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News from the acres

News from the Acres - September 23, 2016

23 September 2016

happy autumnal equinox!

We are so happy to have facilitated the creation and permanent preservation of Electric Ladybug Garden in Harlem! A former vacant public lot is now the site of film screenings, community gatherings, and children's concerts like the one pictured above (photographed by Murray Cox). Come by tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, 3pm to 6pm (237 W 111th Street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvds) when the gardeners host a THANK YOU party to celebrate 596 Acres and our partners who got them here. You can trace the neighborhood-led campaign that made it happen on Living Lots NYC: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1018270014/

Meanwhile, #eminentdomain4good is in sight for Maple Street Community Garden. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and neighborhood Councilman Mathieu Eugene have set aside $1.25 million in fiscal year 2017 to "acquire the garden lot at 237 Maple Street for parkland to be placed under the Department of Parks and Recreation." This is the result of the years-long community campaign, with 596 Acres' Paula Z. Segal as the gardeners' lawyer, to keep what neighbors made on an abandoned private lot in Prospect-Lefferts, Brooklyn. The fight for permanent preservation isn't over: learn the history and connect with organizers at their potluck also tomorrow, Saturday, September 24th from 2pm to 6pm on Maple Street between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues. Bring something to toss on the grill, something to drink, or a side dish to share. Trace campaign and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3050300072/

Whether it's creating new gardens or preserving existing ones, we help you hold it down. Donate to support 596 Acres' New York City Community Land Access Program here. 

JOIN US THIS SATURDAY IN ROCKAWAY & THIS TUESDAY IN BROOKLYN
Tomorrow! Saturday, September 24 from 11am to 2pm at the Beach 41st Cornerstone Community Center at 426 Beach 40th Street in Far Rockaway, join 596 Acres at the Resilient Edgemere Final Workshop. NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will share the Draft Edgemere Neighborhood Plan which incorporates residents’ ideas for open space, community gardens and local development. This plan affects a lot of Rockaway’s vacant public land. Some of it could become gardens, parks or other public spaces; the ones designated for housing could be part of a Community Land Trust (our work as part of the New York City Community Land Initiative is paying off; more about CLTs here). Click the lots on our map hereto see what the plan has in store for them, and come on Saturday to add your voice to the conversation! Flier here: EnglishEspanol. Facebook event here.

Tuesday, September 27 from 7pm to 10pm, come hear how 596 Acres’ Executive and Legal Director Paula Z. Segal and other Brooklyn change-makers are using technology, art-making and wellness initiatives to create more powerful neighborhoods and networks at Local, Connected, and Creative: New Approaches to Community Building, a discussion and forum at the BRIC House Stoop, 647 Fulton Street (Enter on Rockwell Place) in Brooklyn. Event details here. RSVPhere.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Rockaway Park, Queens - This week, Wanda presented the plan for bayside Beach 84th Street Community Garden at Rockaway Park Civic Association. They are writing an updated letter of support to add to this draft proposal, which NYC Parks is waiting for in order to take on jurisdiction of this long vacant public lot so the community can use it! Get involved by contacting Wanda at wandaone@optonline.net or Claudia at claudiaste@aol.com, (917) 848-1082. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58968/

Far Rockaway, Queens - This week, Allison and Travis made a splash when they testified at the City’s Scoping Hearing for the Downtown Far Rockaway Redevelopment Plan (prep photos hereand here). They requested that the long-abandoned vacant public lot at Nameoke Street and Agustina Avenue be removed from the properties that the city is giving away to private developers in the Urban Renewal Area being planned for downtown Rockaway. Instead of becoming privately-owned housing that will serve very few, this lot could be a community garden, farm and compost facility that will impact a lot more people, especially in the high-density environment being planned. Agree? Tell the City: send an email by 5pm on October 3 to ebrunner@cityhall.nyc.gov. You can base your comments on the ones posted here. Connect with Allison: (718) 749-8830 or afionaj@gmail.com; read the testimonies and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4155340070/

Corona, Queens - Rafael lives in Corona and sees community land access advocacy and gardening as a great way to spend his retirement! He is going to revive a campaign to transforma vacant public DCAS lot at 111th Street and 44th Ave. Next steps: gather signatures from neighbors, come up with a plan for using the site, and make the case to the Parks Department to request jurisdiction so it can become a GreenThumb garden! Call him at 347-994-5974 to plug in. El habla español. Sign up to organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4019990038/  

Weeksville, Brooklyn - The campaign to restore the vacant public lot at 45 Somers near Rockaway Ave to being a community space is underway! This week, teen organizer and urban farmer Cyeann worked with longtime Weeksville community gardeners Sharon and Patricia on a garden design (photo below), part of the crew’s proposal to have the lot transferred to NYC Parks. Join them this Saturday, September 24 at 4pm at Phoenix Garden, a legacy community garden where Fulton Street meets Rockaway Avenue that is directly across from this lot. Get in touch with Cyeann or Sharon to get looped in: Cedward268@gmail.com, (917) 202-1977; and tastiestmorsel@yahoo.com, (347) 581-9216. Sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3015380043/

East New York, Brooklyn - New Lots and Livonia Avenues, meet New Life Farm! This week, teen organizer Al drew up a plan for the public lot under the train tracks (photo here). There's a hoop house, a compost bin, flowers, and a farmer’s market spot in the shade. He plans to call a meeting soon to build on the proposal he started on Wednesday. Contact Al to get involved: reidanthony64@gmail.com, (929) 385-9722. For updates, sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3043130006/

West Harlem, Manhattan - Lawrence gardens and cares for bees at the Walter Miller III Memorial Garden, a former vacant public lot at W 119th between 5th Avenue and Lenox. Two or three years ago, he submitted an application to GreenThumb to gain access to the vacant public HPD lot next door as well. The lot remains vacant, so when we met at GreenThumb’s Harvest Fest last weekend, Lawrence was enthusiastic about hanging up a THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND sign there and making it happen at last. Join him: email iluvlarry2@gmail.com or call (212) 920-9247; and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1017180029/

Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan - Joselyn and Renee met us at GreenThumb Harvest Fest! They both want more space to garden in their neighborhood. Joselyn is going to hang this sign and make it happen at the vacant NYC Department of Environmental Protection lot at W 49th street and 10th Ave (photo here). Next steps: come up with a plan for the site, get local organizations to demonstrate support, and present at the local Community Board to get them on board, too! Call or email to get in on the campaign: Joselyn (646) 584-2702 and felicianojoselyn@yahoo.com; Renee (646) 465-4655, resimke@gmail.com. Sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1010770029/

Highbridge, Bronx - Dian hung signs on the closed Corporal Irwin A. Fischer Park on West 169th Street between Nelson and Shakespeare Avenues, as well as the lot next door. Most of these lots are already in the department of NYC Parks, but are closed to the public! She is collecting signatures and gathering neighbors to make the request for access loud and clear. Contact Dian at dian_mhawkn715@yahoo.com or (929) 575-3438 to join her and sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58248/; and here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59053/.

OUR LOTS WITH ACCESS
Flatbush, Brooklyn - Q Gardens, right by the Q train on Church Ave and East 18th Street, is hosting Quick Compost Wednesdays: starting this week, drop-off hours for compost are from 6pm to 7pm only -- so come visit them before the sun goes down! They are organizing to expand fully onto the vacant public land where they founded a garden in December 2014 with help from 596 Acres. Stay tuned by signing up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3050780032/

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - Patchen Community Square needs your help cleaning up the garden and closing out the season this weekend on both this Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm! The garden is on the corner of Patchen and Putnam. More information on their facebookhere. Flier here.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - This Sunday, September 23 from 2pm to 6pm, come to 1100 Bergen Street Community Garden at 1107 Bergen Street and Nostrand Avenue for the second Sew WHAT in the Garden - a clothing swap and sewing circle. The rain shelter turns into a sewing studio and (all gender) clothing swap. Bring clothes you want to makes copies of (and fabric!), things you want to mend, and anything you're done wearing that you'd like to see walk out on a fabulous-looking friend or neighbor. We'll provide mirrors, curtains for privacy, 3! sewing machines and instruction. Don't forget a bag to haul away your scores in!

Red Hook, Brooklyn - The South Brooklyn Children’s Garden invites you to join them onWednesday mornings from 10:15am to 11:30am in September and October for families sing alongs and instrument exploration! Kyle, local music teacher extraordinaire, has experience with neighborhood classes and individuals. This is for kids and their adult caretakers! Let's enjoy the lovely fall weather and share some songs together in the garden. More info on the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden facebook page, here.

