tree care, plant some native plants, and spruce up bike lanes.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn -  La Casita Verde (451 Bedford Avenue at Division Avenue) is having a celebration in honor of Earth Day next Wednesday, April 29th from 4 pm to 6 pm. You can check out the space and learn more about the garden's food scrap collection service, their design and building of an aerated static pile (ASP) style composter that uses solar panel system (donated by Kiwi Energy), and Soil Cycle, a cargo bike they will be coordinating with schools to facilitate growing soil and reducing food waste. Neat! Head on over!

Harlem, Manhattan - Join the new Mandela Garden (West 126th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues)this Sunday April 26th at noon for a de-paving event to remove all the concrete from the garden! Neighbors will be joined by Arif Khan a founding member of Depave.org, a rapidly growing West Coast de-paving movement. Bring friends, and if possible, bandana or dust mask, work gloves, picks and 1 inch x 6' metal pipe for prying up, though the garden will supply as much materials as possible.

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

Need a Scale? 
We still have some small scales for measuring food scraps or harvested produce. If you'd like one for your garden, shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - April 16, 2015

16 April 2015
this saturday: bike ride for gardens at risk!

THIS AFTERNOON'S BACDYS COMMUNITY GARDEN BUILDOUT
Join Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services (BACDYS) as they continue to build out the new BACDYS Community Garden with the help of New York Restoration Project's Gardens for the City program THIS AFTERNOON Thursday, April 16th from 3 pm to 6 pm at the corner of Forbell Street and Glenmore Avenue! Come help spruce up the space and celebrate the opening up of this community space with us!(That's a photo of the first phase of the garden's build out happening above! Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter to see the accomplished raised beds and picnic tables!)

THIS SATURDAY'S BIKE RIDE FOR GARDENS AT RISK
Join 596 Acres, the New York City Community Garden Coalition, and Public Space Partythis Saturday, April 18th as we ride to visit and learn more about five gardens under threat by private developers: Maple Street Community GardenRoger That Garden ProjectEldert Street GardenChildren's Magical Garden, and Siempre Verde Community Garden. Large-scale community support can help advocate for these private properties to be acquired by the City and transferred into Parks Department inventory to remain valuable community resources. Check out the press release for this event to get the ride schedule and read a more about these gardens under threat. You can also join the
Facebook event to keep updated on meeting details and the route of the ride!

Don't have a bike? The Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues, Brooklyn) is having a Spring party and fundraiser for 596 Acres, whose director, Paula Z. Segal has been representing the gardeners in court. There will be eating, drinking, and relaxing, as well as planting, painting signs, turning compost, and tours of the garden! Please join them and donate to help support 596 Acres continuing work to open up and preserve public land! You can also always donate to 596 Acres online, too!

AN EARTH WEEK CELEBRATION WITH ECOSTATION NY
596 Acres will be tabling at EcoStationNY's Earth Week Celebration next Thursday, April 23 from 1 pm to 5 pm (open to the public at 3 pm) at Bushwick Campus Farm (400 Irving Avenue between Woodbine Street and Putnam Avenue). Visit our table to learn how you can work with your neighbors to start a campaign to get access to vacant, public land. While you're there, take a farm and greenhouse tour, visit a composting and sustainable agriculture workshop, or see cooking demonstrations and an art exhibit. There will also be performances of poetry, theatre, and music celebration of planet earth!

SAVE THE DATE: 596 ACRES' NEXT GENERAL MEETING
Whether you're stuck in the middle of a land access campaign or just curious about how to get started, come to 596 Acres' next General Meeting on Tuesday, May 5th at 7 pm at our offices at 540 President Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues) in Brooklyn. to get the scoop.

