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News from the acres

News From the Acres - March 26, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free raised beds?

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

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

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

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

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

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

yours,
596 Acres

News From the Acres - March 19, 2015

21 March 2015
intern with us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yours,
596 Acres 

News From the Acres - March 12, 2015

12 March 2015

 

see you this weekend!

SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND!
This Saturday, March 14th 
596 Acres will be tabling at the 34th Annual Making Brooklyn Bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from 10 am to 3 pm. It's a full day of workshops, talks and activities centered around growing! Stop by our table to say hi to our awesome volunteers Rachel (that's her above!) and Ashley, and pick up a few copies of A New York City Advocate's Guide to Land Access to share with friends and neighbors!

This Sunday, March 15th 596 Acres will be participating in the Just Food Conferencefrom 8 am to 7 pm at Teachers College (Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street, Manhattan). 596 Acres Organizer Mary Elizabeth Prall will be on panel discussion duringWorkshop I: Policy & Advocacy at 10:30 am on Urban Land Tenure in New York City along with Karen Washington of La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition in the Bronx and Brenda Thompson-Duchene of Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  The conference programming will cover over 40 different topics including farm and food policy issues, approaches to urban agriculture, culinary and food preservation techniques, and community-driven efforts to advance food justice throughout New York City. Tickets are sold out, but you can stay updated with the event virtually by following @justfood on Twitter.

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

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn - On Tuesday, 596 Acres met with students from PS 146/Brooklyn New School's Green & Government Club to discuss transforming the Department of Transportation's triangular, paved property that sits between their school, the footbridge across the Gowanus Expressway, and Hamilton Avenue. Their vision is to grow native plants and provide a space that the general public and classmates from adjoining middle and high schools can enjoy. The space would also be a warm welcome to those crossing the food bridge across the expressway from Red Hook. The club is working on writing a letter to Mayor DiBlasio and the DOT, and collecting signatures from students, the PTA, and neighbors. If you'd like to help, contact the school's sustainability coordinator, Johanna at johanna@bns146.org or 646-808-5595.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Join members of the future Hooper Street Park (375 South 5th at Hooper Street) for a clean-up day on Saturday, March 28th at 11 am! The group submitted an application to GreenThumb a few weeks ago and are anxiously waiting to hear back. In the meantime, they're ready to tidy up the space and meet future members! Can you help out? Do you know a garden who can led out some basic tools for the day? Email Tiffany at tiffanyfrances.ny@gmail.com.

Harlem, Manhattan - Neighbors have crafted a proposal to create a garden and performance space at 174 East 108th Street (between Lexington and 3rd Avenues) and are working on getting the community board to support the project. Members of a peer leadership program at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center want to get involved, too! Do you live in the neighborhood and want to help this group win the support of their local board? Contact Mary at mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Ridgewood, Queens - Between Mafera Park, Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery, and Christ the King Regional High School sits a triangular piece of land on Metropolitan Avenue under the jurisdiction of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. If you have ideas for how this space can be used for a neighborhood benefit, contact mary@596acres.orgor call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Lots with Access
Harlem, Manhattan - Are you a Harlem resident living on the west side? St. Nicholas Miracle Garden (330 St. Nicholas Avenue between West 126th and West 127th Street) could use some new members! Check out their website to learn more about the garden and how to join! Remember: you can drop off your compost at the garden every Sunday starting this Sunday, March 15th from 3 pm to 4 pm!

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

COLLABORATORS
You are invited to help plan NYCommons, an emerging citywide coalition to influence policy making around how the city deals with its public assets like parks, libraries, community gardens, and other publicly held spaces. Be a part of protecting all our common spaces by joining an upcoming meeting: TONIGHT, Thursday, March 12th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Urban Justice Center, 123 William Street (16th Floor), Manhattan; or Tuesday, March 17th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Harlem YMCA, 180 West 135th Street (Brick Room, 1st floor), Manhattan; or Wednesday, March 18th, 10 am to 12 pm at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, 1368 Fulton Street (Multi-purpose Room), Brooklyn. Stay tuned for more dates!

This Saturday, March 14th head over to ¡Celebra Bushwick! at the Hope Gardens Community Center (422 Central Avenue at Woodbine Street, Brooklyn) from 12 pm to 4 pm. This is an event where diverse community members can interact through music, food, dance performances, art and story-telling. Speakers include the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services, Make the Road New York, EcoStation NY, BK Rot, & more! Check outthe Facebook event page for more details.

To follow up ¡Celebra Bushwick!, on Sunday, March 15th, there will be a community discussion at Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave between Melrose and Jefferson Streets, Brooklyn) from 2 pm to 4 pm to discuss the way the Bushwick community is changing, how to further bridge community members and how this might support other efforts to achieve justice, equality, livelihood and sustainable development around the neighborhood.

HAVE A WEEDY OR TRASH-FILLED LOT IN YOUR LIFE?
The Department of Sanitation is responsible for the maintenance of all vacant, publicly-owned lots. If there's one near you that's brimming with weeds or trash, check out our page about how to Request a Lot Cleaning from NYC Sanitation. There's a link to an easy online form to fill out!
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know!

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

yours,
596 Acres 


Daffodils planted last fall are now making an appearance at Java Street Community Garden in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

News From the Acres - March 5, 2015

06 March 2015
our map has moved!

WELCOME, LIVING LOTS NYC!
Now, the interactive map you all know and love has moved to LivingLotsNYC.org! The map has awesome new features, such as bigger Google map photos, parcel outlines, as the ability to search by community district, and more! Poke around! Test it out! Let us know if anything seems weird.The site was built by our team with graphic design support by Cleis Design. Development was made possible by the Sunlight Foundation OpenGov Grant and legal support is provided by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society CyberLaw Clinic.

And don't worry - 596acres.org will still be there to inform you about important news regarding community land access, events, press, grant opportunities, and more. Links to lots' pages on 596acres.org will redirect you automatically, so don't worry!

NYC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT COOPERATIVE
We've gauging interest in a NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC), where member-owners' investments are used to purchase vacant commercial buildings that will be used by cooperatives and local businesses, as described here. We're pretty excited about exploring this idea because it would give us the power as a community to make sure that organizations doing important work have space to do it - like Bushwick's community-based bottle and can redemption center Sure We Can. The REIC leverages member-owners’ investments to purchase properties. Consistent with the principles and spirit of the cooperative movement, the REIC makes long-term, stabilizing, and transformative investments for the mutual benefit of our members and our community. Interested? Fill out this form! If there's enough interest in a REIC, we will facilitate a process to form a core group and working groups that will carry this initiative forward.

GARDENS AT RISK
Last week Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams wrote a letter to Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been asking for active community gardens operating under "interim use agreements" to be removed from the Housing Preservation and Development list of sites being offered to developers. Read the letter here! You can also check out this article by Commercial Observer that touches on the Commissioner's stance on the issues around the HPD situation.

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

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
East New York, Brooklyn - A neighbor named Celeste contacted us about starting a garden atthe corner of Thatford and Riverdale Avenues. We've been working with other neighbors on this project for awhile, but they could use more involvement to keep the project going. Emailmary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 to get connected to Celeste and other neighbors!

Corona, Queens - Immigrant Movement International and women from their group Mujeres en Movimiento are leading a campaign to turn the space at 4316 111th Street (at the corner of 44th Avenue) into a park or garden space. They're establishing volunteer roles and planning their next steps to get 1000 signatures to open up this space, which has been vacant for over 20 years. Call IMI at 718-424-6502 or email jserrano@queensmuseum.org to get involved!

Jamaica, Queens - There's a triangular piece of land where Bedell Street, Smith Street, and 119th Street meet that is dotted with cute trees and bushes. This might be a great place for pocket park with picnic tables! Contact mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 to learn how you can get started accessing this space!

Maspeth, Queens - On Laurel Hill Boulevard between 59th Street and 59th Place there's a corner lot up against a huge wall that might be a great spot for holding community meetings or movie showings, or having a gathering space with a mural. Contact mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 share your ideas for the space, or leave a note on the lot's page!

