2012 map of opportunities for community land access on Williamsburg's Southside in Brooklyn

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

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

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

To endorse, send an email with the subject “Endorsing Housing Not Warehousing” to Ryan at our NYCCLI partner organization, Picture the Homeless: *We will still need to work together to make sure this means affordable to the right people, the ones in the neighborhood now.

Rockaway, Queens – Wanda and Joe are gathering letters of support for a Bay-side garden on Beach 84th Street, including this one from our friends at Power Rockaways Resilience. Contact Wanda at (518) 693-9349 to add your organization to the proposal or Organize here:!

Crown Heights, Brooklyn – Join Mandy to organize the former Lots for Tots space on Prospect Place near Albany Avenue into a community resource today. Organize here: or contact her directly: or (513) 317-4457.

Lower East Side, Manhattan – Join us for a workshop on Land! Money! Power! in NYC Parkson Wednesday, July 27 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm at 30 Delancey Street between Forsyth and Chrystie Streets inside Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Come learn how to take control of our Parks and community spaces. Public parks and public open spaces are among the few places left in an increasingly segregated city that are truly democratic preserves. Here is more about a Lower East Side campaign to re-open a NYC Parks building that 596 Acres has helped revive as a a partner of NYCommons. The Sara D Roosevelt Park Coalition hosts this workshop. As part of our work on this project, we have started documenting un-used and under-used NYC Parks buildings. Check out a preliminary map here and email to add yours!

“Since I started my internship in May, I have gotten a crash course in New York City land policy: learning by doing.” Read more from Shannon Pepper, one of our fabulous Summer 2016 team here.

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

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

The new Hooper Park Community Garden (#36!) on Williamsburg's Southside

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

Until August,
596 Acres

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