Recently, Housing Preservation and Development (who has jurisdiction over approximately half of the vacant public land Citywide) has stopped issuing interim-use licenses. But never fear! We can help groups organize to advocate for having City-owned properties transferred to the Parks Department to become a garden. To learn more, come to the meeting! You can also contact mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 with questions.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Brownsville, Brooklyn - Christopher is a Brownsville resident who has been helping out a friend lead a community garden for the past year. Now, he's excited to organize a new space to open! If you live in Community Board 16 near where Powell Street meets Pitkin Avenue, reach out to Christopher at citrus0345@gmail.com or call Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn - Johanna, the Sustainability Coordinator at P.S. 46/Brooklyn New School is leading students to craft a campaign to start a native plant garden at the vacant Department of Transportation (DOT) property that sits adjacent to the school and the footbridge over the Gowanus Expressway. Johanna is working with 596 Acres to create a proposal that the helpful staff at Council Member Brad Lander's office will work on getting to the right people at DOT. If you live in Carroll Gardens or Red Hook and want to help, reach out to Johanna at johanna@bns146.org or 646-808-5595.

Flatbush, Brooklyn - After months and months of perseverance, neighbor Sophia has finally received a letter of support from her community board to start a garden at 2334 Tilden Avenue at Lott Street! If you live in the neighborhood and want to help Sophia advocate for this property to be reassigned to the Parks Department, contact her atgreenlodging20@yahoo.com or call her at 718-501-2395.

Lots with Access
Lower East Side, Manhattan - Siempre Verde Garden (on Stanton Street between Clinton and Attorney Streets) is holding a garden meeting next Wednesday, April 22nd at 6 pm. Head on over to learn what's new in the garden and the possible changes coming!

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - La Casita Verde (451 Bedford Avenue at Division Avenue) is now accepting neighborhood food scraps for composting on every Saturday from 3 pm to 4 pm as well as during open garden hours. To learn more about this free service and the garden's new pilot scrap pick-up service in the neighborhood, click here.

Harlem, Manhattan - Electric Ladybug Garden members (West 111th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglas Boulevard) are heading to the Manhattan Community Board 10 Executive Meeting next Wednesday, April 22nd to see if board members will vote to pass a resolution to protect four Harlem gardens. Head over to 215 West 125th Street (between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard) in the 4th Floor conference room at 6:00 pm to show your support!

Harlem, Manhattan - 227 Garden (227 West 115th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Boulevards) is having their first garden meeting next Wednesday, April 22nd from 11 am to 4 pm. This is a great chance to get involved if aren't already and find out how you can help get this garden growing!

COLLABORATORS
The New York City Community Garden Coalition's monthly meeting is TONIGHT, Thursday, April 16th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Castle Gardens (625 West 140th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive, Manhattan). Come to the meeting to discuss strategy, meet with fellow gardeners, and stay in the conversation about keeping up the momentum for protecting the 17 community gardens on HPD's development list.

Imani Garden II (1680 Pacific Street at Schenectady Avenue, Brooklyn) is holding aCompost Tea and Spring Clean Up this Saturday, April 18th from noon to 4 pm. Learn how to make compost tea and help the garden get ready for spring, including bringing leaves from a nearby park in a wheelbarrow brigade and cleaning out our water storage tanks and fish ponds. Bring some work gloves and if you have them, rubber gloves for cleaning the tanks and ponds. Tasty vegetarian stew will be provided, but if you can bring your favorite beverage and some hearty bread.

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

Need a Scale? 
We have some small scales for measuring food scraps or harvested produce. If you'd like one for your garden, shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.


yours,

596 Acres

News From the Acres - April 9, 2015

09 April 2015
farewell to a small green patch

Sadly, as of Wednesday, April 1st A Small Green Patch (Bergen Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues, Brooklyn) officially closed as a community space. Housing Preservation and Development is moving forward on transferring the two City-owned lots the garden was on to the private for-profit development corporation (that owns the center lot that sits between the two public lots) to begin a housing project this summer. The garden has been closed in anticipation.

Here is a note from Tami Johnson (pictured above), one of the lead organizers over the last four years, sent on the occasion of the closing on behalf of A Small Green Patch: "I am writing to thank you for every second of time spent, every hole you dug, every picture you painted, every meeting you attended, every woodchip - bag of mulch/soil/compost you moved, every group you put together, every workshop you gave, every compost drop off you donated, every answer or idea that you freely gave, every permission you granted, every person you taught how to farm/garden/grow. Even though A Small Green Patch has closed it's gate to allow for development - everything that each person brought to share over the past 4 years of it's existence is truly incredible. So many individuals, groups and city agencies played a vital role in what became A Small Green Patch. Many thanks to Green Thumb, HPD and Jay [the owners of the middle, private lot] for allowing us to use the vacant space in Brooklyn - Block 389, Lot's 27, 28 and 29 to create the open space it became. Thanks to Sanitation for hanging out at the beginning so we could clean the lots up to use. I can't name all of the players that helped make this happen but personally I am truly grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow from this whole experience."

