Speakers at the Just Food Conference

Last Sunday, 596 Acres brought together stewards from seven community gardens and farms across NYC to share stories of creating, protecting, and preserving vital spaces at the Just Food Conference. Gardeners are using different strategies in their fearless fights to preserve cherished gardens, which you can read about here. More photos here and here. In case you missed it, catch our organizers next Saturday at our two This Land Is Our Land workshops:

The GreenThumb GrowTogether is a day-long gathering of community gardeners, advocates and greening professionals from 9am to 4pm at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse in the Bronx (info here). We’re offering these workshops: This Land is Our Land: The State of Community Land Access in 2017 at 11:30am and again at 2:15pm led by farmers and gardeners advocating to protect their spaces and moderated by attorney and founder of 596 Acres, Paula Z. Segal (info here and here); Garden Governance for Everyone at 11:30am – learn strategies for facilitating your community garden (info here); and Answers to Legacy Lead in our Community Spaces at 11:30am (info here). All our events are listed here on our website.

596 Acres’ founder Paula Z. Segal and fellow activists from Instituto A Cidade Precisa de Você are walking the Julio Mesquita viaduct next Monday, March 20 to look at how groups of people create democratic places in the city’s vacant, neglected spaces. Event information here.

Lower East Side, Manhattan – After two decades of community advocacy, NYC Parks reps are pitching the plan for restoring bathrooms in the Stanton Street Building of Sara D. Roosevelt Park tonight, Thursday, March 16 at 6:30pm at Manhattan Community Board 3’s Parks Committee meeting (BRC Senior Services Center, 30 Delancey Street btwn Chrystie & Forsyth). We supported the Sara D. Roosevelt Parks Coalition and the Stanton Building Task Force in advocating to reopen this public building during our NYCommons pilot last summer. Read more in the news here and sign up to Organize here:

Edgemere, Queens – This Saturday, March 18 from 11:00am to 1:00pm at Beach 41st Cornerstone Community Center, 426 Beach 40th St, Far Rockaway, the city is releasing the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan, the result of a community planning initiative. The plan incorporates residents’ ideas for open space, community gardens and local development. Join Council Member Richards who has championed that some of Rockaway’s vacant public land go into a community land trust (CLT) which can maintain permanent affordability and community control. (Our work as part of the New York City Community Land Initiative is paying off! More about CLTs here and photo from last night’s unifying CLT event here.)

Highbridge, Bronx – This Saturday, March 18 at 1pm in the community room of 1275 Nelson Ave, organizers are planning Corporal Irwin A. Fischer Park on West 169th between Nelson and Shakespeare Aves. They will continue planning for the community garden and active park for a fenced-off lot in the Parks Department’s inventory by going over designs and their community survey. To connect, email, call Sabeena at (914) 263-2454, Dian at (929) 575-3438, or sign up to Organize here:

North Shore, Staten Island – Resident-led advocacy by Let’s Rebuild Cromwell Community Coalition, which we supported in our pilot NYCommons last summer, is working! Last week, NYC Parks and Urbahn Architects presented this plan to rebuild the community center at the Lyon’s Pool site! Connect with their facebook page here. Sign up to Organize for updates here:

Bushwick, Brooklyn – Eldert Street Garden‘s Brooklyn Supreme Court appearance was postponed yesterday due to the snowy weather. Gardeners are encouraging folks to stay tuned for news coming soon; connect through facebook here, contact founding gardener Kim at or sign up to Organize here:

West Harlem, Manhattan – Last week, community land stewards brought their land access struggles to protect Mandela Community Garden (a 596 Acres facilitated wildflower garden on city-owned land at W 126th St near Frederick Douglass) and Joseph Daniel Wilson Memorial Garden of Project Harmony (a legacy community garden on public & private/community land at W 122nd Street near Adam Clayton Powell Jr.) before Manhattan Community Board 10’s Parks and Recreation Committee. Both gardens received unanimous support from the committee!Details on lot pages here (Mandela) and here (Daniel Wilson)Sign this petition to save Mandela Garden via transfer to NYC Parks!

Lower East Side, Manhattan – New York City Community Garden Coalition‘s March general meeting is tonight, Thursday, March 16 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street. On the agenda: gardens under threat, board elections, forum planning, and updates from your gardens. Event information here.

Kingsbridge, Bronx – Bronx Council for Environmental Quality is hosting their Clean the Harlem River Watershed Conference about how we can clean the Harlem River next Wednesday March 22 from 3pm to 7pm at Manhattan College, Leo Engineering, Fischbach Room at 3840 Corlear Ave. The first session from 3pm to 5pm is for business/commercial entities, and the next session from 5pm to 7pm is for community advocates. Free and open to the public, with refreshments. More information and RSVP here.

The Northeast Recycling Council is hosting a free webinar, Building Resiliency in Food Recovery on Thursday, March 30 from 1:30pm to 3pm on how to collaborate on building a more resilient food system including empowering our local communities. More information here.

Gain new gardening skills in time for spring with GreenThumb workshops, listed here!

The Crown Heights Fund for Community Public Space of the Brooklyn Community Foundation is awarding Neighborhood Strength grants of $10,000 to $50,000 to Community District 8 (Crown Heights North) and Community District 9 (Crown Heights South) to community-based groups and nonprofit organizations creating or expanding access to inclusive community spaces! Deadline to apply is next Tuesday, March 21. More information and a link to the online application here.

Citizens Committee, the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer are giving up to $750 to start or expand community compost projects across NYC. Funds can go towards building compost bins, purchasing materials or tools, doing outreach and education, and more. Applications due next Friday, March 24Contact Katie at (212) 822-9567 or with questions. More information here.

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.

Farms for Far Rockaway editorial

“The publicly owned land at the corner of Augustina Avenue and Nameoke Street is the best solution to this serious food epidemic,” writes community land access advocate Allison (full editorial here). Plan the solution together tonight, Thursday, March 16 from 6:30pm to 8pm at the Far Rockaway Public Library, 1637 Central Avenue! Plug in with Allison at (718) 749-8830,, Travis at (646) 662-0585, and sign up to Organize here for updates:

With sunshine,
596 Acres

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