Man connects hose to fire hydrant to water garden

This morning, 596 Acres joined advocates citywide at City Hall to testify on the Housing Not Warehousing Act. The Act will add transparency and accountability to vacant public and private properties in our neighborhoods: “The story that we often hear is that real estate in New York City is running out. In this atmosphere of scarcity, communities are asked to choose between necessities: parks and gardens, much-needed housing for seniors, a day care center. Yet we look around our neighborhoods and see thousands of holes: neglected private properties collecting garbage, tax debt and worse while absent private owners face no consequences. Boarded up houses and vacant lots collecting trash are not a part of New York City’s past. They are 2016.” Read the full testimony here!

This Saturday, September 17 from 11am to 4pm at Diamante Garden, on 118th Street between First and Second Avenues in Harlem, come to the NYC Parks GreenThumb Harvest Fair! We will be demonstrating our game designed to help community groups manage spaces together (download here). We will also be there to answer people’s questions about vacant lots in their lives. Event details here.

Belmont, Bronx – Last week, we confirmed that the Garden Of Youth in the Bronx (East 182nd and Prospect Avenue, est. 1992) was removed from the 2016 tax lien sale! Thanks to our advocacy, the decades-old garden is now out-of-reach of speculative investors. Read more here. Stop by the market at Tremont Avenue between LaFontaine and Arthur Avenues every Tuesday between 8am and 2pm until November 15 to buy Bronx-grown produce (EBT, WIC Coupons, FMNP Coupons and Health Bucks accepted).

Bedstuy, Brooklyn – Sandra and neighbors will meet this Sunday, September 18 to develop the proposal for a community garden at 37 Rochester Ave between Atlantic Ave and Herkimer Street. The sites was planned as as “Open Space (Park & Playground)” in the Central Brooklyn Urban Renewal Plan in 1968, and neighbors are organizing to make it happen at last. Sign up to Organize here to get meeting details as soon as they are announced: Contact Sandra to get involved: (347) 226-1643 or

Bedstuy/Crown Heights, Brooklyn – Last week, Shadel collected letters of support from community groups who will be part of the awesome programming that takes place at the SPACE Garden, a community garden focused on poetry that will replace a vacant lot at Malcolm X Blvd and Chauncey Street. (Photo here.) Send Shadel a letter of support from your local community group or business: Get involved by signing up to Organize here:

Weeksville, Brooklyn – Neighbors! Join a campaign to transform a vacant lot at 45 Somers near Rockaway Ave. into a community garden! We are meeting this Wednesday, September 21 at 4pm at Saratoga Farm on Fulton Street to work on the plan! This lot was planned as “Open Space” and was formerly used as a Lots for Tots lot – and can be a public good again! Connect with youth organizer Cyeann:, (917) 202-1977. For updates, sign up to Organize here:

East New York, Brooklyn – Organizers will be working on a plan for the abandoned public land at Livonia and New Lots Ave. They will also join the meeting this Wednesday, September 21 at 4pm at Saratoga Farm. Contact Al to get involved:, (929) 385-9722. For updates, sign up to Organize here:

East New York, Brooklyn – B.R.O.K.E. Youth Organization (Be Responsible, Keep Excelling) met last week to begin their proposal to turn vacant lots on Hinsdale Street between Sutter and Blakeinto a community garden. These lots have been vacant for generations, and now the grandchildren are grown up and doing something about it. Join them: email Auradis at or call her at (516) 582-1460. Read notes, see photos, and sign up to Organize here:

Crown Heights, Brooklyn – Your neighbors are organizing to transform a former Lots for Tots space on Prospect Place near Albany Avenue into a community garden! They are working to collect signatures from the neighborhood, pass out surveys on how people would like to use the space and get endorsements from local non-profits in the area. They will bring all of this to the October meeting of Community Board 8’s Parks and Recreation Committee, coming up in October. Send your support and get involved by contacting Mandy: or (513) 317-4457; and sign up to Organize here:

