Communities can own and protect land for public good through community land trusts! The Oakland Community Land Trust, or OakCLT, has been protecting community access to land in partnership with residents and community-based organizations since 2009. We got to visit last month and learn how! Stories to guide and inspire CLT advocates in NYC and beyond here.
TALK COMMUNITY LAND ACCESS WITH 596 ACRES TODAY AND THURSDAY
Join us to strategize about transforming vacant lots and buildings in your life into vibrant places, to plug into local campaigns for access, to support citywide campaigns, and more:
Today, Saturday October 21 from noon to 6pm, visit us on our Gowanus, Brooklyn workspace at 540 President Street (at 3rd Ave) #2E! It will be open as part of Gowanus Open Studios (more info). Today from noon to 5pm, visit our booth at Smiling Hogshead Ranch’s Harvest Festival at 25-30 Skillman Avenue in Long Island City, Queens (more info).
Next Thursday, October 26 from 4pm to 8:30pm, meet us at the Patagonia SoHo, 72 Greene Street between Broome and Spring in Manhattan (more info).
TESTIFY AT CITY COUNCIL NEXT THURSDAY ON AN URBAN AG PLAN FOR NYC
This summer, elected advocates introduced a potential law that would require NYC’s Department of City Planning to develop a comprehensive urban agriculture plan by July 2018 to promote its expansion in our city. Next Thursday, October 26 at 11am, join us to testify at City Council’s Land Use Committee on what should go in the plan and how it should be developed so that it honors the roots of urban agriculture in NYC (watch this video!) by ensuring that the most impacted people can together decide how land in their neighborhoods is used to grow. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 316-3092 x 3 for assistance preparing testimony or to RSVP. More information here.
MORE UPCOMING 596 ACRES HAPPENINGS:
- Hear us in dialogue with fellow citymakers at upcoming panels – Next Friday, October 27 from 7pm to 9pm, at Flux Factory, 39-31 29th Street in Long Island City, we will be among Queens anti-displacement organizers and a community land historian for Against Gentrification: Actionable Steps as part of the major exhibition Self Storage (event info). Then the following Friday, November 3, we will be part of two sessions at the Hindsight Conference: from 11:10am to 12:10pm, we will talk about urban renewal history as part of the NYC Atlas of Urban Renewal (event info). From 2:40pm to 3:40pm, we will facilitate a panel on resident-led city-making (event info).
- Discuss the many disguises of privatization with NYCommons – Next Saturday, October 28 from 11am to 4pm at CUNY School of Law, 2 Court Square in Long Island City, Queens, we invite public housing residents and advocates to join for an interactive workshop and forum on NYCHA NextGen & RAD, our shared spaces, and the future of NYC. We will dig into these new programs that are inviting private investment into public housing and their potential impacts. Please RSVP online here. Contact elunyova@ commoncause.org with questions or to arrange Metrocards or a van pick-up for NYCHA residents. Event info here.
NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Five new garden groups are ready for access! Check out this letter we wrote to NYC’s Chief of Parklands in support of five groups of neighbors across NYC advocating to have vacant public lots on their blocks transferred to NYC Parks ASAP so they can become so, so much more.
Lower East Side, Manhattan – Next Wednesday, October 25 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, the Stanton Building Task Force of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition (formed during our NYCommons pilot) is co-hosting Preparing for Today: Urgency, Engagement & Action in the Age of Uncertainty at the New School, Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, Top Floor. Reflecting on Sandy, community partners, faculty, students, and all interested in local climate action will envision together how the Stanton Street Building (in the park between Chrystie and Forsyth) can become a community-engaged social resiliency hub – looking at is as a prototype for underutilized Parks buildings in any neighborhood! RSVP here. Organizing history and plug into the planning by signing up to Organize at livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000010013/
Edgemere, Queens – Residents of Edgemere have been organizing to transform a large fenced-off, vacant city-owned lot on Beach 43rd on the bay side that was planned as open space in the 1997 Edgemere Urban Renewal Plan into exactly that for a few years. It’s working! GreenThumb recently asked their coalition to select one of the five “lots” that comprise it to start their garden (the city government has a different definition of “lot”), and the group made their pick. GreenThumb said they can grow to full size from there. Garden organizer Alexis also made the news last week. We can’t wait to announce that the lot has been transferred to NYC Parks and that the group has access! Plug in: livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59126/
OUR LOTS WITH ACCESS
Bedstuy, Brooklyn – Join Myrtle Village Green (on Myrtle Avenue between Franklin and Kent) today, Saturday, October 21 for a meeting at 12pm. Neighbors organized to gain access to this formerly vacant NYC Department of Env. Protection land in 2012; a water tunnel access site, it was planned as “permanent public artwork” in 2002 as per the city’s Percent for Art law, but left vacant until folks organized. Stay updated on the MVG news via their facebook here.
Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn – Maple Street Community Garden (at Rogers) is gathering to plant over 100 daffodils today, Saturday, October 21 at noon. Meanwhile, NYC Parks is preparing to purchase it! Join the Maple Street Community Garden facebook group here.
Southside Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Next Saturday, October 28 from 1pm to 3pm, members of La Casita Verde (451 Bedford at Division) will instruct participants on how to make a macramé plant holder! You can leave it for the garden’s new medicinal vertical garden, or bring it home. Also learn how to ID medicinal plants! Events is FREE and open to the public, but RSVP is required because of limited space to Brooke Singer at email@example.com. More on the garden group’s website and facebook page.
West Harlem, Manhattan – Next Saturday, October 28 from 1pm to 4pm, join Electric Ladybug Garden (237 W 111th street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.) for their Halloween and Harvest Party! Wear costumes, carve pumpkins, and more! Event information here.
GreenThumb has kicked off a 5-year strategic planning process, and they want your input! Current GreenThumb gardeners can participate here. Versión española aquí. And anyone who is interested can participate here. Versión española aquí.
Join GreenThumb for a Gardening for Liberation Roundable on Thursday, November 9 from 6pm to 8pm at P.S. 262 El Hajj Malik El Shabazz Elementary/Middle School at 500 Macon Street in Brooklyn. Community garden leaders will be part of a panel followed by small group discussions where community gardener attendees will share stories about how they’re using their spaces in various interconnected movements for liberation. More information and list of panelists here. RSVP here. Call (212) 602-5300 for more information.
GreenThumb is bringing us Uprooting Racism, a theory and action training for community garden leaders to uproot systemic racism. We will delve deep into the history of our gardens and examine our personal and collective roles as stewards of the land and as facilitators. Much of the time will be spent developing tangible action plans for uprooting these oppressions within our own gardens. Preference for this training will be given to registered GreenThumb gardeners. Facilitated by Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm. More info and apply here by December 8. Trainings will be Saturday, January 20 and 27, 10am to 4pm, tentative East Harlem location.
JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
The NYC Compost Project at Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hiring a part-time Compost Associate. Primary responsibilities are processing food scraps delivered to the Red Hook compost site with NYC Compost Project colleagues and volunteers. All compost generated on-site is used for local community greening projects. The compost associate will also operate a food scrap drop-off site one morning a week in a Brooklyn neighborhood. Deadline to apply is next Friday, October 27. Full job description and how to apply here.
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
GreenThumb Winter Supply Distribution is on Saturday, November 4 (except in Queens it’s Wednesday, November 8!). You must RSVP here or by calling (212) 602-5300 by next Friday, October 27.
The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence Safe in the City Grants awards from $500 to $1,000 to all resident leaders, block associations, community-based organizations, clergy and residents interested in leading activities that promote peace, safety and encourage community cohesion and empowerment. Applications are on a rolling basis: apply anytime in November for projects between December and March. More information, timelines, and how to apply here.
Citizens Committee’s Love Your Block Grant awards $1,000 to volunteer groups of neighbors leading block beautification projects! Attend an information session this Monday, October 23 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in Lower Manhattan. RSVP to Shawn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 822-9563. More information and how to apply here.
For community composters:
Calling all NYC woodworkers, landscapers, coffee roasters, community composters, gardeners, and more! Do you produce a chemical-free, carbon-rich byproduct (like sawdust, woodchips, or coffee chaff)? Are you a composter looking for locally-produced “waste” materials that can amend your piles and soils? Join the NYC Browns Distribution Network! Fill your you wants/haves here.
Any community composters a half hour away from Northern Manhattan need large amounts of relatively clean, bagged leaves this fall? NYRP usually composts the leaves from Columbia’s Baker field in Northern Manhattan but won’t be able to handle all of them this year. If you would like to arrange some deliveries, contact Jason at email@example.com for the connection.
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.
Support our work! Donate here.