Lots with Access
Harlem, Manhattan - St. Nicholas Miracle Garden (330 St. Nicholas Avenue between West 126th and West 127th Street) will resume taking community compost starting this month! Head over to the garden every Sunday after March 15th from 3 pm - 4 pm to drop-off your compost.

COLLABORATORS
GreenThumb's Starting Seeds in a Greenhouse or Indoors is this Saturday, March 7th from 1 pm to 3 pm in the Harding Lab Room 110 at the New York Botanical Garden (200 Kazimiroff Boulevard at East 142nd, Bronx). The workshop is free, but you must reserve a space by contacting Bronx Green-Up at (718) 817-8026 or bronxgreenup@nybg.org.

You are invited to help plan NYCommons, an emerging citywide coalition to influence policy making around how the city deals with its public assets like parks, libraries, community gardens, and other publicly held spaces. Be a part of protecting all our common spaces by joining one of these upcoming meetings: Thursday, March 12th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Urban Justice Center, 123 William Street (16th Floor), New York, NY 10038; or Tuesday, March 17th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Harlem YMCA, 180 West 135th Street (Brick Room, 1st floor), New York, NY 10030; or Wednesday, March 18th, 10 am to 12 pm at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, 1368 Fulton Street (Multi-purpose Rm), Brooklyn, NY.

New York Restoration Project is hosting a tree giveway at the Greenpoint Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (107 Norman Avenue at Leonard Street). Click here to get more information about the requirements around picking up a tree.

NYC Compost Project has a new website! Find out where you can drop off your food scraps, how to volunteer with composting initiatives, and learn more about composting in general.
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email at organizers@596acres.org and let us know!

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


yours,
596 Acres

News From the Acres - February 26, 2015

26 February 2015
3 NEW COMMUNITY SPACES WITH ACCESS!

Congrats, 227 Garden, BACDYS Community Garden &
Ten Neighbors Garden!

After over 2 years of organizing, a formerly vacant lot at on West 115th between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and 8th Avenue in Harlem is now officially the 227 Garden! With the help of 596 Acres neighbors successfully advocated for the lot to be transferred from the jurisdiction of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to the Parks Department with the intention of becoming a lasting community space. Awesome!

In East New York we're excited to announce that the future BACDYS Community Garden officially has signed a lease with the MTA! This space, which is at the corner of Forbell Street and Glenmore Avenue, is actually a roof of the A Train tunnel and was a park more than 25 years ago. For over two years, we helped the Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth Service organize, connect with resources, and negotiate with the MTA. The garden, designed by pro bono architect Wendy Andringa of GreenLab Studio in collaboration with Grain Collective, will be built this spring.New York Restoration Project will be providing materials and labor.

At the corner of Blake and Saratoga Avenues in Brownsville, Brooklyn neighbors have successfully reclaimed the Ten Neighbors Garden! The garden was closed by the city and was bulldozed in 2002 in anticipation of development that hasn't happened yet. After we hung a sign up on the lot in the Fall of 2013, neighbors and former gardeners reached out to us and we held a meeting to discuss reinvigorating the space. Lots of determination later, neighbors re-registered with GreenThumb this week. They will be supported by Project EATS as they begin to build this spring. Hooray!

GARDENS AT RISK
On Monday Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams wrote a letter to Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been asking for active community gardens operating under "interim use agreements" to be removed from the Housing Preservation and Development list of sites being offered to developers. Read the letter here!

On Tuesday, Paula Segal of 596 Acres, Shai J. Lauros of Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, and Suzanne Cope of 462 Halsey Community Garden in Brooklyn went on BRIC's BK LIVE show to discuss the context of Housing Preservation and Development's recent RFQ for two small homes programs and its potential affects on 17 community gardens. Watch it here!

If you live within Brooklyn Community Board 3 head over to  the Parks, Arts, and Culture Committeeon Wednesday, March 4th where the discussion will be about interim use gardens on land Housing Preservation and Development is offering for $1 to developers. The meeting will be at the board's office at 1360 Fulton Street at Marcy Avenue in Suite 202 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

IN THE MEDIA
Technical.ly named 596 Acres one of 6 Tech Groups Building a Better Brooklyn. Thanks, guys!

ON THE ROAD
Eric Breslford of 596 Acres will be presenting at the NCGIS2015, a conference in Raleigh, North Carolina as a aimed at increasing Geographical Information Systems knowledge for nonprofit usetomorrow, Friday, February 27th. He will be presenting the Urban Reviewer at a session on Spatial Analysis & Visualization, and Living Lots in a workshop on Serving the Masses. Cool! Read more here.

MARK YOU CALENDARS!
On Saturday, March 14th 596 Acres will be tabling at the 34th Annual Making Brooklyn Bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from 10 am to 4 pm. It's a full day of workshops, talks and activities centered around growing!

On Sunday, March 15th 596 Acres will be participating in the Just Food Conference from 8 am to 7 pm at Teachers College (Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street, Manhattan). 596 Acres Organizer Mary Elizabeth Prall will be on panel discussion during Workshop I: Policy & Advocacy at 10:30 am on Urban Land Tenure in New York City along with Karen Washington of La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition in the Bronx and Brenda Thompson-Duchene of Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  The conference programming will cover over 40 different topics including farm and food policy issues, approaches to urban agriculture, culinary and food preservation techniques, and community-driven efforts to advance food justice throughout New York City. Tickets are $65 ($40 for students with valid ID) for the Sunday conference, but there are also sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. For more information and to register, click here.

The 21st Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference is Saturday, March 21st from 9 am to 4 pm at Hostos Community College (450 Grand Concourse at East 149th Street, Bronx). 596 Acres will be tabling from 9 am to 1 pm and hosting a land access workshop from 11:30 am to 12:45pm (the first session of workshops). We're putting together a panel of New Yorkers who have successfully gotten permission to open up commons. We're also looking for one volunteer to help us table! If you'd like to be on the panel or help table and join Mary at the conference, please email her at mary@596acres.orgor call 718-316-6092 ext 3. To get details about the day and information on tickets, click the link above.

INTERN WITH US!
596 Acres is seeking an intern who can work with us 10 hours per week for 10 weeks, March 31st through June 4th, 2015. Your tasks will include putting up signs on vacant lots, helping us transition our online tools and generally helping us improve the work that we do with focus on the New York City Community Land Access program. Click here for more information and how to apply. Application due by 5:59p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2014.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
East New York, Brooklyn - East New York Restoration Local Development Corporation would like to create a community hub on the vacant City-owned lot at the corner of New Lots and Elton Street that partly sits under the subway tracks. Not surprisingly, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (who has jurisdiction over the space) says that there are no plans for developing it in sight! Do you have an idea for what the space could be used for? Contact Melinda Perkins atmperkins@enyrestoration.org or 718-676-5920 to share your ideas!

East New York, Brooklyn - Nick works for SCORES NY, a non-profit that provides youth with opportunities to play soccer, write poetry, and organize in their community! He's interested creating a temporary small soccer field and youth program on the two corner lots at Thomas H. Boyland and Park Place. If you live in the area and want to help make this a reality, join 596 Acres and Nick onSaturday, March 14th at 3 pm at a to-be-decided location. Additionally, if you know of a community center or school that could host the meeting, please let us know! Call Nick at 570-575-4323 or email him at nicholasbasalygaiv@gmail.com.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Neighbors got together Tuesday night to discuss the next planning steps for the future Hooper Street Park (at 375 South 5th and Hooper Street)! The group submitted an application to GreenThumb a few weeks ago and are anxiously waiting to hear back. In the meantime, plans in the works for a clean up day and a community visioning session to get more residents involved. Join the lot's page as an organizer to stay in the loop!

COLLABORATORS
The Design Trust for Public Space will be leading a series of workshops on the Farming Concrete (aka Five Borough Farm) Toolkit for measuring the good things happening in your garden. Want to know how many pounds of food scraps are going into your compost instead of the landfill? Want to measure the impact of your garden on gardeners’ and visitors’ moods? There are several upcoming workshops, starting with one on this Saturday February 28th from 1 pm to 3 pm at Flux Factory (39-31 29th Street between 39th and 40th Avenues, Long Island City, Queens). RSVP to5bfoutreach@farmingconcrete.org (*this address has been corrected since last week's announcement in this newsletter) and join the Facebook event. You can also find workshops on other dates in other boroughs.