We are also so happy that A Small Green Patch had the opportunity to create a thriving community space for so long! We look forward to hearing that the members of A Small Green Patch are spending their time at surrounding neighborhood gardens!

CITY LINE/EAST NEW YORK HAS A NEW COMMUNITY SPACE!
Join Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services (BACDYS) as they build out the new BACDYS Garden with the help of New York Restoration Project's Gardens for the City program next Thursday, April 16th from 3 pm to 6 pm at the corner of Forbell Street and Glenmore Avenue! Come help spruce up the space, build beds, and celebrate the opening up of this community space with us!

This space is actually a roof of the A Train tunnel and was a park more than 25 years ago. For over two years, 596 Acres helped BACDYS organize, connect with resources, and negotiate with the MTA. The garden is designed by pro bono architect Wendy Andringa of GreenLab Studio in collaboration with Grain Collective. "As a long term resident of this community I am extremely overjoyed with the reality of the project rising from paper to a life form," says Darma Diaz, BACDYS co-founder. "This garden will be heaven sent for both seniors and youth who have no place within the community to enjoy a green environment." Head to the lot's page and look under the notes section to read more about the journey of creating this new space!

A BIKE RIDE FOR GARDENS AT RISK
Join 596 Acres and Public Space Party next Saturday, April 18th as we ride to visit and learn more about five gardens under threat by private developers: Maple Street Community Garden,Roger That Garden Project
Eldert Street GardenChildren's Magical Garden, and Siempre Verde Community Garden. Large-scale community support can help advocate for these private properties to be acquired by the City and transferred into Parks Department inventory to remain valuable community resources. Join the Facebook event to keep updated on meeting details and the route of the ride!

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Rosedale, Queens - Kenika emailed us this week to get more information on the wide and grassy lot at the corner of Memphis Avenue and 225th Street. She'll be posting a sign on the fence and at her local library (who thinks this is a great idea) and talking to neighbors about starting the Rosedale Queens Garden. If you live in the area and want to help out, emaildennis.kenika@gmail.com or call her at 718-600-3236.

Coney Island, Brooklyn - Oksana, Ben, and Yousiff are interested in accessing vacant, public space along the waterfront on Neptune Avenue at West 21st Street for poossible boating access or recreation space. Any other Coney Island residents interested in exploring the possibilities? Reach out to these three at boatsonlot41@gmail.com or give Mary at 596 Acres a call at 718-16-6092 ext 3.

Springfield Gardens, Queens - Thomas, a member of the Friends of Idlewild Park, has been working on a campaign to access the vacant, Department of Citywide Administrative Services-lot at the corner of 47th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard for a native plant garden and composting site. Want to get involved? Email him at t.arrington@idlewildparkpreserve.com or call 347-866-5114.

Lots with Access
Ditmas, Brooklyn - This Saturday April 11th Q Gardens (at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue) is holding an action day from noon to 4 pm to launch their community compost drop off program! Bring your food scrap! They will also being creating some signage for the compost program and unloading and spreading a big mulch delivery. All are welcome!

Harlem, Manhattan - Electric Ladybug Garden (West 111th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglas Boulevard) is holding their garden elections for their board of directors this Saturday, April 11th at 226 West 111th Street, across the street from the garden, through the gate and down the steps to the basement community room. Voting starts at 2pm sharp. See you there!

Harlem, Manhattan - Harlem Valley Garden (197 West 134th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard) is holding a Spring Workday this Sunday, April 12th from 11am to 4pm to spruce up the garden. Head over to help deconstruct the greenhouse, throw down some mulch, build terraced beds, and more! Join the Facebook event here! Bring food scraps to feed the worms!

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Siempre Verde Garden (on Stanton Streets between Clinton and Attorney Streets) has restarted their weekly open hours: noon to 5 pm every Saturday and Sunday! Swing by to meet neighbors, check out what's being planted, and hear what events are coming up! At the bottom of this newsletter are hose are two cute members showing of their findings from the garden's recent Easter egg hunt!)