Far Rockaway, Queens – This Monday, September 19 at 7pm at 1328 Augustina Ave, join Allison, join neighbors and 596 Acres as we prepare to testify at the following Tuesday’s Scoping Hearing on the Draft Scope of Work for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Downtown Far Rockaway Redevelopment Plan (details here). Neighbors want to eliminate food deserts in the Far Rockaway community and have identified a vacant public lot at Nameoke Street and Agustina Avenue as an ideal space to grow healthy produce locally. However, the City is planning to give this land to a private developer and create an Urban Renewal Area in downtown Rockaway. Then at the hearing this Tuesday, September 20, 6:30pm to 9pm, at St. John’s Hospital, Bocces Conference Room, 327 Beach 19th Street, come tell the City what impacts it needs to consider before it can responsibly move forward. Connect with Allison: (718) 749-8830 or Sign up to Organize here:

Harlem, Manhattan – Stefano passes this vacant lot on W 126th Street between Lenox and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. when he walks his kid to school. He saw our signs, started dreaming and called us. He thinks a greenhouse would go well on this shady lot – or maybe some culinary mushroom logs? Join his campaign to make it happen by contacting him at (646) 761-5782 Sign up to Organize here:

West Harlem, Manhattan – This Friday, September 16 at 7:30pm, watch the movie Frozen atElectric Ladybug Garden at 237 W 111th street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.! Facebook event here (where weather cancellations will be announced).

Long Island City, Queens – This Sunday, September 18 from 2pm to 8pm, join Smiling Hogshead Ranch for their first-ever Harvest Festival! An action-packed event for all ages, featuring cooking workshops, carnival-style games, community cook-off, a raffle, and more! More information on facebook event here. On Friday, September 16 from 4pm to 8pm, join the Ranch for PARK(ing) Day 2016, as they transform a parking spot into a mini park to drink lemonade, have a community composting workshop, and share membership information on the corner of Skillman Ave. & Pearson Place. Facebook event here. Stay tuned for news of incremental implementation of the Ranch on Railsthe Cutoff Coalition’s vision for expanding the use of this space to the abandoned elevated rail line, starting in 2017. It’s time to plan: sign up to Organize here to get involved:

Lower East Side, Manhattan – Next Sunday, September 25 at 2pm, come hear musical artists GoodLeaf and Carmine are performing at Siempre Verde Garden at Stanton Street and Attorney Street. Preview of GoodLeaf here!

Crown Heights, Brooklyn – Next Sunday, September 25 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 (photo from the last one here). 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!

Bushwick, Brooklyn – On October 5 from 5:30pm to 7pm, Know Waste Lands at 1278 Myrtle Avenue between Cedar Street and Dekalb Avenue is hosting GreenThumb’s workshop onBuilding an Arbor! Along with signs, open gates, and colorful flora, an arbor at the entrance of your community garden can be a great way to welcome community members. In this hands-on workshop we will build an affordable wooden craftsman-style garden arbor together. More information and RSVP with Greenthumb here.

Southside, Brooklyn – Join your neighbors in designing Hooper Park! The lot on the corner of Hooper and South 5th has been waiting to become open space planned in 1992 for decades. Thanks to local organizing with our support, the land was finally transferred to NYC Parks! Get involved: email and sign up to Organize here:

Bedstuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn – This Friday, September 16 at 7pm, come out to The People’s Garden at Greene Avenue and Broadway for a free night of tropical futurism. This is their last concert in their summer series. Line-up: Combo Chimbita, V4p0rú, Yotoco and DJ E’s E. There will be vegetarian tamales for sale and they will disclose the AFTERPARTY w/ P’drito Criollo location at the time of the event. More information on the facebook event here.

Rockaway, Queens – NYC Honey Fest is this Saturday, September 17 from 11am to 5pm (rain date September 18) at Boardwalk 86th, Rockaway Beach (8601 Shore Front Pkwy, in front of Rippers). Returning to the Rockaway Boardwalk for its sixth year, NYC Honey Fest is a celebration of the amazing pollinators who call the five boroughs home. This free, daylong festival features food, art, kids’ activities and crafts, and a honey & bee-product marketplace. Details here. It is part of NYC Honey Week, a citywide, weeklong festival celebrating the honey bee! Find out what’s buzzing near you on the website here or on facebook here.

People at meeting for Housing Not Warehousing Act

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.

With love,
596 Acres

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