THANK YOU FOR PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY PROPERTIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS
Last Friday, May 12, the last day to settle debt with the city, sixteen NYC Council Members sent this letter to the Department of Finance (DOF) calling for tax-exempt properties and vacant lots to be removed from the 2017 tax lien sale. The DOF is now preparing to sell the liens to the private investment trust; the actual sale is in August, so we still have time to get the hundreds of community properties entitled to tax exemptions and over a thousand vacant lots off that list! Read what’s at stake in last week’s City & State, Gothamist and Crain’s. Keep signing and sharing the petition. Keep calling your reps. Say thanks if they signed or ask them to take action!
NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Far Rockaway, Queens – Far Rock Garden organizers will attend Community Board 14’s Land Use Committee meeting this Wednesday, May 17 at 7pm, 333 Beach 90th Street. With creative design, the Board’s hope for public play space and organizer’s plans for Far Rock Garden work together well as an alternative to the city’s application to sell the long-neglected city-owned land at Nameoke and Augustina to developers to build housing. Next Wednesday, May 24 at 10amat 22 Reade Street in Lower Manhattan, organizers will testify at the City Planning Commission against disposition so they can grow for the community instead — the next step in the ULURP process. Be there! Plug in with Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 749-8830 or Travis at email@example.com or (646) 662-0585. Find out more and sign up to Organize here: https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4155340070/
Edgemere, Queens – Edgemere Coalition Community Gardeners met last weekend to work on bylaws for running their soon-to-be space together. The garden will replace a vacant city-owned lot at Beach 43rd Street on the Bayside! Stay tuned for the next meeting with GreenThumb to share their results: plug in with Alexis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (347) 608-3556. Get updates by signing up to Organize here: https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59126/
East New York, Brooklyn – Last week, a neighbor called about a city-owned lot on Essex Street at New Lots Ave that wasn’t in our databases, nor the city’s! Join them in organizing for access. The pathway is to have the land transferred from NYC Housing Preservation and Development to NYC Parks so it can be stewarded by neighbors as a community garden via GreenThumb. Sign up to Organize here: https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3040830146/
Bedstuy, Brooklyn – Building on the efforts of a crew of neighbors from last summer, residents are building local support for creating a community garden on a vacant city-owned lot at 910 Madison Street at Howard Ave. Formerly a Head Start playground, neighbors, local businesses and organizations can help return this land to public use by collecting signatures with this petition, or writing a letter in support of a garden. Send it to email@example.com or contact Ezra at (347) 533-0357 or firstname.lastname@example.org to plug in. Sign up to Organize here: https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59072/
Mott Haven, Bronx – The city is reneging on a decades-old promise to replace parkland lost during the construction of the new Yankee Stadium at E 149th Street on the Harlem River; signs on the fenced-off NYC Parks property describing the Mill Park Extension have been quietly removed, with a top-down plan to build high-rise housing instead. Local advocates are calling on Council Speaker Mark-Viverito to make sure the city keeps its long-neglected promise: (347) 297-4922. Parkland can only become housing if legislation is enacted by the NY State Legislature and approved by the State Governor. Plug into the organizing with Bronx Community Board 4: (718) 299-0800 or email@example.com. Sign up to Organize here for updates: https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/2023560002/
OUR LOTS WITH ACCESS
Harlem, Manhattan – This Thursday, May 18 at 6:30pm, join the NYC Community Garden Coalition in supporting the preservation of Mandela Garden, a resident-made wildflower sanctuary that replaced a decades-abandoned city-owned lot at W 126th Street near Frederick Douglass, at Community Board 10’s Land Use Committee meeting: 215 West 125th Street, 4th floor. Sign this petition!
Bedstuy, Brooklyn – Patchen Community Square at Patchen and Putnam is hosting Making Creative Structures from Your Existing Rubble tomorrow, Wednesday May 17 from 6pm to 8pm. Learn from GreenThumb about how to use old bricks, stones, concrete chunks, broken tiles, metal scraps, and gravel to build small garden structures, including berms, retaining walls for terraces, and planters using. Learn to mix mortar and lay bricks! For more information, call (212) 602-5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bedstuy, Brooklyn – 462 Halsey Community Farm (near Lewis Ave) put together this digital story book telling about how they transformed a lot abandoned by the city for more than 30 years into a thriving, multipurpose community farm. With incredible photos, it documents the choices the group made along the way to keep gates open all day, every day, from April to October, as well as the partnerships that make their place possible. Read it on their website and stop on by!
Lower East Side, Manhattan – The NYC Compost Project at the Lower East Side Ecology Centeris having a Bokashi Composting Workshop this Saturday, May 20 from 1pm to 3:30pm at East Side Outside Community Garden, 415 E 11th Street between 1st Ave and Ave A. Registration required: here! For more information contact (212) 477-3155 or email@example.com.
Thanks to concentrated effort by the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center, and Council Member Richie Torres, the Garden of Youth at East 182nd Street and Prospect Ave in Belmont was removed from the 2017 tax lien sale list… again! Sign and share this petition to protect hundreds of tax-exempt properties still in jeopardy as the city moves to sell their fate to private investors!
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
Staten Island – Get free compost this Sunday, May 21 from 9am to 5pm at Fresh Kills Headquarters, 1010 Muldoon Ave, from NYC Department of Sanitation! NYC residents can receive up to 60 bags (while supplies last) of free, high-quality compost! Each bag weighs approximately 40 pounds, so come prepared to transport it. More info on getting compost here.
The Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund Grant program is giving small grants of up to $5,000 to strengthen outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity of community groups who care for their neighborhood parks in all five boroughs! Deadline to apply is Thursday, June 1.Groups that want to have a conversation specific to their project can request individual consultations here. Online application here. Call Mike at (212) 602-5348 for more information.
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.
See you at the glove affair!