COLLABORATORS
Did you know Greenpoint & Williamsburg have high levels of lead in soil? Find out more! JoinNeighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) next Thursday, April 16th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm for a presentation by the NYC Department of Health’s Nancy Clark, the Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Environmental Disease and Injury Prevention and Deborah Nagin, the Director of Healthy Homes Program to discuss testing children’s lead levels and how to reduce exposures by. Head over to the McCarren Park Recreation Center, Multipurpose Room C at 776 Lorimer Street between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street. Join the Facebook event or RSVP viathe NAG website to RSVP!

Municipal Arts Society is partnering with Jane's Walk International from Friday, May 1st through Sunday, May 3rd to host free, locally organized “walking conversations” that get people together to explore, talk about, and celebrate their neighborhoods. Walks can be place-based, issue-based or activity-based and are a wonderful way to raise awareness of the great work that communities are all doing and challenges faced in building community-based resilience in NYC. Would you like to lead a walk that passes by and discusses your community space in the 596 Acres network?! Have another great idea? Read more here or attend an information session on Monday, April 13th from 6pm to 8 pm.  RSVP by calling 212-935-3960 x 1231 or emailing janeswalknyc@mas.org

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

Need a Scale? 
We have some small scales for measuring food scraps or harvested produce. If you'd like one for your garden, shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

yours,
596 Acres

News From the Acres - April 2, 2015

02 April 2015
we're not giving up.

Check out this article published in Metro New York on Monday that highlights the persistence of neighbors like Dierell from 743 Blake Avenue (at Bradford Street) in East New York and how 596 Acres continues to work with folks to craft their campaigns and push for public access to public land.

596 Acres is featured alongside organization from around the globe in Enabling City Vol. 2, the second book by Chiara Camponeschi which explores the relationship between public space and democracy, the links between the commons and resilience and, ultimately, the role that social innovation can and must play in order to safeguard and advance both. You can read it online here - we're on page 120!

Last weekend, Paula Z. Segal, 596 Acres' Director of Policy and Advocacy, headed to Montreal for the two-day Degeneration-Regeneration where she gave the talk The Right to the City: One Vacant Lot at a Time. Check out these articles from Inquisitr and The Link Newspaper covering the conference.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn - PS 146/Brooklyn New School's Green & Government Club is working on a campaign to turn a Department of Transportation triangular, paved property that sits between their school, the footbridge across the Gowanus Expressway, and Hamilton Avenue in to an open garden space for native pollinators that the general public and classmates from adjoining middle and high schools can enjoy. (At the top of the newsletter is an awesome banner that students made to hang on the school's fence that borders the empty property!) The club has created a petition to collect signatures from students, the PTA, and neighbors. If you'd like to help out in some way or get your name on the petition, contact the school's sustainability coordinator, Johanna at johanna@bns146.org or 646-808-5595.

East New York - There's a corner lot at 511 Liberty Avenue at Van Siclen Avenue that neighborhood gardeners and composters are interested in utilizing. Click the black 'organize' button in the middle of the lot's page to stay up to date on the planning of an upcoming meeting to discuss an neighborhood engagement strategy to access this piece of land under the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. You can also call Mary from 596 Acres at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or email mary@596acres.org.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - Neighbor Addie is lives right next to the lot on snuggled in to Jefferson Avenue near Malcolm X Boulevard and would love to see it transformed in to some type of community space. She's already gotten in touch with the Department of Sanitation to clean the lot and connected with neighbors that are members of the local block association to see what they think of the idea. If you live in the area and want to help Addie take her next steps in holding a meeting, call her at 917-⁠749-⁠2183 or send her an email at addieny@gmail.com.

Lots with Access
Long Island City, Queens - This Sunday, March 5th head over to a mini-workday at Smiling Hogshead Ranch (5-30 Skillman Avenue at Pearson Place) from 11 am to 3:30 pm to do some mulching, painting and organizing in preparation for planting!