Harlem, Manhattan - Join Mandela Gardeners on 126th Street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell this Sunday, September 24 at 10am to plan the path forward and turn soil! This garden is a Native North American Wildflower refuge where community members are restoring and replenishing the local aquifer, creating sustainable ecologies in the heart of NYC, and building community. Their goal is to make the garden completely sustainable. You can help by volunteering to maintain the garden (weeding and watering). You can also express your support of community green spaces by tweeting to Mayor DeBlasio directly. @BilldeBlasio use #savemandelagarden. Like them on facebook here.

COLLABORATORS
Brownsville, Brooklyn - NYC Housing Preservation and Development is leading a community planning process that will impact the future of several vacant lots in the area. The next workshop on the plan is coming up this Thursday, September 29 from 6pm to 8:30pm at P.S./I.S. 323 Cafeteria, 210 Chester Street in Brooklyn (flier here). Contact Giovania Tiarachristie at (212) 863-8539 or tiarachg@hpd.nyc.gov for an invitation the next workshop. You can also share you ideas on HPD’s online platform here. More information on the City’s plan for Brownsville’s futurehere.

Little Italy, Manhattan - Elizabeth Street Gardeners are fighting hard to preserve their beloved green space amidst all the buildings of Little Italy, and they need your voice! Write Mayor DiBlasio here! Find out how else you can help at http://elizabethstreetgarden.org/.

Lower East Side, Manhattan - This Saturday, September 24 from 9am to 2pm, join Suffolk Street Gardeners at 174 Suffolk St between Stanton and Houston as they build tree guards to protect the neighborhood’s street trees! Because our street trees need YOU to survive and thrive! Questions? Contact Matt Saba at matthew.david.saba@gmail.com.

Loisaida, Manhattan - Starting tonight and going all this weekend: LUNGS Festival!LUNGS is Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens. There are so many old gardens (and some new!) in Loisaida (a.k.a. Alphabet City in the Lower East Side), created by neighbors on vacant lots! Check out their wonders this weekend. There are so many events in so many places, from readings to dance to concerts to tours to parties to open mics. Meet your neighbors and enjoy some homegrown NYC art. See the full schedule on the LUNGS website here. Like them on facebook here.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
East New York, Brooklyn - East New York Farms! Mini-grant program will fund local residents, organizations, and small business. Grants should be for projects that will increase access to healthy food in our community, and can be garden related or non-garden related, new projects or expanded projects. More information here. Application is here. Deadline: October 11.

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


This Wednesday, Cyeann and Sharon met at Saratoga Urban Agro-Ecological Center to draw up plans to expand community land in Weeksville, Brooklyn! Meet them and fellow volunteers this Saturday at 4pm at Sharon's garden, Phoenix Community Garden, where Fulton Street meets Rockaway Avenue. Get in touch with Cyeann or Sharon: Cedward268@gmail.com, (917) 202-1977; and tastiestmorsel@yahoo.com, (347) 581-9216. Sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3015380043/

In solidarity,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - September 15, 2016

15 September 2016
let's make forgotten spaces into treasured places

This morning, 596 Acres joined advocates citywide at City Hall to testify on the Housing Not Warehousing Act. The Act will add transparency and accountability to vacant public and private properties in our neighborhoods: "The story that we often hear is that real estate in New York City is running out. In this atmosphere of scarcity, communities are asked to choose between necessities: parks and gardens, much-needed housing for seniors, a day care center. Yet we look around our neighborhoods and see thousands of holes: neglected private properties collecting garbage, tax debt and worse while absent private owners face no consequences. Boarded up houses and vacant lots collecting trash are not a part of New York City’s past. They are 2016.Read the full testimony here!

JOIN US!
This Saturday, September 17 from 11am to 4pm at Diamante Garden, on 118th Street between First and Second Avenues in Harlem, come to the NYC Parks GreenThumb Harvest Fair! We will be demonstrating our game designed to help community groups manage spaces together (download here). We will also be there to answer people's questions about vacant lots in their lives. Event details here.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Belmont, Bronx - Last week, we confirmed that the Garden Of Youth in the Bronx (East 182nd and Prospect Avenue, est. 1992) was removed from the 2016 tax lien sale! Thanks to our advocacy, the decades-old garden is now out-of-reach of speculative investors. Read more here. Stop by the market at Tremont Avenue between LaFontaine and Arthur Avenues every Tuesday between 8am and 2pm until November 15 to buy Bronx-grown produce (EBT, WIC Coupons, FMNP Coupons and Health Bucks accepted).

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - Sandra and neighbors will meet this Sunday, September 18 to develop the proposal for a community garden at 37 Rochester Ave between Atlantic Ave and Herkimer Street. The sites was planned as as "Open Space (Park & Playground)" in the Central Brooklyn Urban Renewal Plan in 1968, and neighbors are organizing to make it happen at last. Sign up to Organize here to get meeting details as soon as they are announced: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58273/. Contact Sandra to get involved: (347) 226-1643 or sandra.conner293@gmail.com.

Bedstuy/Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Last week, Shadel collected letters of support from community groups who will be part of the awesome programming that takes place at the SPACE Garden, a community garden focused on poetry that will replace a vacant lot at Malcolm X Blvd and Chauncey Street. (Photo here.) Send Shadel a letter of support from your local community group or business: hrshreyalitee@streetpoetsnyc.com. Get involved by signing up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3016860048/

Weeksville, Brooklyn - Neighbors! Join a campaign to transform a vacant lot at 45 Somers near Rockaway Avenue into a community garden! We are meeting this Wednesday, September 21 at 4pm at Saratoga Farm on Fulton Street to work on the plan! This lot was planned as “Open Space” and was formerly used as a Lots for Tots lot – and can be a public good again! Connect with youth organizer Cyeann: Cedward268@gmail.com, (917) 202-1977. For updates, sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3015380043/

East New York, Brooklyn - Organizers will be working on a plan for the abandoned public land at Livonia and New Lots Ave. They will also join the meeting this Wednesday, September 21 at 4pm at Saratoga Farm. Contact Al to get involved: reidanthony64@gmail.com, (929) 385-9722. For updates, sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3043130006/

East New York, Brooklyn - B.R.O.K.E. Youth Organization (Be Responsible, Keep Excelling) met last week to begin their proposal to turn vacant lots on Hinsdale Street between Sutter and Blake into a community garden. These lots have been vacant for generations, and now the grandchildren are grown up and doing something about it. Join them: email Auradis at brokeyouthorg@gmail.com or call her at (516) 582-1460. Read notes, see photos, and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59162/

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Your neighbors are organizing to transform a former Lots for Tots space on Prospect Place near Albany Avenue into a community garden! They are working to collect signatures from the neighborhood, pass out surveys on how people would like to use the space and get endorsements from local non-profits in the area. They will bring all of this to the October meeting of Community Board 8’s Parks and Recreation Committee, coming up in October. Send your support and get involved by contacting Mandy: kordalknitwear@gmail.com or (513) 317-4457; and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59081/

Far Rockaway, Queens - This Monday, September 19 at 7pm at 1328 Augustina Ave, join Allison, join neighbors and 596 Acres as we prepare to testify at the following Tuesday’s Scoping Hearing on the Draft Scope of Work for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Downtown Far Rockaway Redevelopment Plan (details here). Neighbors want to eliminate food deserts in the Far Rockaway community and have identified a vacant public lot at Nameoke Street and Agustina Avenue as an ideal space to grow healthy produce locally. However, the City is planning to give this land to a private developer and create an Urban Renewal Area in downtown Rockaway. Then at the hearing this Tuesday, September 20, 6:30pm to 9pm, at St. John’s Hospital, Bocces Conference Room, 327 Beach 19th Street, come tell the City what impacts it needs to consider before it can responsibly move forward. Connect with Allison: (718) 749-8830 or afionaj@gmail.com. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4155340070/

Harlem, Manhattan - Stefano passes this vacant lot on W 126th Street between Lenox and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. when he walks his kid to school. He saw our signs, started dreaming and called us. He thinks a greenhouse would go well on this shady lot – or maybe some culinary mushroom logs? Join his campaign to make it happen by contacting him at (646) 761-5782 orsmarracino@yahoo.com. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1019110026/

LOTS WITH ACCESS 
West Harlem, Manhattan - This Friday, September 16 at 7:30pm, watch the movie Frozen atElectric Ladybug Garden at 237 W 111th street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.! Facebook event here (where weather cancellations will be announced).

Long Island City, Queens - This Sunday, September 18 from 2pm to 8pm, join Smiling Hogshead Ranch for their first-ever Harvest Festival! An action-packed event for all ages, featuring cooking workshops, carnival-style games, community cook-off, a raffle, and more! More information on facebook event here. On Friday, September 16 from 4pm to 8pm, join the Ranch for PARK(ing) Day 2016, as they transform a parking spot into a mini park to drink lemonade, have a community composting workshop, and share membership information on the corner of Skillman Ave. & Pearson Place. Facebook event hereStay tuned for news of incremental implementation of the Ranch on Railsthe Cutoff Coalition’s vision for expanding the use of this space to the abandoned elevated rail line, starting in 2017. It's time to plan: sign up to Organize here to get involved: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58959/

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Next Sunday, September 25 at 2pm, come hear musical artists GoodLeaf and Carmine are performing at Siempre Verde Garden at Stanton Street and Attorney Street. Preview of GoodLeaf here!