Do you want to participate in creative improvements to Flushing Meadows Corona Park? Head to the Queens Museum this Sunday, March 1st from 3 pm to 5 pm for presentations as well as activities for all ages that will invite community members to thoughtfully engage with and contribute, bold ideas for improving the access, circulation, and overall connectivity of the park with its surrounding communities. This event is part of The World's Park: Reconnecting a Regional Park with Its Neighborsproject in partnership with a group of community advisers, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, the Queens Museum, and Design Trust for Public Space. Simultaneous Spanish and Mandarin interpretation will be offered! Click here to RSVP.

Green Guerrillas is hosting its 2015 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Downtown Community Television Center at 87 Lafayette Street in Manhattan, just south of Canal Street. All are welcome for an evening of conversation! Learn about Green Guerrillas' program plans and community garden success stories. Enjoy food and refreshments. Free raffle with great prizes! Please RSVP by clicking here or calling 212-594-2155.

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

Free Bamboo? There's still some to go around!
Members of Edgemere Farm have lots of bamboo they're giving away - plants and roots! Contact John at edgemere.jc@gmail.com or 212-470-3405 to arrange a pick up near Beach 46th Street and Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway, Queens.

yours,
596 Acres 


A wintery EL Garden in Bushwick, Brooklyn:

News From the Acres - February 19, 2015

19 February 2015

 

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU!
We made it! Thanks to your thoughtful donations we have the funds to continue our work through June 15th, 2015. Awesome! Want to keep us going beyond then? Consider donating monthly to continue our work to help neighbors access public land.

SAVE THE DATES!
596 Acres will be tabling at the 34th Annual Making Brooklyn Bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Saturday, March 14th from 10 am to 4 pm. It's a full day of workshops, talks and activities centered around growing!

The 21st Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference is Saturday, March 21st from 9 am to 4 pm at Hostos Community College (450 Grand Concourse at East 149th Street, Bronx). 596 Acres will be tabling from 9 am to 1 pm and hosting a land access workshop from 11:30 am to 12:45pm (the first session of workshops). We're putting together a panel of New Yorkers who have successfully gotten permission to open up commons. If you'd like to be on the panel and join Mary at the conference, please email her at mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3. To get details about the day and information on tickets, click the link above.

GROUNDED IN PHILLY
In Philadelphia, Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI) at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphiacombines legal services, community organizing and policy advocacy and education to support people engaged in community gardening and farming. Check out this article from Generocity that highlights596 Acres' partnership with the GJLI to create: groundedinphilly.org.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Brownsville, Brooklyn - The lot at 658 Saratoga Avenue (at the corner of Blake Street) has been vacant since Ten Neighbors Garden was bulldozed in 2002. After hanging a sign up on the fence in 2013, 596 Acres has been working with neighbors to reinvigorate the space. On Tuesday at a meeting with neighbors, GreenThumb committed to the licensing the garden under the name Ten Neighbors again. Want to help make it an inclusive community space? Email Carlos at carlosdjdiaz@gmail.comor call Mary 718-316-6092 ext 3 to jump into the planning!

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Neighbors organizing the future Hooper Street Park (the corner lot at 375 South 5th & Hooper Streets) are meeting this Tuesday, February 24th at 7 pm at St. Paul's Church (334 South 5th Street between Keap and Rodney Streets, just two blocks from the lot). This meeting will be a  great opportunity to review the application that was submitted to GreenThumb and discuss the governance of the new space. All are welcome!

Springfield Gardens, Queens - The Friends of the Idlewild Park Preserve want to turn the vacant lots at 147th and Springfield Lane into a native plant garden and composting site. Yesterday we heard from Department of Citywide Administrative Services that they would be willing to transfer these two lots if the Parks Department requested them. Let's get organizing! Email Thomas at tjager727@gmail.com or give him a call at  347-866-5114.

Weeksville, Brooklyn - On Tuesday night teachers from PS 335 earned unanimous support from the full board of Brooklyn Community Board 8 to start a garden at the lot across the street from their school at 1662 Bergen Street (at Rochester Avenue). Hooray! Next step? Sending in their GreenThumb application... If you're a neighbor would like to get involved, email Liesl atlzitman@verizon.net.

Lots with Access
Harlem, Manhattan - TONIGHT, February 19th at 6:30 pm Harlem gardeners on HPD land are headed to Manhattan Community Board 10's Land Use Committee meeting on the 4th floor of 215 West 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard to ask for the board's support in protecting these gardens from potential development due to Housing Preservation and Developments RFQ for two small homes programs that were announced last month. (We made a map!Head to the meeting to support the gardeners! Your presence counts!

Long Island City, Queens - Smiling Hogshead Ranch is holding a Happy Hour hangout TONIGHT, February 19th at Woodbines (47-10 Vernon Boulevard). This is a great chance to meet fellow gardeners and join the ranch before spring kicks in!

Harlem, Manhattan - Electric Ladybug Garden (West 111th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues) is having a general meeting on this Saturday, February 21st at 5 pm across the street from the garden in the basement of 226 West 111th. Email electricladybugharlem@gmail.com if you'd like more information.

Garden at Risk!
Almost two weeks ago Maple Street Community Garden headed back to Housing Court with their attorney Paula Segal. Eight gardeners in t-shirts came to display their support! (That's them at the top of the newsletter!) The gardeners are challenging individuals claiming to be the owners of the lot that the garden is on, a company called "Housing Urban Development, LLC". The judge did not dismiss the case brought by the alleged owners, but he made an adjournment until April 1st and wrote an order against Housing Urban Development, LLC entering or interfering with the garden! Stay tuned!

COLLABORATORS
The New York City Community Garden Coalition is holding their monthly meeting TONIGHT, February 19th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Steven Rosenberg, Executive Director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, will be discussing the “foodshed conservation plan”, a strategy to secure regional farms that are needed if the city wants to continue to have access to local fresh food.

The Design Trust for Public Space will be leading a series of workshops on the Farming Concrete (aka Five Borough Farm) Toolkit for measuring the good things happening in your garden. Want to know how many pounds of food scraps are going into your compost instead of the landfill? Want to measure the impact of your garden on gardeners’ and visitors’ moods? There are several upcoming workshops, starting with one on Saturday February 28th from 1 pm to 3 pm at Flux Factory (39-31 29th Street between 39th and 40th Avenues, Long Island City, Queens). RSVP to 5fb@farmingconcrete.org andjoin the Facebook event. You can also find workshops on other dates in other boroughs.

The ninth annual Make Music New York returns this year on Sunday, June 21st! you're a musician looking for a place to play - or if you have a garden, restaurant, sidewalk, or other outdoor space and want musicians - you can sign up and find the perfect match for your Make Music New York concert. Click here!

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

Free Bamboo?
Members of Edgemere Farm have lots of bamboo they're giving away - plants and roots! Contact John at edgemere.jc@gmail.com or 212-470-3405 to arrange a pick up near Beach 46th Street and Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway, Queens.

yours,
596 Acres 

News From the Acres - February 12, 2015

12 February 2015
news from your public land watchdogs

HELP US CROSS THE FINISH LINE! 
You know you need us here. You need us here at least until summer starts. Right now we have $22,209.36 out of the $25,000 that will let us keep our staff through the Summer Solstice. Can you get us all the way there? Donate now! Can you smell the summer coming? 

GARDENS AT RISK: #HPDLIST
Last month NYC Housing Preservation and Development published a list of 181 City-owned properties available to developers for free to build new housing on. Seventeen active community gardens were included on this list without any consultation from the gardeners, the GreenThumb program, local City Council representatives or the community boards for the districts where the properties are located. We created a map and let all the stakeholders know how the list affected their gardens.

