Announcing 596 Acres’ New Tripartite Directorship: Mara Dawn Kravitz, Stephanie Alvarado and Rachel Dobkin 

596 Acres is excited to officially introduce its new leadership team: Mara Dawn Kravitz and Stephanie Alvarado, Directors of Advocacy and Partnerships, and Rachel Dobkin Director of Development. The project’s founder, Paula Z. Segal, has joined the Equitable Neighborhoods practice at the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center as Senior Staff Attorney. 

Over the first six years of the project’s existence, under Paula’s leadership, 596 Acres has touched the lives of thousands of people with its vision and practice of inclusive, equitable, resident-led neighborhood planning. With the help of 596 Acres, local residents have created 37 new community spaces throughout New York City, primarily gardens, parks, and farms, in places that once were forgotten vacant lots. In addition to helping residents create and protect places for community in NYC, the organization has created and shaped the field of Community Land Access Advocacy, partnering with advocates across the city, country and globe to champion resident stewardship of land to build more just and equitable cities everywhere.

596 Acres’ new team of directors will build on 596 Acres’ achievements: Mara and Stephanie are offering technical assistance to over a dozen neighborhood campaigns for community land and building access across NYC, including vacant lots, inaccessible public waterfronts and closed buildings in NYC Parks. They are generating new tools that turn public data about vacant land into information useful to people who live nearby and want to transform them, including a webtool documenting $1 land dispositions and new signs about public waterfronts. They are developing new media in partnership with organizers. Together with Rachel, they are building on and forging new partnerships to support local community land access organizing and stewardship.

Learn more about the leadership team here, follow the work on facebook and instagram, and contact the team at!

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