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Next Sunday, September 25 from 2pm to 6pm, come to 1100 Bergen Street Community Garden at 1107 Bergen Street and Nostrand Avenue for the second Sew WHAT in the Garden - a clothing swap and sewing circle (photo from the last one here). The rain shelter turns into a sewing studio and (all gender) clothing swap. Bring clothes you want to makes copies of (and fabric!), things you want to mend, and anything you're done wearing that you'd like to see walk out on a fabulous-looking friend or neighbor. We'll provide mirrors, curtains for privacy, 3! sewing machines and instruction. Don't forget a bag to haul away your scores in!

Bushwick, Brooklyn - On October 5 from 5:30pm to 7pmKnow Waste Lands at 1278 Myrtle Avenue between Cedar Street and Dekalb Avenue is hosting GreenThumb’s workshop onBuilding an Arbor! Along with signs, open gates, and colorful flora, an arbor at the entrance of your community garden can be a great way to welcome community members. In this hands-on workshop we will build an affordable wooden craftsman-style garden arbor together. More information and RSVP with Greenthumb here.

Southside, Brooklyn - Join your neighbors in designing Hooper Park! The lot on the corner of Hooper and South 5th has been waiting to become open space planned in 1992 for decades. Thanks to local organizing with our support, the land was finally transferred to NYC Parks! Get involved: email hooperstreetpark@gmail.com and sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3024500028/

COLLABORATORS
Bedstuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn - This Friday, September 16 at 7pm, come out to The People's Garden at Greene Avenue and Broadway for a free night of tropical futurism. This is their last concert in their summer series. Line-up: Combo ChimbitaV4p0rúYotoco and DJ E's E. There will be vegetarian tamales for sale and they will disclose the AFTERPARTY w/ P'drito Criollo location at the time of the event. More information on the facebook event here.

Rockaway, Queens - NYC Honey Fest is this Saturday, September 17 from 11am to 5pm (rain date September 18) at Boardwalk 86th, Rockaway Beach (8601 Shore Front Pkwy, in front of Rippers). Returning to the Rockaway Boardwalk for its sixth year, NYC Honey Fest is a celebration of the amazing pollinators who call the five boroughs home. This free, daylong festival features food, art, kids’ activities and crafts, and a honey & bee-product marketplace. Details here. It is part of NYC Honey Week, a citywide, weeklong festival celebrating the honey bee! Find out what’s buzzing near you on the website here or on facebook here.

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



With love,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - September 1, 2016

01 September 2016
what can you do in a community garden?

 

 

When neighbors organize to create and preserve NYC’s community spaces, they’re creating the potential for so much more to take place. On Monday evening, 1100 Bergen Street Community Garden in Crown Heights held Sew WHAT in the Garden – a clothing swap and sewing circle hosted by the Sewing Science Society of Brooklyn. Neighbors new and old came together to exchange clothing, style, sewing techniques, stories, and more. 1100 Bergen Street Community Garden is one of Brooklyn’s oldest! Last year, 596 Acres worked with its gardeners to facilitate the land being transferred from the Block Association that created it to the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, a stable steward that will ensure the park is here serving the community in perpetuity (read more here). Save the date for the next Sew WHAT in the Garden! Sunday, September 25, 2pm to 6pm, 1107 Bergen Street,Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

You can support community land access for the long haul by making a tax-deductible donation to 596 Acres.

WORK WITH US
We're hiring a Community Land Access Program Organizer. Each community land access campaign is slightly different, so we are looking for a self-driven problem-solver. You will continue our tested effective strategies to facilitate neighborhood groups accessing vacant land and, where needed, develop and pursue new ones. Click here for details.

The deadline to apply for Data Internships is tomorrow, Friday, September 2 at 5:59pm!You will learn intimately how to sleuth online for information about building transactions, city dispositions, the tax lien sale and warehoused public buildings. Click here for details.

 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Staten Island - Great news! We got confirmation this week that the vacant land between Sand Lane and Piave Avenue is in the process of being transferred to the NYC Parks Department! This is a victory from a neighborhood campaign that got started in May 2014. Sign up to Organize here to be part of creating this new community space: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58252/

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Your neighbors have begun a proposal to create a community gardenon a former Lots for Tots lot on Prospect Place between Albany and Kingston Aves. This Wednesday evening, neighbors met and planned next steps: finishing their proposal and approaching Brooklyn Community Board 8's Parks Committee on Tuesday, September 6 at 6pm at St. John's Recreation Center, 1251 Prospect Place (between Troy and Schenectady Avenues). Meet them there! Or plug in by contacting Mandy at kordalknitwear@gmaill.com, (513) 317-4457. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59081/

East New York, Brooklyn - Auradis grew up near these vacant lots on Hinsdale Street between Sutter and Blake, and recalls that they have been vacant since her grandmother's day! She wants to transform them into a community garden with her youth non-profit, BROKE Youth (which stands for Be Responsible, Keep Excelling). Next steps: come up with a plan for the space. Join them: email Auradis at brokeyouthorg@gmail.com or call her at (516) 582-1460. Read notes and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59162/

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - Sandra and a group of neighborhood parents, some of whom are retired, want to put plants in the ground on the fenced-off vacant lot at 37 Rochester Ave between Atlantic Ave and Herkimer St. These lots were planned as as "Open Space (Park & Playground)" in the Central Brooklyn Urban Renewal Plan in 1968, and neighbors have been waiting ever since. Next steps: Sandra is going to call a meeting after the holiday weekend, and her group will come up with a plan! Contact Sandra to get involved: (347) 226-1643 or sandra.conner293@gmail.com. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58273/  

Bedstuy/Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Shadel and neighbors push forward on their plan for transforming a vacant lot at Malcolm X Blvd and Chauncey Street into a poetry garden. They are planning to meet in the next week. For updates, be sure to sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3016860048/

Weeksville, Brooklyn - Youth organizer Cyeann is teaming up with D.U.E.C.E.S. to reimagine the vacant lot at 45 Somers near Rockaway Ave. It was formerly used as Lots for Tots lot, wasplanned as “Open Space” by NYC, and has great potential to become a community resource. Join Cyeann’s team of volunteers: Cedward268@gmail.com, (917) 202-1977. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3015380043/

Rockaway Park, Queens - Coming soon: Beach 84th Street Community Garden! Last weekend, neighbors got together to work on the proposal the NYC Parks Department is waiting for so that they can approve the transfer of this City property to the GreenThumb program (photo here). The garden will include raised beds, native salt-water tolerant plants, solar panels, and a community gathering area! Get involved by contacting Wanda at wandaone@optonline.net or Claudia at claudiaste@aol.com, (917) 848-1082. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58968/

Edgemere, Queens - NYC Housing Preservation and Development’s staff has agreed: several vacant public lots on Beach 43rd Street are more suited to become gardens and/or open spaces than housing. Check them out here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59126/ and here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59127/.

Rockaway Park, Queens - Travis has envisioned this lot in the inventory of DCAS at Beach 84th Street as a compost site to create healthy growing medium for Rockaway's gardens. Contact him at t.andersoncap@gmail.com or (646) 662-0585. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4161030076/

LOTS WITH ACCESS
West Harlem, Manhattan - Next Saturday, September 10 from 10:30am to 12pm at Electric Ladybug Garden at 237 W 111th street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Jr., kids can learn about the solar system - from other kids! Get a rollicking musical introduction to the workings of our solar system in an 'unplugged' performance by students from Jose Barbose PS112! Afterwards, kids create their own solar system hats to wear home.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT) has two events coming up at1100 Bergen Street Community GardenWednesday, September 14, at 6pm is Making the Season's Bounty Last Through Canning and Pickling. Next, stay tuned for The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA)’s Performance and Family Day, also coming up at this historic garden in September.

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - 462 Halsey Community Garden, on Halsey and Lewis, invites you to join them next Saturday, September 10 from 12pm to 3pm for fall planting, needs your help with their composting program every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mid-morning, and has a sliding-scale community farmer’s market every Saturday! Find out more information about all of this on their facebook page, or visit their website, 462halsey.com, where you can sign up for their email list.