Our work helped get impacted gardeners, their neighbors, the New York City Community Garden Coalition and many many allies to the steps of City Hall on Tuesday morning asking Mayor Bill de Blasio to not give our land away. Council Members Antonio Reynoso, Robert Cornegy, Mark Levine and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer each wrote a letter asking for the gardens to be preserved and for our precious public land resources to be carefully considered before being given away (you can read the letters by clicking on their names). The New York Times covered the story and go the Mayor on record saying, "we’ll take a hard look at whether communities are best served by these gardens staying as they are. We’ll make those decisions in partnership with each community.” 

Check out photos from the rally here and watch gardeners from Harlem Valley Garden and Patchen Community Square speak up on Brian Lehrer on CUNY TV! (That's a shot of the sound room at the bottom of this newsletter!)

Want to keep the momentum going to preserve the gardens on the #hpdlist? There are action steps on the New York City Community Garden Coalition web page. Write a letter to your council member! Email your borough liaison to the Mayor's office! And keep in touch with gardens at risk to ask how you can help!

FAREWELL TO THE QUEENS MUSEUM...
This past weekend marked our last Sunday of programing and the end our our exhibit Reviewing Renewal at the Queens Museum. Click here to see photos from the closing reception and read this recent article about the exhibition from Thought Catalog.

NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Corona, Queens - On Tuesday, 596 Acres and Immigrant Movement International (IMI) hosted an awesome meeting to discuss crafting a campaign to open up the lot at 4316 111th Street (at 45th Avenue), which has been vacant for over 20 years. IMI and neighbors would like to use it socialize and grow food. Call IMI at 718-424-6502 to get involved! 

Harlem - Diana is the director of EnviHarlem, an organization promoting green initiatives and environmental stewardship. They're interested in creating a composting project and farmstead area in the space next to the railroad tracks just below this lot at West 145th Street and Riverside Drive. Get in touch with Diana if you'd like to help her craft a proposal for making the plans a reality! Email enviharlem@gmail.com.

Harlem, Manhattan - Takina was born and raised in Harlem and has a passion for green environments! She would love to turn the lot at 1811-13 Park Avenue into a community space hosting a Harmonic Harlem Greenhouse that can hold educational workshops for youth. If you'd like to help her, plan to come to meeting in Harlem on Thursday, February 26th. Email mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 for details.

East New York, Brooklyn - Nick works for SCORES NY, a non-profit that provides youth with opportunities to play soccer, write poetry, and organize in their community! He's interested in taking what he's learned through his job and branching out to create a small soccer field to begin a youth program in East New York. He's got his eyes on the two corner lots at Thomas H. Boyland and Park Place. A meeting is being planned for a Saturday afternoon in the coming weeks. Do you know some kids in the area that would love a soccer field? Call Nick at 570-575-4323 or email him at nicholasbasalygaiv@gmail.com.

Lots with Access
Harlem, Manhattan - Electric Ladybug Garden (West 111th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues) is having a general meeting on Saturday, February 21st at 5 pm across the street from the garden in the basement of 226 West 111th. Email electricladybugharlem@gmail.com if you'd like more information.

COLLABORATORS
Harlem Grown is hiring a new Executive Director! This non-profit is focused on inspiring youth through hands-on education, urban gardening, strong role models, and a constant presence in the community. They're looking for an entrepreneurial, experienced, and organized Executive Director to manage its growing operation. See more details here.

GreenThumb is hosting Crazy for Composting this Saturday, February 14th from 10 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm at the New York Botanical Garden (200 Kazimiroff Boulevard, Bronx) in room Watson Education Building, Room 302. If you're passionate about composting and love to learn how to make the most out of your bin, the session will provide advice and encouragement! Beginners or seasoned composters welcome! RSVP by clicking here.

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

Deadline approaching!
GreenThumb invites registered GreenThumb Community Gardens to submit proposals to receive micro-grant funding for local community farmer’s market programs! The Farmer’s Market Grant Program awards $2,000-$5,000 for the development and/or establishment of farmer’s markets within neighborhoods where healthy food is scarce or inaccessible. Proposals are due this Monday, February 16, 2015 by 5:00pm. Click here for more info and to download the application.
 

yours,
596 Acres 

News From the Acres - February 5, 2015

05 February 2015
rally to save gardens at risk! - city hall / tuesday, 2-10 / 9 am

GARDENS AT RISK 
MAPLE STREET COMMUNITY GARDEN FACING EVICTION ACTION IN HOUSING COURT

Show your support for Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street at Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) as they head back to Housing Court with Paula Z. Segal of Mohen & Segal LLP as their attorney TOMORROW, Friday, February 6th at 9:30 am in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn. RSVP to Tom Lafarge at maple3garden@gmail.com so that the gardeners know how many t-shirts to make & bring!

JOIN HPD-LOT GARDENERS ON NYC CITY HALL STEPS ON TUESDAY!
Join us this Tuesday, February 10th at 9 am on the steps of NYC City Hall as gardeners on lots recently identified as potential future housing development ask the Mayor to not give our land away to developers for free. Two weeks ago, NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) published a list of 181 City-owned properties included in a Request for Qualifications for developers to build rental and ownership housing within the limits set by two programs (described here). Seventeen of the sites selected are currently active community gardens. We are asking for all HPD community gardens to be transferred to Parks and for this administration to collaboratively create a just green "Homes & Gardens" policy. Tell friends! Dress up! Bring a sign! More details here.

A GARDEN PRESERVED - IN PERPETUITY! 
The 1100 Bergen Street Community Garden (between Nostrand and New York Avenues in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) is officially the 34th garden to be placed into the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT)! This 34 year old garden was started on leased property that was then purchased by the Trust for Public Land in the 1980's, and then transferred to the 1100 Bergen Street Block Association in 1989. The gardeners have independently owned the garden since then. By transferring the land to the BQLT now in 2015, they are insuring that it will have a long term and stable steward, as well as protecting it from potential future exposure to tax liens or other foreclosures. Hooray! Paula Z. Segal of Mohen & Segal LLP represented the gardeners in the transaction. Read the full press release here and check out the photo of the transaction at the bottom of this newsletter!

WE NEED YOUR HELP
Our work has never been more pressing, or more urgent. But as of today, 596 Acres does not have enough funds to last through mid-2015. After that, without further support, all of our work could quickly come to a halt. Amazingly, in the last week, you've helped us raise over $10,000 towards our goal of raising $25,000 by February 8th! Let's keep it up. We’ve always done a lot with our tiny budget, because our efforts are bolstered by the energy and enthusiasm of dedicated people like youPlease make a donation to 596 Acres today.

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
On Tuesday night we held an awesome Community Land Access Workshop & 596 Acres' General Meeting at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch in the Information Commons Room! In addition to several people who attended to get more info about land access, we had several organizers in attendance who are working on campaigns in their neighborhoods. That's us at the top of the newsletter!

Weeksville, Brooklyn - On Tuesday, Community Board 8's Parks Committee granted unanimous support for a school and community garden at the corner lot at 1662 Bergen Street! This means the group has everything they need to apply to GreenThumb! If you know a neighbor who might want to get involved, get in touch with Liesl by emailing lzitman@verizon.net!

Corona, Queens - The Department of Transportation is willing to again consider a request to transform the lot at 4316 111th Street (at 45th Avenue), which has been vacant for over 20 years, into a community space. Join us Tuesday, February 10th at 6:30pm at Immigrant Movement International, 108-59 Roosevelt Avenue (steps from the 111th street Stop on the 7 line) to plan next steps and an organized campaign to get growing by the Spring. (Meeting will be in Spanish & English!)

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - The future Hooper Street Garden at 375 South 5th Street submitted their GreenThumb application on Tuesday! Fingers crossed the gates will be open by Spring! If you'd like to get involved, email mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3.

Carroll Gardens - Neighbor Michelle has been working on gathering items to apply to GreenThumb to turn the lot at 307 Columbia Street into a garden. Want to join in and help design the space? Contact Michelle at michelle@michelleocampo.com.