East New York, Brooklyn - Ten Neighbors Garden (658 Saratoga at Blake Avenue) is about to start building and growing! If you're interested in joining this newly re-established garden shoot an email to Carlos at carlosdjdiaz@gmail.com to get looped in on this weekend's planning meeting.

Harlem, Manhattan - Harlem Valley Garden (197 West 134th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard) is holding a Spring Workday next Sunday, April 12th from 11am to 4pm to spruce up the garden. Head over to help deconstruct the greenhouse, throw down some mulch, build terraced beds, and more! Join the Facebook event here!

Flatbush, Brooklyn - Last Saturday Q Gardens (at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue) had their first workday ever! Check out the write up and photos on their blog!

GARDENS AT RISK: MAPLE STREET IN COURT
Yesterday Maple Street Community Garden at Maple Street at Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn returned to Housing Court with their attorney, Paula Z. Segal of Mohen & Segal LLP, for a hearing on whether eviction papers were correctly served to the gardeners, who are challenging individuals claiming to be the owners of the lot that the garden is on. The judge adjourned the case until the morning of Monday, May 4th (mark your calendars!), when gardeners will return to court at 141 Livingston Street at Smith Street in Brooklyn. Until then, the gardeners will have more time to spend in their space and get started on some spring growing! (That's them pictured at the bottom of the newsletter!) Mohen and Segal is also representing Roger That Garden Project (at the corner of Rogers Street and Park Avenue, Crown Heights, Brooklyn) and Eldert Street Garden (315 Eldert Street between Knickerbocker and Irving Streets, Bushwick, Brooklyn) both of which have been illegally locked out by private developers who do not have the right to evict the gardens.

AN INVENTORY OF WHAT'S POSSIBLE
On Friday, April 10th architects, historians, urban advocates, and City officials will present case studies of completed work, addressing design excellence and community priorities at An Inventory of What's Possible, hosted by the Institute for Public Architecture with Pratt Institute School of Architecture. Paula Z. Segal, 596 Acres' Director of Policy and Advocacy, will be discussing the intersection of community control of public resources and the need for housing in New York City in the morning session, Stabilizing Neighborhoods. She'll be putting the current offer that Housing Preservation and Development has made - to make City-owned lots available to private developers for $1, even those with gardens on them - in context of what we could be doing. Prepare to hear about Community Land Trusts and the potential for community-based real estate investment! Click here to get location details and to RSVP to this free event!

COLLABORATORS
East New York Farms! is looking for a few enthusiastic volunteers to help out at their annual compost giveaway event tomorrow, Friday, April 3rd from 4 pm to 7pm and this Saturday April 4th from 10 am to 1pm. They're looking for volunteers to give out information on composting, help local community gardeners move bags of compost and get to know the gang over at ENYF! Contact Deborah@eastnewyorkfarms.org if you can help out!

New York Restoration Project is reopening their weekly volunteer compost program for the year! Join them at Sherman Creek Park (along Harlem River Drive and Dyckman at 10th Avenue, Inwood, Manhattan) this Saturday, April 4th from 1 pm to 3:30 pm to help process all of the food scraps collected at the Inwood Greenmarket with organic waste recovered from NYRP’s landscaping operations. Learn about the process of composting while making a contribution to local waste reduction and greening efforts. Email volunteer@nyrp.org to get involved. Keep an eye on their calendar for monthly events!

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

Need a Scale? 
We have some small scales for measuring food scraps or harvested produce. If you'd like one for your garden, shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.


yours,
596 Acres

News From the Acres - March 26, 2015

26 March 2015
help shape our city's future!
MAPLE STREET IN COURT
Join Maple Street Community Garden (at Maple Street at Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) as they head back to Housing Court with Paula Z. Segal of Mohen & Segal LLP as their attorney this Wednesday, April 1st at 11 am in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn. Shoot an email to tomlafarge@gmail.com if you'd like to wear a Maple Street tshirt to show your support!A big crowd could make a big difference! See you there!