Flatbush, Brooklyn - Q Gardens, right by the Q train on Church Ave and East 18th Street, has hit an exciting milestone: Between April 2015 and July 2016, their community composting operation diverted 10 TONS of food scraps from landfills! They are always in need of more compost volunteers; learn more at: https://qgardens.org/places-to-drop-off-your-compost/ or contact Natalia, our sent-from-heaven Composting Coordinator, at nataliajsucre@gmail.com

COLLABORATORS
Next Saturday, September 10 at 4pm, join the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT) to learn the Basics of Creating Good Soil for Growing Good Food. Mama Dee’s Garden, 1397 Bedford Ave (at St. Marks Ave) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
City Harvest, a non-profit food rescue organization, seeks full-time AmeriCorps member with strong communication and organizational skills to join an upbeat Nutrition Education Department. The Cooking Matters AmeriCorps member is being sought for a term of service starting no later than September 15, 2016 and ending approximately 1 year from start date, but will keep the position open until it’s filled. More information and application here.

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


Last weekend, Paula Z. Segal of 596 Acres and Murray Cox Documentary Photographer stopped by Electric Ladybug Garden as part of GreenThumb's 11th Annual Great Harlem Community Garden Tour. They enjoyed a children's concert in the garden and snapped this photo from above. This site went from from a decades-old vacant, fenced-off lot to permanent NYC Parks Department community garden through incredible local organizingfacilitated by 596 Acres! Now, look at all that growing.

Small parks, big picture,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - August 18, 2016

18 August 2016
we made it out of vacant public land

In early 2013, Bushwick’s youth-run composting service BK Rot, identified vacant lots on Myrtle Avenue as a future place to compost food scraps and spread environmental stewardship with 596 Acres’ help. They led a community land access advocacy campaign that expanded to include Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Community Board 4, and many local residents. By summer 2014, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation took jurisdiction of the long-forgotten lots for permanent preservation as a community garden: Know Waste Lands, which is now a thriving community resource! Join them in the garden! Open hours are Tuesdays from 8 to 10am for watering, weeding and relaxing in the cool part of the day andSundays from 10:30am to 4pm for composting, weeding, watering and hanging out with the BK Rot crew. Know Waste Lands is located at Myrtle Ave between Cedar Street and Dekalb Avenue. 

This is one story out of the dozens we have helped create in the five years (this week!) since 596acres.org first launched. Support more transformations by donating to 596 Acres. Happy birthday to all of us!

INTERN WITH US!
596 Acres is seeking two interns who can work with us 10 hours per week for 10 weeks exploring the data behind our built environment. Internship dates will be approximately September 19 - November 23, 2016. You will learn intimately how to sleuth online for information about building transactions, city dispositions, the tax lien sale and warehoused public buildings. Application due Friday, September 2, 2016. Click here for details.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Weeksville/Bed Stuy, Brooklyn - There’s a vacant public lot dotted with beautiful trees at 45 Somers Street. Planned as "Open Space" when the City created a plan for the area, it used to be a Lots for Tots Park, but has been abandoned for decades. Neighbor and youth organizer Cyeann has started a campaign to revitalize this piece of our commons. She needs help collecting signatures from neighbors in support of activating the space as a community-managed Parks space. Join her! Email Cyeann at Cedward268@gmail.com or call her at 917-202-1977, and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3015380043/

East New York, Brooklyn - Local youth want to make something great out of the abandoned public land at Livonia and New Lots Ave. Join them: Tewens (tewensv@gmail.com or 518-536-4267), Al (reidanthony64@gmail.com or 929-385-9722), and Jenae (brooklyngt@bedstuyagainsthunger.org or 347-418-2310). Sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3043130006/

Harlem, Manhattan - Neighbors want to make something better at W 136th Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Lenox Ave. Join them! Sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1019210124/

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Bed Stuy, Brooklyn - 462 Halsey Community Garden needs your help! They say: "Our compost crew is very over-worked right now. We've been getting 1000 pounds of food scraps a week and we can't keep up! If we don't get the compost under control, we might have to close our gates. We really don't want to do that!" Visit 462halsey.com or email 462halsey@gmail.com for more information about helping out! ‪#‎ThankYou‬!

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn - Communal Spaces: A Garden Play Festival is happens in Bed Stuy gardens including 462 Halsey this weekend and next weekend! More information here.

COLLABORATORS
Bushwick, Brooklyn & Ridgewood, Queens -  Help spread the word about The Housing Not Warehousing Act in Council District 34! This is a set of bills that will add transparency and accountability to vacant public and private property in our neighborhoods. The bills in the Act: 

  • create a registry that all individuals and corporations holding their property vacant have to enter or pay penalties for failure to register,
  • mandate the City perform an annual count of all vacant property in New York City, and
  • require the City to compile a list of all city, state, federally, and authority-owned vacant property.
Picture the Homeless is coordinating volunteers to flyer on Wednesdays, from 12 to 2pm, at the Broadway/Myrtle station and Fridays from 12 to 2pm at the vacant lot at Bushwick Ave. and Himrod Street. Contact Jenny: jenny@picturethehomeless.org.

Long Island City, Queens - This Saturday, August 20 from noon to 5pm, join our friends from Smiling Hogshead Ranch at the Long Island City Block Party at the Sculpture Center, 44-19 Purves Street. Come drop off your frozen kitchen scraps and stay for the worm petting zoo for the kids, young and old.

Red Hook, Brooklyn - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a plan to remove toxins from the Baseball Field on Henry and Bay Street, and your neighbor Peter is keeping us in the loop about it. You can read the status and clean up plans they presented to the community earlier this month and their recent Community Involvement Plan. The EPA’s Community Involvement Coordinator (CIC) is Natalie Loney, and her role is to connect the community to the EPA’s work. Contact her at (212) 637-3639 and loney.natalie@epa.gov for more information. Sign up to Organize here for updates (thanks, Peter!): http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3005810001/

Bedstuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn - This Saturday, August 20 starting at 6pm, gather for another free summer concert at The People's Garden, Greene Avenue and Broadway with Escasos Recursos, DJ Miss Hap, and more. This summer concert series is a collaboration between the People’s Garden and Consumata Sonidera, Free. More information here. Promo video here.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Get your free daffodil bulbs for planting in public spaces! Register to receive some from New Yorkers for Parks by Thursday, September 1 at 5pm here.

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


Here.

Stay rooted, 
596 Acres

News from the Acres - August 4, 2016

04 August 2016
we built this city

 

Keap Fourth Community Garden on Williamsburg's Southside is open every day: the gates are opened by a garden member every morning and closed at dusk so neighbors can stop in whenever they feel like, rain or shine (there is a shelter to protect visitors from water and sun). On one recent Tuesday the garden hosted a singing class for the daycare set and a visit from a summer camp. Click here to see more of Murray Cox's beautiful photos of a Tuesday morning at Keap Fourth. This lot was planned as "Open Space" in the Southside Urban Renewal Area Plan, adopted by City Council in 1992. With our facilitation, neighbors organized to make this plan a reality in 2014. For the intervening 22 years, the land had just been waiting. Donate to support 596 Acres' New York City Community Land Access Program here. 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - The Hancock Street Community Block Association has a wonderful vision for the transformation of an 18-foot wide lot that has been abandoned by the City for decades. Click here to see it. They need your help getting signatures from neighbors and letters from local businesses and neighbors in support. Sign up to Organize here. Print the petition here. Contact Mr. Leo Morris at Lmmorri@msn.com to join the effort.

Lower East Side, Manhattan and Citywide -  596 Acres has started documenting un-used and under-used NYC Parks buildings. In Manhattan Community District 3 on the Lower East Side alone found ten (10!) buildings once built for the public, then closed during the fiscal crises of the 1970s and never re-opened. You can see them on our interactive map and add notes, files and photos and to become an Organizer; you can also see a printable map of all of them here, created based on our investigation as part of NYCommonsThese are opportunities for community centers, public restrooms, cooperative food businesses. Let's get them back! The City is doing well. We need our public spaces more than ever. In the coming months, we will spread our investigation to the rest of Manhattan and the City. Want to volunteer? Organizers@596acres.org.

OFF THE PRESSES
"Rapacious development is churning and devouring neighborhoods. Gathering places are first on the chopping block." Read more from Paula Z. Segal about development in Bushwick and our small contribution to the countercurrent in The Nature of Cities.
 
Around the world, people are recognizing that the city is a resource co-created by its users that must be shared equitably: a commons. The City as Commons: A Policy Reader, a publication of the Commons Transition Coalition, is a collection of specific recipes we can use to change the way we shape our urban environments. Paula Z. Segal's prescriptions for the use of data-driven information to empower the co-creation of open space and elimination of tax lien sales for charity and vacant properties are included. Click here to read it and let us know what ideas you find most relevant to New York City!