LAST CHANCE: REVIEWING RENEWAL AT THE QUEENS MUSEUM
Join us again this Sunday, February 8th from 3 pm to 6pm for our last Sunday of awesome, free programming:

  • 3 pm to 4 pm: Reviewing Renewal Curator Walk & Talk in the Panorama: Paula Z. SegalRSVP on Facebook and get more details here.
  • 4 pm to 6 pm: Discussion, Reception and Reviewing Renewal Film Presentation: The Tragedy of Urban Renewal: The destruction and survival of a New York City neighborhood. This short film depicts New York City's Manhattantown (1951), one of the first projects authorized under urban renewal and which destroyed six blocks on New York City's Upper West Side, including an African-American community that dated to the turn of the century. A discussion and reception will follow! RSVP on Facebook and get more details here.
Looking back at last Sunday... GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
We maintain a list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot. Groups working on lots that 596 Acres helped them access have already raised over $150,000 for their growing spaces. Have you received a grant or resources for your community project because you read about them here? Tell us about it! Shoot us at email atorganizers@596acres.org and let us know!

NEW GREENTHUMB GRANT!
GreenThumb invites registered GreenThumb Community Gardens to submit proposals to receive micro-grant funding for local community farmer’s market programs! The Farmer’s Market Grant Program awards $2,000-$5,000 for the development and/or establishment of farmer’s markets within neighborhoods where healthy food is scarce or inaccessible. Proposals are due Monday, February 16, 2015 by 5:00pm. Click here for more info and to download the application.

FREE MULCH!
Smiling Hogshead Ranch got a big load of mulch a couple weeks ago from a tree service company, and there's more to go around! Gardeners wanting a dump truck full (5-9 cubic yards) of mulch delivered (definitely in Brooklyn & Queens but maybe elsewhere) get in touch with Big Dave at "Trees R' Us" by calling 631-742-3669.

yours,
596 Acres 

News From the Acres - January 29, 2015

29 January 2015
"2015 here we come!" - alexis, organizer in rockaway

Maple Street
Show your support for Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street at Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) as they head back to Housing Court with Paula Z. Segal of Mohen & Segal LLP as their attorney on Friday, February 6th at 9:30 am in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn. RSVP to Tom Lafarge at maple3garden@gmail.com so that the gardeners know how many t-shirts to make & bring! Last week the gardeners met with Council Member Matthieu Eugene to thank him for dedicating 2015 discretionary funding to the garden and to ask him to work on making Maple Street permanent. That's the gardeners and Council Member above!

Reviewing Renewal this weekend at the Queens Museum
Join us again this Sunday, February 1st, 12-6pm for awesome, free programming all day:

  • Reviewing Renewal Film Presentation: The Rink, noon to 1 pm. This documentary depicts Branch Brook Park Roller Rink, located in Newark, NJ, a space cherished by skaters and a city struggling to move beyond its past and forge a new narrative amidst contemporary social issues. RSVP on Facebook and get more details here.
  • What happens to a neighborhood “renewed?”, 1 pm to 2 pm. Attorney Amy Laura Cahn and historian Marci Reaven will talk about the disempowering force of “blight” declarations and role of community planning boards and people’s plans, looking at New York City and Eastwick, Philadelphia--the largest urban renewal site in the USA. RSVP on Facebook and get more details here.
  • Urban Renewal is Scapegoated to Justify Current Conditions of Spatial Domination, an Artist Walk & Talk with Damon Rich, 2 pm to 4 pm. Designer, planner, and visual artist Damon Rich will present work about and around urban renewal and discuss applications of planning exhibitions for practice in his work as founder of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and Planning Director for the City of Newark, New Jersey. RSVP on Facebook and get more details here.
  • From Redlining to Gentrification, 4 pm to 6 pm. A program hosted by the University of Orange's Dr. Mindy Fullilove and a viewing of the film she wrote, Urban Renewal is People Removal (2005). Check out the Facebook and get more details here.

Community Land Access Workshop & 596 Acres' General Meeting
Tuesday, February 3rd from 7 pm to 8:30 pm we'll be at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch (10 Grand Army Plaza) in the Information Commons Room hosting a Land Access Workshop and General Meeting! This is a great opportunity to meet folks from other neighborhoods and boroughs who can share their struggles and successes in working to open up vacant land. Whether you're in the middle of a campaign or just curious about how to get started, we'd love to have you! Contact mary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 with questions.

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Weeksville, Brooklyn - For months Liesl, a teacher at PS 335, has been working on gathering materials for an GreenThumb application to turn the corner lot across from the school at 1662 Bergen into a garden for her school and the neighbors! Her last step? Meeting with the Parks Committee of Brooklyn Community Board 8 Tuesday, February 3rd at 6 pm at St. John's Recreation Center (1251 Prospect Place between Troy and Schenectady Avenues) to get a letter of support. Want to join the effort and head to the meeting, too? Get in touch with Liesl by emailing lzitman@verizon.net!

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - There's a new organizer ready to revive the campaign to start a garden onthe lot on Fulton Street between Bedford Avenue and Spencer Place. Give Orville a call at 917-873-3111 or shoot him an email at ocmcnally@gmail.com if you want to help! You might also see him hanging out in front of the lot trying to meet neighbors. Say hi!

Rockaway, Queens - Alexis and neighbors have everything they need to submit and application to GreenThumb for the corner lot at 357 Beach 43rd! Fingers crossed this space will have its gate unlocked by Spring!

NYC GARDENS AT RISK
Two weeks ago, NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) published a list of 181 City-owned properties included in a Request for Qualifications for developers to build rental and ownership housing within the limits set by the program and in exchange get the land for free. The program is described hereSeventeen of the sites selected are currently active community gardens. Over 750 sites in HPD's inventory were not included. With the help of a fabulous volunteer, we created a map (updated at the link) that shows which properties were included in the list, which properties in HPD's inventory were not included and where the gardens included in the list are located. Council Member Antonio Reynoso already sent a letter to Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Sanitation, asking to have EL Garden (in his district) and the other sixteen active community gardens removed from the list. The gardeners and allies - including us - will be meeting as the New York City Community Garden Coalition TONIGHT, Thursday, January 29th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Fortune Society's Castle Gardens building (625 West 140th Street near Riverside Drive). Join the struggle to keep these vibrant spaces public!

COLLABORATORS
New York Restoration Project is hiring a public programs coordinator for Upper Manhattan to work in community engagement and with public program staff to expand opportunities for groups and individuals to become involved in their environmental work. Check out the job listing here.

El Puente is hiring a director for Green Light District, a ten-year community development initiative to sustain, grow, green, and celebrate Williamsburg's Southside community! Learn more here.

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

GRANT DEADLINE MONDAY!
Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund grant applications are due February 1, 2015. The Partnership makes small grants of up to $5,000 to strengthen the outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity of groups caring for NYC Parks Department property in all five boroughs of New York City.

The Hudson Valley Seed Library is giving away seeds! You can nominate your group until this Saturday, January 31st.

yours,
596 Acres 


#reviewingrenewal with the Manhattan Projects Tour last Saturday at the Queens Museum.

News From the Acres - January 22, 2015

22 January 2015
LA Open Acres is live, Reviewing Renewal continues, NYC Gardens at risk, new opportunities in Queens & Staten Island and great resources from our friends

LA OPEN ACRES
Our LA tool is live and being used by Community Health Councils. 
Check out this great article to read about how it's making an impact already.

REVIEWING RENEWAL AT THE QUEENS MUSEUM
Looking back at the first two weeks of our Queens Museum Residency...

  • Listen to the Reviewing Mitchell-Lama panel we co-hosted with the NYC Planners Network here (it starts a bit abruptly; that's Paula talking about Robert Moses' role in getting the Urban Renewal mechanisms running in NYC). It was an amazing conversation with renters, experts and cooperative owners working through it together; we're so lucky to have had Molly Garfinkle from City Lore on hand to record it! 
  • Read a dispatch from our tour of Willet's Point in Brownstoner (the Urban Renewal Area Plan was adopted in 2008 and the City has already completed acquisition of properties in the plan area; resident businesses are in the middle of phased relocation). 
  • Check out photos of the Reviewing Renewal Opening on January 11 by Christina Sukhgian Houle and our incredible day of programs on Sunday, January 18 by Badrul Hisham. The theme of the second day was Private Property and Public Purpose – Eminent Domain, the Mitchell-Lama Cooperatives and the Power of One Organized Neighborhood and included Planners Network NYC, Rockaway Wildfire, Cooper Square Committee, Picture the Homeless, Tenants & Neighbors, the film It Took 50 Years and all of you... See the photo below which documents the meeting of four great organizations on a perch high above the city. 