HELP SHAPE OUR CITY'S FUTURE!
The Mayor's Office of Sustainability is actively seeking input for the next PlaNYC strategic planning document. This means they are asking us to suggest ways we can make NYC better. Fill out the survey (available in several languages) to voice your ideas!Need suggestions?
- Ask the city to improve the processes for community access to public land as temporary and permanent open space; include a strong suggestion that community input be required any time public land is sold to private entities.
- Require all developers who build on public land to build with publicly accessible open spaces as part of their designs, including roof gardens that neighbors can reach using dedicated external stairs or a publicly accessible elevator. 
- Fund infrastructure for community gardens on Parks Department land, including solar panels and rainwater catchment.
- Preserve all public land for disposition to Community Land Trusts and other not for profit organizations.
- Build parks and other community amenities in neighborhoods planned for up-zoning before the up-zoning.

HPD GARDENS AT RISK
On January 26th Council Member Antonio Reynoso sent a letter to Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Sanitation, asking to have EL Garden (120 Jefferson Street between Evergreen and Central Avenues, Brooklyn) and the other seventeen active community gardens on the Housing Preservation and Development Request for Qualifications listinviting developers to propose to build housing on these same sites removed from the list. Yesterday, Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia responded - take a read at her letter!

ON THE ROAD
Paula Z. Segal, the executive director of 596 Acres, is in Montreal, Canada! Today, Thursday, March 26th she is speaking at Civic Engagement through Open Government Initiatives at Smart Cities Montreal, a 3 day program that gathers public administrators and international experts to discuss the future of cities. This weekend, March 28th and 29thshe'll be speaking at the 50th Anniversary of the Quebec Association of Landscape Architects: Degeneration / Regeneration on The Right to the City: One Vacant Lot at a Time.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Neighbors organizing around the corner lot at 375 South 5th at Hooper Street have planned a clean-up day this Saturday, March 28th at 11 am! They're ready to tidy up the space and meet neighbors who want to help advocate that this City-owned land be open to the public! Can you help out? Do you know a garden who can led out some basic tools for the day? Email Tiffany at tiffanyfrances.ny@gmail.com.

East New York, Brookln - At GreenThumb's GrowTogether Conference last Saturday, Mary (the 596 Acres staff organizer pictured tabling at the top of this newsletter!) met Sahir, an East New York resident who wants to turn the large, unfenced space at the corner of Autumn Lane and Hemlock Street into some type of park. Emailmary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 to get connected to Sahir.

Astoria, Queens - A group of neighbors is interested in starting a community growing space on the unused land next to the the Elmjack Little League Field (just East of the bridge to Riker's Island), who have had a license to use this City-owned space since the 1960's. The group has been working on a draft letter to propose their idea to the League's board. Do you know someone who participate in the League? Want to get involved? Click the "organize" button on the lot's page and enter your contact info, or reach out to Val atvalentinmos@aol.com or 347-327-8894.

Lots with Access
Flatbush, Brooklyn - Q Gardens (at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue) is having its first workday! After two and a half years of work with 596 Acres, the group of neighbors has a signed lease with the MTA, approved liability insurance through the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, and can get to work transforming the space! On Saturday, March 28th around from 12 pm to 4 pm show up to lend a hand. Tool and supplies provided! Call Anne at 503-866-7195 or email qgardensinfo@gmail.com for more information.

Long Island City, Queens - Starting at 1 pm this Saturday, March 28th, head over toSmiling Hogshead Ranch's Hoedown Heyday, at Flux Factory (39-31 29th Street between 39th and 40th Avenues). It'll be a full day of skillshares, film showings, music, and artist talks from Hogshead members and supporters. At 7:30 pm a community potluck featuring a conversations with the Point-A Project will kick off, followed by a dance party into the evening. For the dinner, seating is limited, so please RSVP toSmilingHogsheadRanch@gmail.com.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - EL Gardin is hosting a New York Restoration Project Tree Giveawaythis S
unday, March 29th from 10 am to 12 pm. Click here to sign up to pick up a free tree!

COLLABORATORS
After five years of searching, the Libertad Urban Farm has a home at 972 Simpson Street between East 163rd Street and Westchester Avenue in the South Bronx! Celebrate and help them tidy up their new space by heading over to their Spring Workday this Saturday, March 28th from noon to 2 pm to help plant tree, build beds, and lay mulch! Shoot an email to info@theblkprojek.org or call 718-635-0951to let them know you'll be helping out!