INTERN DISPATCH FROM MID-SUMMER
"This summer I am trying to visit each and every one of the spaces that 596 Acres has helped create in New York City. I want to meet the communities around them and learn as much as I can about the spaces' impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods." Read more from Francisco Miranda, one of our fabulous Summer 2016 team here

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Harlem, Manhattan - Mandela Garden steward training today, August 4, from 5:30 to 7pm. The training takes about 30 minutes. RSVP: harlemmandelagarden [at] gmail.com. Mandela Garden is a refuge for Native North American Wildflowers. The gardeners harvest rainwater for raised beds. Their goal is to make the garden completely sustainable. You can help by volunteering to maintain the garden (weeding and watering). 

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Next Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 6 to 7:30 pm come to Siempre Verde Garden for the next installment of the Art in the Garden Series: Musical Mobiles and Wind Chimes. Create your own unique, rustic and recycled wind chimes! RSVP on facebook here

COLLABORATORS
Bushwick, Brooklyn - Sure We Can, a community-run composting + bottle and can redemption center, has launched a campaign to collect 60 million cans from New Yorkers (that's us!) to raise the funds to buy the lot where they work, remove the land from speculation and secure the space for community in perpetuity. Click here to get your cans in!

Every year, over 140 million gallons of stormwater do not enter NYC's waterways with untreated sewage because New Yorkers have built and maintain hundreds of community gardens. Almost every time it rains, NYC's sewer system overflows, carrying stormwater and raw sewage together directly into our rivers, bays, and oceans. Community gardens absorb stormwater throughout the city, helping to prevent this, and many are in flood zones - particularly critical to protecting our waterways. Read more from Mara Gittleman, New York City Community Garden Coalition Board member here

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

Mandela Garden needs your tweets to Mayor DeBlasio (@BilldeBlasio): #savemandelagarden

Grass between the toes to all, 
596 Acres

News from the Acres - July 14, 2016

14 July 2016
hand built city

 

Cleaning the office we found this vintage 2012 map of opportunities for community land access on Williamsburg's Southside in Brooklyn. Of the six we identified then, four have been transformed into permanent community spaces by neighbors organizing with our guidance. One became a building, and one remains empty, a scar left by the continued promise of private development on public land. You can support the impacts by donating here

LAND IN NYC: LET'S CHANGE THE RULES!
596 Acres would like you and your garden group, block association, business, club and organization to join us in endorsing the Housing Not Warehousing Act. This is a set of bills that will add transparency and accountability to vacant public and private property in our neighborhoods. The bills in the Act: 

  • create a registry that all individuals and corporations holding their property vacant have to enter or pay penalties for failure to register,
  • mandate the City perform an annual count of all vacant property in New York City, and
  • require the City to compile a list of all city, state, federally, and authority-owned vacant property suitable for the development of affordable* housing.

To endorse, send an email with the subject "Endorsing Housing Not Warehousing" to Ryan at our NYCCLI partner organization, Picture the Homeless: ryan@picturethehomeless.org. *We will still need to work together to make sure this means affordable to the right people, the ones in the neighborhood now.
 
NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Rockaway, Queens - Wanda and Joe are gathering letters of support for a Bay-side garden on Beach 84th Street, including this one from our friends at Power Rockaways Resilience. Contact Wanda at (518) 693-9349 to add your organization to the proposal or Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58968/

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Join Mandy to organize the former Lots for Tots space on Prospect Place near Albany Avenue into a community resource today. Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59081/ or contact her directly: kordalknitwear@gmail.com or (513) 317-4457.

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Join us for a workshop on Land! Money! Power! in NYC Parkson Wednesday, July 27 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm at 30 Delancey Street between Forsyth and Chrystie Streets inside Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Come learn how to take control of our Parks and community spaces. Public parks and public open spaces are among the few places left in an increasingly segregated city that are truly democratic preserves. Here is more about a Lower East Side campaign to re-open a NYC Parks building that 596 Acres has helped revive as a a partner of NYCommons. The Sara D Roosevelt Park Coalition hosts this workshop. As part of our work on this project, we have started documenting un-used and under-used NYC Parks buildings. Check out a preliminary map here and email organizers@596acres.org to add yours!
 
INTERN DISPATCH FROM MID-SUMMER
"Since I started my internship in May, I have gotten a crash course in New York City land policy: learning by doing." Read more from Shannon Pepper, one of our fabulous Summer 2016 teamhere

COLLABORATORS
Design Trust for Public Space is looking for a range of Fellows to help "Open the Edge" at a public housing campus on the Lower East Side. Details are here. Apply by July 28. We are really excited about this project, which is poised to serve as a prototype for getting more New Yorkers engaged with more of our public lands.

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

Join the fun at new Hooper Park Community Garden (#36!) on Williamsburg's Southside, finally an open space bringing vitality to the neighborhood! They are also on facebook.

Until August, 
596 Acres

News from the Acres - June 30, 2016

30 June 2016

#thislandisyourland


GUEST BLOG: DECENTRALIZED ORGANIZING

Greenpoint, Brooklyn - Java Street Community Garden member Gabriel Park says there are 3 major components you need to “decentralize your organization:” good structure for the group, someone to be the secretary at all times, and clear communication. Read on for specific tips and tricks!

JOIN US!
Lower East Side, Manhattan - 596 Acres will join The Stanton Building Task Force of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition at It's My Park Day at Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Wednesday, July 6 from 3pm to 6pm. 596 Acres will bring our What Do We Do With Our Land exhibit, which highlights the use of eminent domain and community land trusts to create community controlled land and housing on the Lower East Side. We originally installed this in front of the Stanton Street building in 2015 for the Ideas City Festival. You can listen to the audio pieces at this link, but you will need to come to the festival to experience the energy of the neighborhood!

Sunnyside/Long Island City, Queens - Join us at a GeoNYC Tour to benefit 596 Acres: The Second Renaissance of Railroads to see the past and the future with GeoNYC and the Queens Borough Historian on Tuesday, July 12 at 6pm. Details and RSVP information here

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Melrose, Bronx - Support the Hill Street Community Garden plan! The group is gathering letters of support from local organizations. Contact Victor Maldonado at maldonvic@aol.com to send yours and become an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001/.

Bed Stuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn - We are thrilled to have connected neighbors to the Madison Community Garden, an NYC Parks Department Green Thumb garden ready for re-activation on Madison near Howard. The group will be meeting again during the week of July 11. Get in touch with Ijendu Z. Obasi at GreenThumb - (929) 295 1389, ijendu.obasi@parks.nyc.gov - and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3014830027/. The group is also exploring the possibility of reactivating the lot on the corner of Howard and Madison, which was used as a playspace for the neighborhood in 2012 and then shut down without any community input. 

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - The land on Prospect Place near Albany Avenue used to be a Lots for Tots lot - it even still has the murals and equipment in it! But it's no longer managed as one. In fact, the whole Lots for Tots program closed about 20 years ago. A new community space here could take advantage of the nice murals and some of the furniture that is already here. A group could decide to make changes, too! Currently, the land is being held by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. It will need to be transferred to NYC Parks for community stewardship. Become an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59081/ The next step is to have a meeting with the neighbors and the block association. Here is a meeting announcement template you can use.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Call all your elected officials today if you want the City and the State to actively preserve the Roger That! Garden on Park Place and Rogers Avenue before it disappears to make way for four expensive apartments. The only way this garden space will be preserved now is if someone buys it from the developer. The government can do that. Bills have been introduced in theState Senate and Assembly that direct the State Parks Department to do just that. NYC Parks can also step in to save the day! This week call Council Member Robert Cornegy, (718) 919-0740, Assembly Member Diana Richardson, 718-771-3105, and Senator Velmanette Montgomery, (718) 643-6140, and ask them to make acquiring this land for permanent preservation as open space a priority. The community really needs it!
 
COLLABORATORS
The Bushwick Food Coop is looking for a Part Time Store Manager! Here is the job description for this paid position. Apply ASAP

Design Trust for Public Space is looking for a range of Fellows to help "Open the Edge" at a public housing campus on the Lower East Side. Details are here. Apply by July 28. We are really excited about this project, which is poised to serve as a prototype for getting more New Yorkers engaged with more of our public lands.

GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
The Macktez Summer Stipend is an an opportunity to get $1000 to finish a summer project:https://www.macktez.com/stipend/. We did in 2014 to create signs for lots in active urban renewal areas and to connect folks on the streets to the Urban Reviewer, the first comprehensive and online database of every urban renewal plan that NYC ever adopted that we created to help guide your organizing. This year's applications are due July 23.

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


Bed-Stuy organizers testified at the Mayor's Office Real Estate Disposition hearing on June 22 in Manhattan, urging Housing Preservation and Development to use the precious public land at 463 Tompkins Avenue to create a true community resource: a garden or housing affordable to people who live in the neighborhood now to be permanently preserved via a community land trust. The City currently plans to transfer the land to a developer who will use it to build four housing units, to be sold to families making up to $106,000 per year. Zoning allows up to 24 units to be built here. The average family living in the Bed Stuy Community District makes approximately $39,000 per year. Contact Council Member Robert Cornegy to ask him to work with the administration on a better plan: (718) 919-0740.

Yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - June 16, 2016

16 June 2016

Plant ‘til you’re planted!

 

 

JOIN US: 596 ACRES GENERAL MEETING THIS SATURDAY
Whether you're a community land steward, stuck in the middle of a land access campaign or just curious about how to get started, come get the scoop this Saturday, June 18 from 2:30pm to 4pm. Meet in front of the new Hooper Street Park, at Hooper Street and South 5th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn! 596 Acres Advisory Committee members will lead a teach-in on urban soil and there will be ample opportunity for fellow land advocates to learn from each other's campaigns. Event details here. Facebook event here

ABOUT HOOPER STREET PARK
Last weekend, Hooper Street Park gardeners had their first official meeting! This lot was designated as Open Space in the Southside Urban Renewal Plan in 1992, and has been waiting ever since. The land was vacant for decades before that as well but in 1940 it was a synagogue. We are glad to be reactivating this corner of the neighborhood as a gathering place in partnership with the El Puente Green Light District, NYC Parks GreenThumb and GrowNYC's Open Space Greening program. Get involved by emailing hooperstreetpark@gmail.com, connecting on facebook, or signing up as an Organizer here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3024500028/

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bed Stuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn - Neighbors have a vision for a Hip Hop Garden in the area. Join them and 596 Acres staff this Friday, June 14 at 4pm in front of the vacant lot on the corner of Howard Avenue and Madison Street to explore options. This vacant public lot in inventory of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services may become the target of organizing. We will also visit the nearby Madison Community Garden, an NYC Parks Department Green Thumb garden which is open for new members. Get in touch with Lya of Beats, Mind ‘n Alive at contact@lyapouleyy.com or (929) 428-4287, or sign up as an organizer here to plug in: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59072/

Staten Island - This Saturday, June 18 at 9am, Harry and fellow gardeners are meeting NYC Park's Department's GreenThumb staff in front of a vacant lot on Sand Land near Humbert Street to finalize plans for the garden here! The Community Board is in support and neighbors have been waiting patiently since 2014 to make their garden dreams come true; this is the final step before Parks accepts jurisdiction! Come meet your neighbors and join them in making their plan for a garden here real. Sign up as an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58252/

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn - For the last several years, 596 Acres has been supporting neighbors advocating for the transfer of two long-vacant lots on Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn from NYC Housing Preservation and Development to NYC Parks to create a community garden. With no accessible public review or notice to the local community, the city is now poised to give these lots to a private developer for the construction of housing that most residents of the neighborhood will not be able to afford. Necessary hearings have not been completed and the contract has not been signed, yet work has already started on the site. Join organizers on Wednesday, June 22 at 10am at 1 Center Street in Manhattan on the Mezzanine to testify against the land give-away. 596 Acres' Paula Segal's article about the situation and the de Balsio administration's response are in City Limits this week; read themhere. A guide to testifying is here. It's easy! In the words of a neighbor and organizer, “This kind of informative response is what makes a difference in a community that has been some what uninformed and seemingly at times in the dark.”

Rockaway, Queens - A community garden is coming to Beach 84th Street on the Bay Side! Last week, Paula helped Wanda start writing a proposal for the transfer of a decades-vacant lot to NYC Parks where it can become a community space. Wanda will be getting letters of support and having a meeting for future gardeners in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for the meeting announcement, or get in touch now to help: 518-693-9349 or wandamc72@gmail.com; or sign up as an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58968/

Melrose, Bronx - The design for Hill Street Garden, which will replace a sloping vacant lot on E 159th St between St Ann's & Eagle Ave in the South Bronx, is almost done! On Sunday, June 5, neighbors reviewed the plans that their design team drew up after envisioning together last month. The plan includes community event space, places for neighbors to relax, and an outdoor classroom for children. Check out the progress, look at the plan, see photos, and get in touch with neighbors here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001/. If you have ties with organizations in the South Bronx, we are looking for letters of support to add to our deck. Contact Victor Maldonado at maldonvic@aol.com.Thanks so much to our pro bono design team for all your work so far! 
 
LOTS WITH ACCESS
Harlem, Manhattan - This Saturday, June 18 from 3pm to 6pmSaint Nicholas Miracle Gardenon 125th St and St. Nicholas Avenue is having a big day of garden music! Featuring performances from Shu Nakamura & the Ninjas, Anand GanSuzanne Davenport & the Violin Femmes, the Ninja Academy of Music, with many other special guests. Come join us for a day of MUSIC. COMMUNITY. EDUCATION. FUN. More information here.

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - This Saturday, June 18 from 12pm to 3pm,  Artfully Unforgotten: Color Your Story is coming to 462 Halsey Community GardenDoes the color yellow remind you of a special time you baked a birthday cake with your mom? Choose a color and use different materials from that color to create a picture of a memorable moment that the color reminds you of! More information at artfullyunforgotten.org. Family friendly!

Long Island City, Queens - This Sunday, June 19 from 10am to 5pm, join Smiling Hogshead Ranchers for a composting bike tour of queens! We will start at 10am at the Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St (use the Parking Garden entrance on Blossom Avenue). We will visit 5 sites before ending with an evening cooldown and picnic at Smiling Hogshead Ranch, 25-30 Skillman Ave, at approximately 3:30pm. Please RSVP to compost@queensbotanical.org. More event information here.

Rockaway, Queens: Free yoga at Edgemere Farm at Beach 45th Street Community Farm withmigenteyoga every Wednesday at 9am! Photo here. All levels and abilities welcome! ✨✨

COLLABORATORS
Bedstuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn - This Saturday, June 18 at 6pm, gather for another free summer concert at The People's Garden! This time it’s ROCKERS' UNDERGROUND, featuring Top Shotta Band, The Far East, Radio Daze, Crazy Baldhead, with local homemade food. All events are all ages, free and community friendly! This is part of a monthly concert series, a collaboration between The People's Garden and Consumata Sonidera, to bring together the community of Bedstuy, Bushwick and NYC through the love of music! Event information here. Promo videohere.

Harlem, Manhattan - This Sunday, June 19 from 10am to 1pm at Park Ave and 118th, join gardeners of Lydia’s Magic Garden in a bit of cleanup, weeding, and reviewing proposed garden design!

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Next Friday, June 24 from 4pm to 7pm, join FABNYC for Clinton Street Fest! Celebrate the vibrant culture and commerce of Clinton Street with an afternoon stroll through local businesses and one-of-a-kind artist interventions. Experience the energy of this diverse business corridor through music, poetry, storytelling, performances, and pop up shops! Open to the public of all ages. The event will feature discounts and tastings at select Clinton Street businesses, with drink specials at Donnybrook NYC. Check out the full program here.

Lower East Side, Manhattan - Children’s Magical Garden at 129 Stanton St on the corner of Norfolk St is offering a free 5 week summer camp for kids ages 7 to 12 from July 11 to August 12, Monday to Friday! Free to all! Super fun outdoor environmental education activities will include growing fresh and healthy food and herbs in the garden and and team-building through nature games. More information here. To get an application, contact Feng Chen atfengc24@yahoo.com or (646) 732-9462.

Harlem, Manhattan - The Harlem Rose Garden, on E 129th St between 5th Ave and Madison, is welcoming new members! Get involved by emailing harlemrosegarden@gmail.com.

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

Girl Scouts in the Maple Street Community Garden last week. El jardín está abierto!

In solidarity,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - June 2, 2016

01 June 2016

Don’t go through life, GROW through life!

 

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Melrose, Bronx - On Sunday, June 5 at 10:30 am, future Hill Street Gardeners will be meeting in the Community Room at 820 St. Ann’s Ave, right next to the hill, to see plans produced by 596 Acres' pro bono design team based on the visioning session we hosted last month. Join them! Contact Victor (maldonvic@aol.com, 718-665-4281) to get involved or connect with neighbors here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001/

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - Join neighbors (pictured above) organizing to transform the vacant lot at Malcolm X and Chauncey Street on Monday, June 6 at 7pm at Brooklyn Community Board 3's general meeting at Restoration Plaza, 1360 Fulton Street. Contact Shadel at hrshreyalitee@streetpoetsnyc.com and sign up to become an organizer here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3016860048/  

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - In 1968, the City planned the vacant lots that reach from Rochester Avenue to Suydam Place between Herkimer Street and Atlantic Avenue as a future Park & Playground in the Central Brooklyn Urban Renewal Plan, but neighbors are still waiting. Let’s make it real! One said to us last week, “I believe that they would make a spectacular Park for the entire block and community to enjoy.” Let's make it so! Contact Chopp (chopp.stewart@thefutureproject.org, 904-405-6291), Denise (hamblin.inc@gmail.com, 917-601-4877) or one of the other organizers who shared their contact information on the lot’s page – http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58273/ – you too can sign up to organize!