And forward...
Join us again this Sunday, January 25, 12-6pm - there will awesome, free programming all day, What Was and What Becomes – Focus on Manhattan, Williamsburg’s Southside and Queens:

  • The Manhattan Projects Tour, noon to 1 p.m., a tour of the projects that created the blueprint for the Urban Renewal program in the years after World War II, with author Samuel Zipp guiding us around the island of Manhattan on the panorama that Robert Moses commissioned for the 1964 World Fair. Meet at the bottom of the ramp.Details hereRSVP here. 
  • Before Lincoln Center, 1- 2:30 p.m. Archival footage and a discussion about the resistance of a Latino community slated for replacement with the new West Side and Lincoln Center. Second floor theater. Details hereRSVP here. 
  • Williamsburg’s South Side, 2:30 - 4 p.m. Urban Renewal Plans continue to shape the South Side and Broadway Triangle neighborhoods. Join Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna and the Broadway Triangle Coalition to learn about what's at stake and what's to be done. In the Unisphere gallery. Details hereRSVP here. 
  • Reviewing Renewal in Queens, 4 - 6 p.m. Explore Queens' urban renewal history, from the demolition of the bungalows in Rockaway to make way for ... waiting, to the deliberate replacement of an integrated rowhouse community in downtown Flushing to create a parking structure and lure shoppers into the new department stores being built there in the 1950s and 1960s. Meet at the top of the ramp. Details here. RSVP here. 

Reviewing Renewal includes markers for all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted as an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum. We have brought the online Urban Reviewer map to life at a 1:1200 scale of on the 9,335 square foot Panorama! This exhibit runs through February 8th, 2015 with talks, readings, discussions, and film showings happening every Sunday! For more information on the exhibit and programming details, click here. We have also published a printed map: the first updated atlas of all the urban renewal plan areas in NYC since the City's own 1984 publication. Come get yours at the museum while they last! 

NYC GARDENS AT RISK
Last week, NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) published a list of 181 City-owned properties included in a Request for Qualifications for developers to build rental and ownership housing within the limits set by the program and in exchange get the land for free. The program is described hereSixteen of the sites selected are currently active community gardens. Over 750 sites in HPD's inventory were not included.

DNAInfoBrownstonerTelemundo and the Observer have covered the impact of this part of the Mayor's Housing Plan on existing gardens. It's awesome to have all our voices in the conversation as we decide the future of our neighborhoods, together. 

With the help of a fabulous volunteer, we created a map that shows which properties were included in the list, which properties in HPD's inventory were not included and where the gardens included in the list are located. Click here or on the image above for a larger version. These are the impacted gardens: 

  • Harlem Valley Garden (Manhattan, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Jackie Robinson Community Garden (Manhattan)
  • Harlem Grown - Greenhouse (Manhattan)
  • Electric Ladybug Community Garden (Manhattan, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Pleasant Village Community Garden (Manhattan)
  • McKinley's Children's Garden (Queens)
  • Isabahliah Ladies of Elegance (Brooklyn)
  • La Casita Verde (Brooklyn, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Halsey, Ralph & Howard Community Garden (Brooklyn)
  • EL Garden (Brooklyn, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Patchen Community Square (Brooklyn, a 596 Acres network site)
  • 462 Halsey Community Garden (Brooklyn, a 596 Acres network site)
  • Tranquility Farm (Brooklyn) 
  • Brownsville Student Farm (Brooklyn)
  • Imani Garden (Brooklyn)
  • New Harvest Community Garden (Brooklyn)

Support the gardens in your neighborhoods and let your City Council members know what you think about HPD's selection and the impact of the housing plan on the institutions you care about.

  • Robert Cornegy has five impacted gardens in his district (Patchen Community Square, Tranquility Farm, 462 Halsey Community Garden, Imani Garden & New Harvest Garden). 
  • Inez Dickens represents four of the impacted gardens (Electric Ladybug Garden, the Harlem Grown Greenhouse, Harlem Valley Garden & the Jackie Robinson Community Garden). 
  • Darlene Mealy represents three (Isabaliah Ladies of Elegance, Brownsville Student Farm  & the Halsey, Ralph and Howard Community Garden).
  • Steve Levin represents La Casita Verde.
  • Antonio Reynoso represents EL Garden.
  • Melissa Mark-Vevirito represents Pleasant Village.
  • Ruben Wills represents McKinley's Children's Garden.

Click on the councilmember's name to get contact information and make a call now. Councilmembers love hearing from their own constituents but also recognize that having adequate open space is an issue that impacts the whole city. 

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Corona, Queens - Spring 2015 is coming! The Department of Transportation is willing to again consider our request to transform this lot, which has been vacant for over 20 years, into a community space. And it might be time to ask the Mayor for help opening up this bit of public land as a neighborhood resource. Join us next Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30pm at Immigrant Movement International, 108-59 Roosevelt Avenue (steps from the 111th street Stop on the 7 line) to plan next steps and an organized campaign to get growing by the Spring. (Meeting will be in Spanish & English!). 

Eastern Shore, Staten Island - the Community Board expressed its support for a new community space on this Hempstead Avenue lot. Join organizer Blake to help shape the future of this piece of our land!  Email notasissy88@yahoo.com.

COLLABORATORS
Our friends at the North West Bushwick Community Group have put together a wonderful list of things to do in their neighborhood to support its stability. We love this so much and hope that all your neighborhoods have lists like this. We'd love to see what you're inspired to create after seeing this and to hear about something new you experienced after reading this list if you're a resident of Bushwick. 

The Department of Sanitation is now accepting applications for its 2015 Master Composter Certificate Course. Sign up to learn how to make precious soil from NYC's waste. Classes are held at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lower East Side Ecology Center in Manhattan, Queens Botanic Garden and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in Staten Island. The applications and deadlines are here. Also from the Department of Sanitation: the 2014 Community Composting Report is out! It provides the first-ever comprehensive look at this neighborhood-based network. 

Have questions about your rent stabilized apartment? Not sure if your landlord is right when they tell you that your current lease isn't renewable? This great article and the folks at Tenants & Neighbors might help. We really want you to be able stay in your neighborhood and keep building together!

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

Grant deadlines!
Citizens Committee of New York City 2015 Neighborhood Grants are due January 26th, 2015! Contact grants@citizensnyc.org or call 212-822-9563 with questions.

Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund grant applications are due February 1, 2015. The Partnership makes small grants of up to $5,000 to strengthen the outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity of groups caring for NYC Parks Department property in all five boroughs of New York City.

yours,
596 Acres 


#reviewingrenewal with Picture the Homeless, Rockaway Wildfire & the United Peninsula Working to Attain Responsible Development (UPWARD) Coalition, the Cooper Square Committee & 596 Acres. 

News From the Acres - January 15, 2015

15 January 2015
see you in Queens on Sunday! 


Gardens at Risk
NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) put out a list of sites housing developers can apply to build on yesterday. At least 15 of them are currently active community gardens. If you are gardening on HPD property, we recommend you check the list. If your garden is on it and you'd like some guidance, contact us: organizers@596acres.org.