Artfully Unforgotten is a non-profit arts organization that uses art and creativity as a tool to raise awareness and engage communities in environmental issues. Their main project, DIG IN ART, is an arts-based program that bring fun and educational art workshops into communities. There are no age limits for participants, and workshops can be adapted for people with disabilities! They're currently searching for spaces where they could host their workshops this Spring. If you're in a garden that would like to host a Dig-in-Art workshop, contact alda@artfullyunforgotten.org.
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us an email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know!

Citizens Committee of New York's Composting Grant is back! Grants of up to $750 are awarded to community groups working to start or expand upon a composting neighborhood composting program. Click here to learn how to apply! The deadline is TOMORROW, Friday, March 27th!

Free raised beds?

We got an email from a woman in Brooklyn who is giving away four sturdy hand-built raised beds (3'x6'x11") and eight gently used EarthBox sub-irrigated planters (14"x29"x11"), plus a grab bag of other garden stuff! Interested? Potential takers can email madgelma@hotmail.com to arrange a pick up in the Columbia Waterfront Districttomorrow, Friday, March 27th or this Saturday, March 28th.

Free materials and plants?
A Small Green Patch is being forced to leaved their site at 348 Bergen Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Stop by this Saturday, March 28th between 10 am and 5 pm to pick up plants and gardening materials.

GREEN JOBS
The NYC Compost Project is looking for a new citywide NYC Compost Project Manager! The candidate’s primary role will be to guide and direct NYC Compost Project programs at seven external host sites, acting as the primary liaison between the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability and NYC Compost Project host sites. To learn more, got to the NYC Careers Website, scroll all the way down the page to the search field and in the Civil Service Title search field enter Community Coordinator. The deadline to apply is April 2nd.

Build It Green! is looking for a Program Manager for the NYC Compost Project site they host! They're seeking someone with a passion for composting, waste management, and urban ecology! Click here to learn more.

The Kingsborough Community College Urban Farm is looking is looking for an Urban Farm Manager! This role involves managing the farm, coordinating volunteers, record keeping, conducting events and more! Click here for more info and to apply.

The Department of Youth and Community Development's COMPASS Program (a City-wide after school initiative) at P.S 329 Surfside Elementary in Coney Island has an opening for a part-time garden instructor to facilitate classroom and garden instruction with elementary age students. The garden instructor must be able to foster creativity, engage students foster curiosity and connect with the community, as well as work well with staff to maintain a team environment. Click here to learn more!

yours,
596 Acres

News From the Acres - March 19, 2015

21 March 2015
intern with us!

GROWTOGETHER THIS SATURDAY!
If you missed us last Saturday at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Making Brooklyn Bloom, don't worry! You can head to the 21st Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference this Saturday, March 21st at Hostos Community College (450 Grand Concourse at East 149th Street, Bronx). 596 Acres organizer Mary Elizabeth Prall will be tabling from 9 am to 3 pm and hosting a land access workshop from 11:30 am to 12:45pm (the first session of workshops). The workshop will host gardeners from 61 Franklin Community GardenElectric Ladybug Garden, and the future Eden Learning GardenWe are also still looking for a volunteer to help us table! If you'd like to join Mary at the conference, please email her at mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3. To get details about the day, click the link above.

CAN'T MAKE IT THIS WEEKEND?
On Tuesday, March 24th from 6 pm to 8 pm 596 Acres organizer Mary Elizabeth Prall will be giving a presentation, Community Land Access – Transformation through Technology, hosted by the Henry George School of Social Science at the John Haynes Holmes Community House (28 East 35th Street between Madison & Park Avenues). You can reserve a place at this free event by clicking here!

