A child plays the violin for an audience in Electric Ladybug Garden in Harlem (photo copyright Murray Cox)

We are so happy to have facilitated the creation and permanent preservation of Electric Ladybug Garden in Harlem! A former vacant public lot is now the site of film screenings, community gatherings, and children’s concerts like the one pictured above (photographed by Murray Cox). Come by tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, 3pm to 6pm (237 W 111th Street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvds) when the gardeners host a THANK YOU party to celebrate 596 Acres and our partners who got them here. You can trace the neighborhood-led campaign that made it happen on Living Lots NYC:

Meanwhile, #eminentdomain4good is in sight for Maple Street Community Garden. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and neighborhood Councilman Mathieu Eugene have set aside $1.25 million in fiscal year 2017 to “acquire the garden lot at 237 Maple Street for parkland to be placed under the Department of Parks and Recreation.” This is the result of the years-long community campaign, with 596 Acres’ Paula Z. Segal as the gardeners’ lawyer, to keep what neighbors made on an abandoned private lot in Prospect-Lefferts, Brooklyn. The fight for permanent preservation isn’t over: learn the history and connect with organizers at their potluck also tomorrow, Saturday, September 24th from 2pm to 6pm on Maple Street between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues. Bring something to toss on the grill, something to drink, or a side dish to share. Trace campaign and sign up to Organize here:

Whether it’s creating new gardens or preserving existing ones, we help you hold it down. Donate to support 596 Acres’ New York City Community Land Access Program here. 

Tomorrow! Saturday, September 24 from 11am to 2pm at the Beach 41st Cornerstone Community Center at 426 Beach 40th Street in Far Rockaway, join 596 Acres at the Resilient Edgemere Final Workshop. NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will share the Draft Edgemere Neighborhood Plan which incorporates residents’ ideas for open space, community gardens and local development. This plan affects a lot of Rockaway’s vacant public land. Some of it could become gardens, parks or other public spaces; the ones designated for housing could be part of a Community Land Trust (our work as part of the New York City Community Land Initiative is paying off; more about CLTs here). Click the lots on our map hereto see what the plan has in store for them, and come on Saturday to add your voice to the conversation! Flier here: English, Espanol. Facebook event here.

Tuesday, September 27 from 7pm to 10pm, come hear how 596 Acres’ Executive and Legal Director Paula Z. Segal and other Brooklyn change-makers are using technology, art-making and wellness initiatives to create more powerful neighborhoods and networks at Local, Connected, and Creative: New Approaches to Community Building, a discussion and forum at the BRIC House Stoop, 647 Fulton Street (Enter on Rockwell Place) in Brooklyn. Event details here. RSVPhere.

Rockaway Beach, Queens – This week, Wanda presented the plan for bayside Beach 84th Street Community Garden at Rockaway Beach Civic Association. They are writing an updated letter of support to add to this draft proposal, which NYC Parks is waiting for in order to take on jurisdiction of this long vacant public lot so the community can use it! Get involved by contacting Wanda at or Claudia at, (917) 848-1082. Sign up to Organize here:

Far Rockaway, Queens – This week, Allison and Travis made a splash when they testified at the City’s Scoping Hearing for the Downtown Far Rockaway Redevelopment Plan (prep photos hereand here). They requested that the long-abandoned vacant public lot at Nameoke Street and Agustina Avenue be removed from the properties that the city is giving away to private developers in the Urban Renewal Area being planned for downtown Rockaway. Instead of becoming privately-owned housing that will serve very few, this lot could be a community garden, farm and compost facility that will impact a lot more people, especially in the high-density environment being planned. Agree? Tell the City: send an email by 5pm on October 3 to You can base your comments on the ones posted here. Connect with Allison: (718) 749-8830 or; read the testimonies and sign up to Organize here:

Corona, Queens – Rafael lives in Corona and sees community land access advocacy and gardening as a great way to spend his retirement! He is going to revive a campaign to transforma vacant public DCAS lot at 111th Street and 44th Ave. Next steps: gather signatures from neighbors, come up with a plan for using the site, and make the case to the Parks Department to request jurisdiction so it can become a GreenThumb garden! Call him at 347-994-5974 to plug in. El habla español. Sign up to organize here:

Weeksville, Brooklyn – The campaign to restore the vacant public lot at 45 Somers near Rockaway Ave to being a community space is underway! This week, teen organizer and urban farmer Cyeann worked with longtime Weeksville community gardeners Sharon and Patricia on a garden design (photo below), part of the crew’s proposal to have the lot transferred to NYC Parks. Join them this Saturday, September 24 at 4pm at Phoenix Garden, a legacy community garden where Fulton Street meets Rockaway Avenue that is directly across from this lot. Get in touch with Cyeann or Sharon to get looped in:, (917) 202-1977; and, (347) 581-9216. Sign up to Organize here:

East New York, Brooklyn – New Lots and Livonia Avenues, meet New Life Farm! This week, teen organizer Al drew up a plan for the public lot under the train tracks (photo here). There’s a hoop house, a compost bin, flowers, and a farmer’s market spot in the shade. He plans to call a meeting soon to build on the proposal he started on Wednesday. Contact Al to get involved:, (929) 385-9722. For updates, sign up to Organize here:

West Harlem, Manhattan – Lawrence gardens and cares for bees at the Walter Miller III Memorial Garden, a former vacant public lot at W 119th between 5th Avenue and Lenox. Two or three years ago, he submitted an application to GreenThumb to gain access to the vacant public HPD lot next door as well. The lot remains vacant, so when we met at GreenThumb’s Harvest Fest last weekend, Lawrence was enthusiastic about hanging up a THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND sign there and making it happen at last. Join him: email or call (212) 920-9247; and sign up to Organize here:

Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan – Joselyn and Renee met us at GreenThumb Harvest Fest! They both want more space to garden in their neighborhood. Joselyn is going to hang this sign and make it happen at the vacant NYC Department of Environmental Protection lot at W 49th street and 10th Ave (photo here). Next steps: come up with a plan for the site, get local organizations to demonstrate support, and present at the local Community Board to get them on board, too! Call or email to get in on the campaign: Joselyn (646) 584-2702 and; Renee (646) 465-4655, Sign up to Organize here:

Highbridge, Bronx – Dian hung signs on the closed Corporal Irwin A. Fischer Park on West 169th Street between Nelson and Shakespeare Avenues, as well as the lot next door. Most of these lots are already in the department of NYC Parks, but are closed to the public! She is collecting signatures and gathering neighbors to make the request for access loud and clear. Contact Dian at or (929) 575-3438 to join her and sign up to Organize here:; and here:

Flatbush, Brooklyn – Q Gardens, right by the Q train on Church Ave and East 18th Street, is hosting Quick Compost Wednesdays: starting this week, drop-off hours for compost are from 6pm to 7pm only — so come visit them before the sun goes down! They are organizing to expand fully onto the vacant public land where they founded a garden in December 2014 with help from 596 Acres. Stay tuned by signing up to Organize here:

Bedstuy, Brooklyn – Patchen Community Square needs your help cleaning up the garden and closing out the season this weekend on both this Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm! The garden is on the corner of Patchen and Putnam. More information on their facebookhere. Flier here.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn – This Sunday, September 23 from 2pm to 6pm, come to 1100 Bergen Street Community Garden at 1107 Bergen Street and Nostrand Avenue for the second Sew WHAT in the Garden – a clothing swap and sewing circle. The rain shelter turns into a sewing studio and (all gender) clothing swap. Bring clothes you want to makes copies of (and fabric!), things you want to mend, and anything you’re done wearing that you’d like to see walk out on a fabulous-looking friend or neighbor. We’ll provide mirrors, curtains for privacy, 3! sewing machines and instruction. Don’t forget a bag to haul away your scores in!

Red Hook, Brooklyn – The South Brooklyn Children’s Garden invites you to join them onWednesday mornings from 10:15am to 11:30am in September and October for families sing alongs and instrument exploration! Kyle, local music teacher extraordinaire, has experience with neighborhood classes and individuals. This is for kids and their adult caretakers! Let’s enjoy the lovely fall weather and share some songs together in the garden. More info on the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden facebook page, here.

Harlem, Manhattan – Join Mandela Gardeners on 126th Street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell this Sunday, September 24 at 10am to plan the path forward and turn soil! This garden is a Native North American Wildflower refuge where community members are restoring and replenishing the local aquifer, creating sustainable ecologies in the heart of NYC, and building community. Their goal is to make the garden completely sustainable. You can help by volunteering to maintain the garden (weeding and watering). You can also express your support of community green spaces by tweeting to Mayor DeBlasio directly. @BilldeBlasio use #savemandelagarden. Like them on facebook here.

Brownsville, Brooklyn – NYC Housing Preservation and Development is leading a community planning process that will impact the future of several vacant lots in the area. The next workshop on the plan is coming up this Thursday, September 29 from 6pm to 8:30pm at P.S./I.S. 323 Cafeteria, 210 Chester Street in Brooklyn (flier here). Contact Giovania Tiarachristie at (212) 863-8539 or for an invitation the next workshop. You can also share you ideas on HPD’s online platform here. More information on the City’s plan for Brownsville’s futurehere.

Little Italy, Manhattan – Elizabeth Street Gardeners are fighting hard to preserve their beloved green space amidst all the buildings of Little Italy, and they need your voice! Write Mayor DiBlasio here! Find out how else you can help at

Lower East Side, Manhattan – This Saturday, September 24 from 9am to 2pm, join Suffolk Street Gardeners at 174 Suffolk St between Stanton and Houston as they build tree guards to protect the neighborhood’s street trees! Because our street trees need YOU to survive and thrive! Questions? Contact Matt Saba at

Loisaida, Manhattan – Starting tonight and going all this weekend: LUNGS Festival!LUNGS is Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens. There are so many old gardens (and some new!) in Loisaida (a.k.a. Alphabet City in the Lower East Side), created by neighbors on vacant lots! Check out their wonders this weekend. There are so many events in so many places, from readings to dance to concerts to tours to parties to open mics. Meet your neighbors and enjoy some homegrown NYC art. See the full schedule on the LUNGS website here. Like them on facebook here.

East New York, Brooklyn – East New York Farms! Mini-grant program will fund local residents, organizations, and small business. Grants should be for projects that will increase access to healthy food in our community, and can be garden related or non-garden related, new projects or expanded projects. More information here. Application is here. Deadline: October 11.

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.

Two people draw up plans to expand community land in Weeksville, Brooklyn

This Wednesday, Cyeann and Sharon met at Saratoga Urban Agro-Ecological Center to draw up plans to expand community land in Weeksville, Brooklyn! Meet them and fellow volunteers this Saturday at 4pm at Sharon’s garden, Phoenix Community Garden, where Fulton Street meets Rockaway Avenue. Get in touch with Cyeann or Sharon:, (917) 202-1977; and, (347) 581-9216. Sign up to Organize here:

In solidarity,
596 Acres

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