Reviewing Renewal at the Queens Museum
We had a fantastic Reviewing Renewal opening event last Sunday, including a guided walk through an active Urban Renewal Plan Area: Willet's Point. There is coverage of that journey and photos in Curbed. Please join us this Sunday - there will awesome, free programming all day:

  • 12-2pm - The Law of Takings (Eminent Domain), discussion & class in the second floor theater with Michael Rikon, Esq. & Paula Z. Segal, Esq. All are welcome to come learn about the limits of government's ability to take private property for "public purpose." RSVP on facebook here and details here. Attorneys should RSVP here to get Continuing Legal Education credits. 
  • 2-4pm - Reviewing Mitchell-Lama: The Past, Present and Future of Affordable Housing in New York City, panel discussion in the Unisphere Gallery rganized by the NYC Planner's Network. RSVP here and details here.  
  • 4-6pm - It Took 50 Years: Frances Goldin and the Struggle for Cooper Square film preview and discussion with the Cooper Square Committee, filmmakers & Picture the Homeless. RSVP here and details here

Reviewing Renewal includes markers for all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted as an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum. We have brought the online Urban Reviewer map to life at a 1:1200 scale of on the 9,335 square foot Panorama! This exhibit runs through February 8th, 2015 with talks, readings, discussions, and film showings happening every Sunday! For more information on the exhibit and programming details, click here. We have also published a map: the first updated atlas of all the urban renewal plan areas in NYC since the City's own 1984 publication. Come get yours at the museum while they last!  

SAVE THE DATES
We'll be holding a Community Land Access Workshop and 596 Acres General Meeting on Tuesday, February 3rd from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch (10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn) in the Information Commons room. Learn how to tap community resources, use the 596 Acres map and website to engage your neighbors, and plot your next steps to gain access to city land for your community projects. This workshop will also act as a general meeting, where folks from all neighborhoods can share land access success stories and we can troubleshoot any sticky points in the process.

Join Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street at Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) as they heading back to Housing Court with Paula Z. Segal of Mohen & Segal LLP as their attorney on Friday, February 6th at 9:30 am in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn. RSVP to Tom Afarge at maple3garden@gmail.com so that the gardeners know how many t-shirts to make & bring! Last week in court the judge wanted to know what gardens and gardeners do in the winter.... See below for some of our answers! 

Welcome to Rachel Albetski, our Winter 2015 Intern!

Rachel first became interested in vacant lot use after running a school garden in South Central Los Angeles as an AmeriCorps member. Riding her bike to work everyday, she saw tons of empty lots that were in need of revitalization and was psyched when 596 Acres came to LA. Rachel now works as an interior designer in Brooklyn and spends her free time advocating for infrastructure improvements with the organization Transportation Alternatives. An all around urbanist with a passion for environmental justice, Rachel is excited to help communities gain access to land and support the creation of green spaces. 

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Dongan Hills, Staten Island - Blake is looking forward to starting a garden on two lots that straddle Buel Avenue and Dongan Hills Avenue. She's heading to the next Staten Island Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting today, January 15th at 7:30 pm in the Lou Caravone Community Service Building (located on the grounds of Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home, 460 Brielle Avenue between Walcott and Rockland Avenues) to present her proposal for the space! Contact Blake at 917-403-3659 or notasissy88@yahoo.com.

Rockaway, Queens - Neighbors are organizing to create a community-run concession on this Housing Preservation and Development spot by the Beach 59th Street subway station that used to have a newsstand on it. Get in touch with Alexis if you want to help: alexissmallwood83@gmail.com.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - Organizer James Richards is just getting started galvanizing a group and a vision for a future garden in this Seigel Street HPD lot. It's not one of the ones that HPD has targeted for development; it's likely to sit empty for another long while unless neighbors get together and transform it. Become an organizer yourself or contact James directly: 3472620572 or Heiho1@mac.com.

Bushwick, Brooklyn - Neighbors shaping the future of this lot that was recently transferred to the Parks Department are preparing their visions of what kind of park they would like to see. Do you live close to Bushwick Avenue and Beaver Street? Connect with the group by becoming an organizer on the lot's page or contacting any of the organizers listed there

North Bronx - You've been labelled! The romantic lot in the photo above is on Eden Terrace, as is this great corner lot. Are you close by? Get in touch and let's get organizing: Mary at (718) 316-6092 x3. 

COLLABORATORS
The Department of Sanitation is now accepting applications for its 2015 Master Composter Certificate Course. Sign up to learn how to make precious soil from NYC's waste. Classes are held at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lower East Side Ecology Center in Manhattan, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in Staten Island. The application is here and is due February 20, 2015. 

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

Grant deadline approaching!
Citizens Committee of New York City 2015 Neighborhood Grants are due January 26th, 2015! Contact grants@citizensnyc.org or call 212-822-9563 with questions.

Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund grant applications are due February 1, 2015. The Partnership makes small grants of up to $5,000 to strengthen the outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity of groups caring for NYC Parks Department property in all five boroughs of New York City.

yours,
596 Acres 



 

News From the Acres - January 8, 2015

08 January 2015
reviewing renewal this sunday at the queens museum!

THANK YOU!
Happy new year and thank you to everyone who included us in their end-of-year giving for 2014! It's not too late: $12 from every subscriber to this lists is we need to keep our organizer on staff through 2015, supporting community land access efforts citywide. Donate here.

OPENING DAY AT THE QUEENS MUSEUM!
Join us this Sunday, January 11th for the opening of Reviewing Renewal, an exhibition marking all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama! All day Sunday there will awesome, free programming:

  • From 2 pm to 3:30 pm watch the film presentation The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, which explores the issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America.
  • From 3:30 pm to 4 pm experience "Who Makes A Neighborhood?", a reading by author DW Gibson which is part of his research for the upcoming book, The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of 21st Century Gentrification, and a short film about the struggle over whose right it is to renew a neighborhood: Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden (2011, Harvey Wang & Amy Brost).
  • From 4 pm to 6 pm come hang out with us at the Reviewing Renewal Opening Receptionwith presentations by Paula from 596 Acres and Mapzen's modelling and map-making geniuses! Big thanks for Green Grape for donating delicious snacks and providing libations! Spread the word!
All events are free, but some require a RSVPs, so click on the links above to learn more!

Sundays Through February
This exhibit runs from January 11th to February 8th, 2015 with talks, readings, discussions, and film showings happening every Sunday! For more information on the exhibit and programming details, click here.

SAVE THE DATES
We'll be holding a Community Land Access Workshop and 596 Acres General Meeting onTuesday, February 3rd from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch (10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn) in the Information Commons room. Learn how to tap community resources, use the 596 Acres map and website to engage your neighbors, and plot your next steps to gain access to city land for your community projects. This workshop will also act as a general meeting, where folks from all neighborhoods can share land access success stories and we can troubleshoot any sticky points in the process.

Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street at Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn) is heading back to Housing Court on Friday, February 6th at 9:30 am in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn. The gardeners are challenging individuals claiming to be the owners of the lot that the garden is on. The Brooklyn District Attorney's office is simultaneously investigating the ownership claim to see if any criminal action took place (e.g. fraud). The gardeners are exploring other options towards a peaceful resolution through elected officials and the City administration. Paula Z. Segal is representing the gardeners. RSVP to Tom Afarge at maple3garden@gmail.com so that the gardeners know how many t-shirts to bring! A presence in the courtroom is crucial! A front row full of Maple Street Community Garden t-shirts made a difference at this past Monday's court appearance!

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn - Tomorrow, Friday, January 9th neighbors and local organizations are meeting to talk about visions for the triangular corner lot at 544 Bushwick Avenue at Beaver Street. This lot was transferred to the Parks Department earlier in the year and now neighbors want to see their ideas implemented in the space! The meeting is at 5:30 pm at the AHRC Center (522 Bushwick Avenue at Noll Street) right next door to the lot. Email Mary at mary@596acres.orgor call 718-316-6092 ext 3 with questions.

Dongan Hills, Staten Island - Blake is looking forward to starting a garden on two lots that straddle Buel Avenue and Dongan Hills Avenue. She's heading to the next Staten Island Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting next Thursday, January 15th at 7:30 pm in the Lou Caravone Community Service Building (located on the grounds of Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home, 460 Brielle Avenue between Walcott and Rockland Avenues) to present her proposal for the space! Contact Blake at 917-403-3659 or notasissy88@yahoo.com.

Brownsville, East New York - Liz and Vere are two neighbors that would love to see a garden atthe corner lot at 511 Liberty Avenue at Van Siclen Avenue. What about you? Contact Vere atvilgibbs@hotmail.com or 347-432-4510.