INTERN WITH US!
596 Acres is seeking an intern who can work with us 10 hours per week for 10 weeks, March 31st through June 4th, 2015. Your tasks will include putting up signs on vacant lots, helping us transition our online tools and generally helping us improve the work that we do with focus on the New York City Community Land Access program. We'd love to have someone who speaks Spanish! Click herefor more information and how to apply. Application due by 5:59p.m. TOMORROW Friday, March 20th.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Rockaway, Queens - Neighbors organizing around the future Edgemere Coalition Garden (at the corner of Beach 43rd and Beach Channel Drive) are on the agenda for Queens Community Board 14's Land Use Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 24th at 7 pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall (333 Beach 90th Street near Beach Channel Drive). Community Board 14 already formally supports this new garden. On Tuesday, organizers will be asking the board to request Mayor De Blasio reconsider Housing Preservation and Development's never-reviewed policy of no longer creating gardens with licenses through GreenThumb. This shift in HPD policy will insure that the lot these Rockaway organizers have been planning to grow in will remain vacant for many more years. The policy, if not altered, will keep many groups around the City from gaining access to the lots in their lives. Call Alexis at 347-606-9925 or email her at alexissmallwood@yahoo.com if you can support them by coming on Tuesday!

Harlem, Manhattan - Join Tamika, a Harlem resident, and Mary from 596 Acres on Saturday, March 28th as they go door to door in search of more supporters for a garden at 109 West 126th Street(between Lennox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard) to present to Manhattan Community Board 10. Want to come along? Know of a school or organization close by that might want to support the project? Contact Tamika at 126streetcommunitygardenapiary@gmail.com or 845-380-4050 or contact Mary at mary@596acres.org or 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Flushing, Queens - There's a cozy lot nestled between blocks where the West end of 52nd Avenue almost hits 72nd Place. Do you live in the area? Have any ideas? Contact Mary atmary@596acres.org or 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Lots with Access
Lower East Side, Manhattan - This Saturday, March 21st from 2 pm to 5 pm, Siempre Verde Garden (at Stanton Streets between Attorney and Clinton Streets) is hosting Poetry Romp for Pedro and Poetry, Public Space and Community to celebrate the poetry of Pedro Pietri, the Nuyorican poet, playwright, founder of the Nuyorican Movement. This romp will kick off at Siempre Verde Garden, meander to Le Petit Versailles, and then wrap up at El Jardin del Paraiso. Join the Facebook event here!

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - This Sunday, March 22nd from 4 pm to 6 pm Keap Fourth Community Garden (the corner of Keap and South 4th Streets) is meeting to clean up, spread mulch and plant some peas. This is also a chance to sign up to be a member of the garden! Head on over!

Flatbush, Brooklyn - Q Gardens (at the corner of East 18th Street and Church Avenue) is having its first workday! After two and a half years of work with 596 Acres, the group of neighbors has a signed lease with the MTA, approved liability insurance through the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, and can get to work transforming the space! On Saturday, March 28th around from 12 pm to 4 pm show up to lend a hand. Tool and supplies provided! Call Anne at 503-866-7195 or emailqgardensinfo@gmail.com for more information.

COLLABORATORS
You are invited to help plan NYCommons, an emerging citywide coalition to influence policy making around how the city deals with its public assets like parks, libraries, community gardens, and other publicly held spaces. Be a part of protecting all our common spaces by joining an upcoming meeting:TONIGHT, Thursday, March 19th from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Flushing Library (41-17 Main Street, in Rooms A-B Lower Level) in Flushing, Queens; or Tuesday, March 24th, from 10 am to 12 pm at Hostos College (450 Grand Concourse, in C Building, on the 3rd floor, at the back of the cafeteria), in The Bronx. For more information, please contact Lauren George at (212) 691-6425 orlgeorge@commoncause.org.

Join the New York City Community Garden Coalition TONIGHT, March 19th for its monthly general meeting, which will include board elections and a celebration in honor of some departing leaders. If you're a member of the coalition, you are eligible to vote in this election so please go and exercise your right! Head over to the Neighborhood Preservation Center (232 East 11th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues) in Manhattan from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Artfully Unforgotten is a non-profit arts organization that uses art and creativity as a tool to raise awareness and engage communities in environmental issues. Their main project, DIG IN ART, is an arts-based program that bring fun and educational art workshops into communities. There are no age limits for participants, and workshops can be adapted for people with disabilities! They're currently searching for spaces where they could host their workshops this Spring. If you're in a garden that would like to host a Dig-in-Art workshop, contact alda@artfullyunforgotten.org.

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

Citizens Committee of New York's Composting Grant is back! Grants of up to $750 are awarded to community groups working to start or expand upon a composting neighborhood composting program.Click here to learn how to apply! The deadline is March 27th!

yours,
596 Acres