Staten Island - On Saturday, June 18 at 9am, Harry and fellow gardeners are meeting NYC Park's Department's GreenThumb staff in front of a vacant lot on Sand Land near Humbert Street to finalize plans for the garden here. The Community Board is in support and neighbors have been waiting patiently since 2014 to make their garden dreams come true; this is the final step before Parks accepts jurisdiction! Come meet your neighbors and join them in making their plan for a garden here real. Sign up as an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58252/

NYCommons, STATEN ISLAND EDITION
Join 596 Acres, the Urban Justice Center Community Development Project, Common Cause/NY and the Let's Rebuild Cromwell Community Coalition on Wednesday, June 8 from 7pm to 9pmat Brighton Heights Reformed Church, 320 St. Marks Place. 

We are hosting this workshop to educate neighbors about the pending Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) application by the Department of City Planning to approve the disposition of public health center on Stuyvesant Place, this parking lot on Central Avenue, and the Jersey Street Garage, all currently public real estate assets, to private developers; also in DCP's application is the Bay St Corridor Rezoning, which includes the potential transfer a stretch of City-owned water front, a potential park on Front Street, to a developer for building housing towers. Find out more information and sign up as an Organizer on any of the pages linked above or connect with Let's Rebuild Cromwell Community Coalition on facebook or by emailingletsrebuildcromwell@gmail.com.

The City's Scoping Hearing, at which key decisions about these proposed actions will be made, will be on Wednesday, June 15 at 6pm at 309 Saint Pauls Ave., Staten Island. Save the date to come out and be heard by the City officials who work for us! 

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Bedstuy, Brooklyn - This Saturday, June 4 at 11am, help Myrtle Village Green gardeners build tables, turn compost, move dirt and plant flowers! The garden is located on Myrtle between Franklin and Kent. Stay connected on the MVG facebook, here.

Brownsville, Brooklyn - Also Saturday, June 4 from 1pm to 4pm, high school youth from the Nature Conservancy and East New York Farms! internship programs will be having a community work day to reactivate the newly revived Warwick Greenery Glow Garden, on Warwick Street between Blake and Dumont. They would love and welcome local residents from the neighborhood and Warwick Street to help and get plugged into the long-term stewardship of the space! Come by on Saturday at 1pm if you're interested! Contact Milton (718-564-3013) or Miguel (347-500-9945).

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - The Fresh Food Box returns to 462 Halsey Community Garden on Saturday, June 4 where you can get a $12 deal for an assortment of fruits and vegetables each week. Fresh Food Box is an initiative offering weekly bags of locally-grown fruits and vegetables in collaboration with GrowNYC. More information here.

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - Also starting this Saturday, June 4 at 10amPatchen Community Square, on the corner of Patchen and Putnam, is starting a Fitness and Gardening Workout class every other Saturday. Join them! More information here.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn - Java Street Garden's annual Spring into Summer party is next Saturday, June 11! Stop by Java Street between Franklin and West for a bite, to take a chance on a raffle prize or to listen to some music. The garden is looking lovelier each day, we hope to see you out there! More information here.

COLLABORATORS
Jamaica, Queens - Join the Rochdale Village Library Learning Garden Project to help plan a new mini-botanical garden on the library grounds and learn about garden design! They will meet on Saturday, June 11, 1-2:30pm, 169-09 137th Avenue, Jamaica, Queens. 

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


On May 23, Merrick Marsden Community Garden in Jamaica, Queens finally reopened as protected open space! It has been serving the community since 1967, but was recently threatened with extinction by the Tax Lien Sale – though tax debt should have never been owed on this not-for-profit owned property in the first place. The property was saved by a local fundraising frenzy and because of 596 Acres, which referred the local organization to Mohen & Segal LLP to defend a foreclosure action brought by the Tax Lien Trust, and then in a transfer of the property to the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust in January 2014. 

596 Acres' Paula Segal explains in a CityLimits editorial how the lien sale puts community land at risk. Sign the petition asking the Mayor to keep community property and vacant land out of the tax lien sale here


It's working!
596 Acres

News from the Acres - May 20, 2016

20 May 2016
#eminentdomain4good

Community gardens are not only places to grow fresh food and enjoy the great outdoors with your neighbors. They are also prime locations for pop-up libraries, shows, art-making, meal-sharing, and all kinds of educational and cultural programming that make communities vibrant and strong. Take 462 Halsey Community Garden, pictured above - a Bedstuy community space, formed by neighbors with help from 596 Acres, that hosted The Free Black Women’s Library on Mother's Day! (Photo by Murray Cox; more photos here.)

THREE NEW COMMUNITY SPACES, COMING RIGHT UP 
Jamaica, Queens - Merrick Marsden Neighbors Association Garden II is having a grand re-opening tomorrow, Saturday May 21 from 10am to 3pm! In 2013, 596 Acres helped the Merrick Marsden Neighbors Association (MMNA) secure this property in the face of havoc wrought by the City's dastardly tax lien sale. The property is now owned by the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust where it will be preserved as open space in perpetuity and stewarded by MMNA. More info here. Please RSVP to Samuel Belton at 347.579.7564

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - After a years-long campaign, decades of vacancy will be transformed into vibrancy in the Southside as Hooper St. Park Garden! This lot was planned as Open Space through Urban Renewal in a plan adopted by City Council in 1992 - which we have finally brought into being through facilitating relentless local organizing. The lot was just transferred to the NYC Parks Department and can now become a community garden! Contact Robert at hooperstreetpark@gmail.com to get in on the garden-making fun.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - 9 Moffat Street has arrived at greener pastures! Last year, this lot would have been auctioned off by the City to a private developer if not for our intervention. It was just transferred to NYC Parks and can now become the garden neighbors have been dreaming up! Add your dreams: contact Celeste of Council Member Espinal's Office at 718-642-8664 or cleon@council.nyc.gov.

This brings us to 36 vacant lots transformed by neighbors with support from 596 Acres!Help us support community land access advocacy where it is most needed by donating.

JOIN US THIS SUNDAY #eminentdomain4good 
This Sunday, May 22 from 3pm to 7pm, 596 Acres will be at El Jardin del Paraiso’s Mudball Ball on E 5th St between Aves C & D in Manhattan. Come listen to the audio documentary we made last year in collaboration with El Jardin’s founding members in the garden itself while marveling at old photographs from a founding gardener’s collection. The documentary highlights the use of eminent domain to preserve the emerging garden in the 1990s. Today, communities are asking for the use of eminent domain to protect their vital spaces. You can support current campaigns to protect and preserve beloved garden paraisos; Imani Community Garden in Weeksville, Maple Street Community Garden in Prospect-Lefferts, and Roger That! community garden in Crown Heights, Brooklyn will be featured. Event information here and details here. Get a head start by signing this petition supporting Maple Street Community Garden.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn - Your neighbor Wesley is developing a plan to transform a vacant public lot on Dekalb Avenue between Evergreen and Myrtle into a community garden! This weekend, he is gathering neighbors and taking next steps: collecting signatures to show the City that residents want this lot transformed, and creating a proposal for a garden on this lot. This is a great opportunity! Contact him at wesleyseaholm.calhoun@gmail.com or 317-698-5224; or, sign up as an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3032320063/

Bushwick, Brooklyn - Neighbors contacted us about a vacant lot in their neighborhood - on Stockholm Street near Evergreen Avenue. While the lot has been selected as a potential site of housing development, so far nothing has moved forward and it may be possible to make it into a community space. The next step: create a campaign that will convince the Parks Department that your community group will be successful stewards. Get involved by signing up as an as an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3032430065/.