Cypress Hills, Brooklyn - There' a long and narrow lot at 202 Wyona Street that would be perfect as a play space or garden for kids from the daycare next door. Do you know someone whose children attend the daycare? Can you connect us with the neighbors? Call Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or email mary@596acres.org.

LOTS WITH ACCESS
If you have been to, or even just considered visiting Smiling Hogshead Ranch, we invite you to participate in a simple 10 question survey. Your input will help Hogshead members as they develop future programming and guide growth at the Ranch.

COLLABORATORS
Got a Christmas tree that needs recycling? New Yorkers can participate in NYC Parks & Recreation Mulchfest by bringing their holiday trees to designated sites throughout the five boroughs this Saturday, January 10th or this Sunday, January 11th from 10 am to 2 pm. Free mulch will be available at Mulchfest locations, so bring a bag if you would like to take home some mulch!

Additionally, the Department of Sanitation will be collecting trees curbside from now through Friday, January 16th. Please remove all tree stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments from trees before placing them out for collection, and don't place trees in plastic bags. Trees will be chipped into mulch that will be distributed to parks, playing fields, and community gardens throughout the city! Click here for more info.

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

Deadline Approaching!
The Citizens Committee 2015 Neighborhood Grants are here! Citizens Committee of New York City awards micro-grants of up to $3,000 to resident-led groups to work on community and school improvement projects. They support projects that address issues that communities identify as important to them - anything from community gardens to tenant organizing. The application is due January 26th, 2015, and before then there are several application workshops you can attend! Contact grants@citizensnyc.org or call 212-822-9563 with questions.

yours,
596 Acres 

Marking Morrisania on the Panorama at the Queens Museum.

News From the Acres - 3.121579 NEW OPEN ACRES!

30 December 2014
11 new community spaces!

DONATE TO TRANSFORM OUR VACANT SPACES IN 2015
A huge thanks to those who gave their time and funds to keep 596 Acres in action this year, and to those that created and strengthened their own neighborhood open spaces, making New York City an even better place to live! We are so grateful for your supportWe're excited for the year ahead, but unfortunately, only have funding through March. If everyone on this mailing list gives $12 dollars right now, we'll have enough funds to keep our organizer and pay our rent through the end of 2015! Donate now!

Here’s some of what we accomplished in 2014:

Want to read more? Check out our 2014 Annual Report.

Here’s just a taste of what’s coming up in 2015: 

We hope you will give a tax-exempt donation of any size and join a project in your neighborhood in 2015!

Support Fellow Gardeners!
Maple Street Community Garden (Maple Street at Rogers Avenue) has been summoned to Housing Court by individuals claiming to be the owners of the lot that the garden is on. The garden will be appearing to file a Motion to Dismiss the case in Part 52/Room 603 (the commercial part of housing court) at 141 Livingston Street (at Smith Street) in Brooklyn, this Monday, January 5th at 10 am. Although not much is likely to happen at this appearance, a show of solidarity for gardeners who are on the defensive is crucial! Paula Z. Segal is representing the gardeners. The Brooklyn District Attorney's office is simultaneously investigating the ownership claim to see if any criminal action took place (e.g. fraud). The gardeners are exploring other options towards a peaceful resolution through elected officials and the City administration. Contact Tom Afarge at maple3garden@gmail.com for more information.

NEWS FROM THE ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn - Earlier in the year we learned that the triangular corner lot at 544 Bushwick Avenue at Beaver Street was transferred to the Parks Department. Brooklyn Community Board 4 would love to see it turned into a playground, and a crew of neighborhood groups and residents would also like to see gardening in the space, too! Email Maria at maria.hubbard@ahrcnyc.org or call Mary at 718-316-6092 ext 3 to stay updated on a next meeting to create a strategic plan for how everyone can work together!

East New York - There's a lot under the subway platform on New Lots Avenue at Elton Street that's almost 11,000 square feet! East New York Restoration is a new community development corporation interested in stewarding this space. Do you live in the area and have a vision for a what you'd like to see in the space? Email ENYR's director Melinda atmperkins@enyrestoration.org or call her at 718-676-5920 to share your ideas!

East New York - Two weeks ago Luwana from Project East New York hosted the first meeting for the future garden at 467 Vermont Street at Blake Avenue. This non-profit and group of neighbors has already connected with the nearby school and several organizations who can support the effort to start the space. The main focus now is getting a letter of support from Brooklyn Community Board 5. Email Luwana at luwanas@projecteastnewyork.org or call 917-342-2072 to get involved!

Highbridge, Bronx - Have you noticed the underutilized park on Nelson Avenue between West 170th and West 169th Streets? Corporal Fischer Park has been sitting in the Parks Department inventory for six years! You can read more in this DNAInfo article. If you're a neighbor, reach out to Bronx Community Board 4 and the Parks Department (212-360-3441) for updates.

Lower East Side, Manhattan - We've been chatting with Haimar, who lives next door to the lot at276 East 3rd Street, who is talking to neighbors about getting a garden started. Emailmary@596acres.org or call 718-316-6092 ext 3 to hear about the upcoming meeting!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

yours,
596 Acres 

The 596 Acres team, December 2014 edition.

News From the Acres - December 23, 2014

23 December 2014
REVIEWING RENEWAL AT THE QUEENS MUSEUM

From January 11th to February 8th, 2015 596 Acres will be exhibiting all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama!

Opening Day!
Join us on Sunday, January 11th for a bundle of awesome events: from 12:30 pm to 2 pm take a Willet's Point Urban Renewal Area Walking Tour with Queens borough historian Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, from 2 pm to 3:30 pm watch the film presentation The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, which explores the issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America, from 3:30 pm to 4 pm experience "Who Makes A Neighborhood?", a reading by author DW Gibson and a short film: Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden, and from 4 pm to 6 pm come hang out with us at the Reviewing Renewal Opening Reception!

All events are free, but some require a RSVPs, so click on the links above to learn more!

Sundays Through February
Join us every Sunday from January 11th through February 8th for special programming with talks, readings, discussions, and film showings! For more information on the exhibit and programming details, click here.

Help 596 Acres continue to help open spaces in 2015
A huge thanks to those who gave their time and funds to keep 596 Acres in action in 2014! We're excited for the year ahead, but unfortunately, only have funding through March 2015. You can support our continuing work helping communities take control of their city by giving a tax-exempt donation!

yours,
596 Acres

Looking Back at 2014

18 December 2014

 

29 and counting!

GREEN WARRIORS UNITED

Our 2014 Annual Report is here! It was designed by our friends at Partner & Partners and will catch you up on any of the exciting happenings you might have missed this past year. Maybe the most exciting? We helped 11 new community spaces open in 2014 alone. Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter to see them all.

A huge thanks to those who gave their time and funds to keep 596 Acres in action, and to those that created and strengthened their own neighborhood open spaces, making New York City an even better place to live! We're looking forward to the year ahead, but unfortunately, only have funding through March 2015. You can support our continuing work helping communities take control of their city by giving a tax-exempt donation!

Intern with us
We're looking for an intern to join us for ten weeks from January 6th to March 12th, 2015. Get more information here! Applications are due by 5:59 pm TOMORROW, Friday, December 19th, to organizers@596acres.org with the subject 'Winter 2015 Intern Application'. It's 100 hours of mind expansion!

We packed the court!
On Monday we were at the Brooklyn State Supreme Court supporting Coney Island's Boardwalk Community Garden as they fought for the garden's land, which was was illegally bulldozed in December 2013 to make way for a $53 million City-funded amphitheater. Want to get involved and learn more? Join the New York City Community Garden Coalition TONIGHT, Thursday, December 18th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Neighborhood Preservation Center (232 East 11th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Manhattan) for their monthly general meeting and holiday party! There will be updates on current garden cases and the coalition's plans for next year. Bring fellow garden members and something yummy to share, if you can.

Save the Dates: Reviewing Urban Renewal at the Queens Museum
From January 11th to February 8th, 2015, 596 Acres will be exhibiting all of the urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama! Stay tuned for updates on special programming for Sundays through February 8th. We'll be sending a full update next week! In the meantime check out the evolving programming here!

yours,
596 Acres