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - In response to our signs, a neighbor called us interested in what options there are for the vacant lot in her life and what the next steps would be. We told her to begin witha petition that neighbors can sign to let the City know they want this lot transformed. Next steps? Put together a proposal for this lot and win the support of the local community board. For a successful proposal, about ten neighbors need to sign up as future volunteers. Become one of them by signing up to organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3016870047/

Bedstuy, Brooklyn - It might be time to revive efforts to create a garden on a big vacant lot on Lafayette near Tompkins Avenue. Previous plans have been foiled by the Community Board's desire to see affordable housing developed there, but that is not so straightforward. We just got a note from another interested neighbor. Our sense of the political climate at this time is that a temporary garden is not possible - HPD has stopped allowing temporary agreements - but a permanent one might be. Several neighbors have posted their email addresses and phone numbers here so you can get in touch to make it happen: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58257 

Bedstuy/Crown Heights, Brooklyn - Your neighbor Shadel is putting together a proposal for transforming a vacant lot at Malcolm X Blvd and Chauncey Street into a community garden! Meet in front of the vacant lot next Saturday, May 28 at 11am, email Shadel at hrshreyalitee@streetpoetsnyc.com, and/or sign up to become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3016860048/

Harlem, Manhattan - Your neighbor Kimbley just joined other neighbors in a campaign to create a garden on a vacant lot on W 137th Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Malcolm X Boulevard! They are gathering signatures to tell the City that residents want this lot transformed into a public space. Next steps: putting together a proposal for a garden! Contact Kimbley at kgilchrist@mclaughlinstern.com or 646-662-6503, Seth at johnson.t.seth@gmail.com and Leora at Leora@goddess-onthego.com or 917-337-0147. Join them in signing up as an organizer and track progress here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1019210049/

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

Harlem, Manhattan - Starting on Wednesday, June 1St. Nicholas Miracle Garden at 127th St and Malcolm X will be a new NYC Compost Project food scrap drop-off site hosted by Harlem Green and the Lower East Side Ecology Center! Wednesdays from 8am to 11am. More information here. The garden is also looking for more performers for its garden music series! More information here.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Keap Fourth Community Garden at Keap and South 4th Street is hosting free live music for kids (ages 0-4) every Tuesday at 10am, all season long!

Ozone Park, Queens - Pitkin Community Garden on Pitkin and 87th Street is having a garden planning meeting next Wednesday, May 25, 7:30 to 9pm at the Nativity Church, 101-41 91st Street, Corner of Rockaway Blvd. More information on Living Lots NYC, here.

COLLABORATORS
Little Italy, Manhattan - This Saturday, May 21 at 1:30pmElizabeth Street Garden is hosting the NYC Kids Project Puppet Show! At Elizabeth Street between Prince and Spring Streets. Grab a picnic lunch and join for a free outdoor puppet show on disability awareness, anti-bullying and character development. Run time is 45 to 55 minutes; best for grades 2 to 6. More information here.

Bedstuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn - Monthly free summer concerts at The People's Garden start nextFriday, May 27 at 6pm! Come hear CUMBIA DEL BARRIO VOL. IV, R-Tronika, Consumata and DJ Kill DJ and enjoy food from Traze. This is the first in a monthly series, a collaboration between The People's Garden and Consumata Sonidera, to bring together the community of Bedstuy, Bushwick and NYC through the love of music! Event information here. Promo videohere.

JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
The Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project (HKFP) is seeking a Summer Youth Farm Educator for a pilot youth internship program on their rooftop farm in Hell’s Kitchen! Applications are due next Friday, May 27, interviews will be in early-mid June, and the are looking to hire immediately. This is an exciting opportunity to design and implement a dynamic curriculum and special programming for local high school students focusing on urban agriculture, food and social justice. Full information here. HKFP is also looking for youth residing or attending high school in the Chelsea/Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen community interested in participating in this paid internship program! Applications are due by May 30. Full information here.

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


Neighbors signed up to support a community garden that will replace a vacant lot on Malcolm X Blvd and Chauncey Street last weekend at the Community Mediation Fair in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. More photos here. Join in the campaign by meeting in front of the lot next Saturday, May 28 at 11am, by emailing Shadel at hrshreyalitee@streetpoetsnyc.com, and/or by signing up to become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3016860048/ 

With gratitude,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - May 7, 2016

07 May 2016
slow as turtles (and just as persistent) 

The battle for the preservation of Bushwick's Eldert Street Garden continues. This week we challenged the illegal sale of the land in court. Full details in DNAinfo. For over two years, 596 Acres coordinated defensive and affirmative legal actions, recruited and managed pro bono help and continues to support permanent preservation - all while the garden continues to thrive! Donate to support continued community land access advocacy where it is most needed. And join us at Eldert Street Garden (315 Eldert Street) tomorrow, May 8, for a Mother’s Day Spring Celebration, 2pm until sunset! There will be a BBQ, live music, crafts for kids, planting, painting and a flower sale! 

ACT NOW TO PRESERVE COMMUNITY LAND AT RISK CITYWIDE
The City of New York is poised to sell liens on community property and vacant lots in our neighborhoods to private speculative trusts next week. This is how the City gives up its leverage over properties where taxes have not been paid and allows community property to disappear.We have written about this beforeNow it is time to act. Let's make this the first year in 20 when gardens, churches, day care centers and vacant lots in our neighborhoods are removed from the sale. Read and sign our petition to Mayor Bill de Blasio here. Then call 311 on Monday and ask the operator to let the Mayor's staff know that you want all charity institution properties and vacant lots to be removed from Thursday's sale

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bedstuy, Brooklyn - Neighbors who saw our signs are organizing to transform the vacant lot on Malcolm X and Chauncey Street. Shadel is planning to gather signatures in support of transforming the space this week. Join her! Connect by email at hrshreyalitee@streetpoetsnyc.com. We made you a petition you can use. Become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3016860048/

Melrose, Bronx - There is a wonderful opportunity to transform a vacant lot at E 161st Street and Melrose Avenue into something better - and neighbors are just beginning to mobilize (click for detailed directions). We created a petition you can use to show the City that the residents of the South Bronx want to transform this space; get it here and hit the streets to gather signatures. Contact Freddy, crosson69@yahoo.com or 3472462690 to coordinate; or sign up to become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/2023830048/

Rockaway, Queens - A prototype Community Labyrinth arrived at Beach 78th Street and the boardwalk this week! Organizer Nancy's years of perseverance is bringing a meditative and healing space to a neighborhood that really needs it. Contact Nancy to help transform the temporary installation into a permanent fixture in the coming years: nancygahles@gmail.com. NYC Parks Department has embraced the vision but will need our help to find the support it needs to create a permanent installation. Check out the photos and sign up to organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000040006/

Long Island City, Queens - The Cutoff Coalition's vision for the newly abandoned rail line next toSmiling Hogshead Ranch is now online. Check out and share our vision for the future: a self-powered urban farm and resiliency lab, featuring innovative green infrastructure, landscaped common spaces, and economic development opportunities to form a thriving ecology that brings together nature, community, and industry: http://cutoffcoalition.org/

Flushing, Queens - Organizers of a future Corona community garden made the news! Check them out In the New York Post here then become a future garden member by contacting Alishia, alishia0220@yahoo.com or (718) 600-0121; you can also sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4063910024/

Harlem, Manhattan - Margrichantie Memorial Garden on W 133rd near Adam Clayton Powell is already in the Parks Department inventory and intended as a permanent community space, but it needs new stewards to help it thrive. NYC Parks plans to hold a meeting for interested community members next Saturday, May 14, from 11am to 1pm at the garden. Join them in person or sign up as an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1019180011/

LOTS WITH ACCESS
Bedstuy, Brooklyn - Free Black Women’s Library, Mother’s Day Edition tomorrow, Sunday, May 8 from 12pm to 5pm at 462 Halsey Community Garden! (Last week’s event was postponed.) More information about the pop-up library is here. Check out 462 Halsey's new website here.

Long Island City, Queens - On Tuesday, May 10 from 5pm to 9pm at Smiling Hogshead Ranch's Terrific Tuesday & documentary film shoot. Join in tackling some chores, enjoying a potluck style family meal and shooting footage for a documentary at the Ranch. More information here

COLLABORATORS
Community gardener Helen Avery has been working with the Parks Department to create print maps of Lower East Side Community gardens. Pick one up at Siempre Verde Garden on weekends!

The New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative, which 596 Acres helped to incubate, is refining a rating system or evaluating whether a project is one we want to finance. See a preliminary draft here. Members and future members are invited to a public forum to discuss how to make this better on Tuesday, May 10 at 7pm at the Sunview Luncheonette, 221 Nassau Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY 11222. G to Nassau, then about a 10 minute walk.

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

Does your community garden need help with a specific project? Habitat for Humanity NYC’sBrush with Kindness program may be able to offer volunteers and materials for painting, planting, or light “fix-up” work (i.e. building raised beds or other simple structures, minor landscaping) in your garden or community space. They supervise volunteers and provide materials to complete specific multi-day projects ranging from one day to four weeks (the typical project is two weeks). Contact Anna Darling at adarling@habitatnyc.org describing the specific scope of work. You will work together to determine if the project is a good fit for their program.

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



A prototype of the Rockway Labyrinth Project is coming into being! This week, the NYC Parks Department and the City Parks Foundation's Partnership for Parks organized volunteers to help make this vision a reality. More here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000040006/

yours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - April 29, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ours,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - April 21, 2016

21 April 2016
la lucha continua

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

no terminara facilmente,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - April 6, 2016

06 April 2016
blooming with you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Con amore,
596 Acres

News from the Acres - March 17, 2016

17 March 2016
on our way! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gardeners speaking UP! at the Just Food Conference. 

<3
596 Acres