Mosaic on side of building

Let City staff know: this land is our land! Next Wednesday, January 11, two opportunities:
In the morning, Stand with Brownsville Organizers to Oppose City Giving Public Land Away for Expensive Private Homes In Brownsville at Municipal Building Disposition Hearing.
Local organizers from the youth nonprofit B.R.O.K.E Youth (Be Responsible, Keep Excelling) have been working since September 2016 to create a community garden on four of these long vacant lots at Hinsdale Street between Sutter and Blake Avenues. Despite their efforts to create a green space that would benefit the entire local community, this land is now planned to become just 12 units of housing for families who make up to three times what the average family in the neighborhood makes. The city is using a loophole that allows this proposal to skip City Council approval or a presentation for public comment. It is also giving the land away to a developer who will build less housing than is allowed on the lots: only 12 units where 34 would fit! Wednesday January 11 at 10am at 1 Centre Street, North Mezzanine. (Note that these hearings start on time and end quick!) If you would like to prepare written testimony to share, directions are here. For more information on the fight to create a community garden on Hinsdale Street, contact  Auradis: or (516) 582-1460.

After lunch, Join us at City Hall to Testify About Impacts of the Tax Lien Sale on Community Gardens, Theaters, Community Centers and Neglected Properties in Your Neighborhood.
Instead of selling tax debt to speculators who then kick community organizations out of our neighborhoods and neglect their properties, the City could be protecting the places that matter most. Our tax lien sale authorization has run out. Let’s band together to make sure that when the sale is reauthorized, the City provides effective protections for Not for Profit & Faith-Based Organizations that own property and keeps its leverage over neglected and abandoned properties in our neighborhoods. Sign our petition to support these changes here. if you would like help preparing testimony about your organization’s experience with the tax lien sale, annual exemption renewal requirements or the vacant lot or neglected structure on your block. More information here. The hearing is Wednesday January 11, at 1pm at City Hall in the Committee Room.

South Jamaica, Queens – This Saturday, January 7 from 2 to 5pm organizers of HipHoticHelps Essential Garden will be holding meeting with the goal of making their vision to transform the neglected “Hilton Holiday Gardens” at 133rd and 135th Avenue, and 143rd and 145th Streets. The group has already received a letter of support from Queens Community Board 12! Contact Trish at or (646) 258-5940 for details about the meeting, and sign up to Organize here:

Far Rockaway, Queens – Transforming the neglected lots on Beach 88th Street and Beach Channel Drive into a park is one of the projects eligible for funding now that there is federal money left over from boardwalk reconstruction!  Email by Sunday, January 8 to tell NYC Parks you would like the extra money used to build this Baysidepark envisioned in 2014. After you send your email, write a note and sign up to Organize here:

Far Rockaway, Queens – Neighbors are creating a proposal to for a new garden and compost site at a vacant public lot at Nameoke Street and Augustina Avenue. You can use this templateto help collect letters of support from local organizations and businesses who support this community space. In January, the group will present the plan before their Community Board and request its support. Plug in with Allison: (718) 749-8830 or or by signing up to Organize here:

Edgemere, Queens – Organizers will be meeting soon to finalize their layout for a community-run park and garden at this giant Bayside lot on Beach 43rd Street. The plan is to create a “five senses” garden that faces the water. The group could use the help of a landscape or graphic designer to make a beautiful plan for this space: is that you? Contact Alexis or (347) 608-3556, and sign up to Organize here:

Bushwick, Brooklyn – The battle for Eldert Street Garden continues at Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday January 11 at 9:30am (360 Adams Street room 469). The judge will be asked to void the sale of the land that the garden is on to a developer in 2014. This transaction was not approved by the Attorney General as required by law and the sale was not authorized by anyone who can act on behalf of the not for profit owner. Contact founding garden member Kim to plug in to gardening or garden-preserving, connect through facebook here, and sign up to Organize here:

Weeksville, Brooklyn – Youth organizers from D.U.E.C.E.S. received a letter of support from Brooklyn Community Board 16 to transform 45 Somers Street into An E.D.E.N. Garden! Organizers will be finalizing their design and proposal for An E.D.E.N. Garden soon. The group could use the help of a designer to make visualization of the plan for this kid-centered space: is that you? Contact C. Aaron –, (347) 589-7583 for updates and sign up to Organize here:

Staten Island – Organizers are fighting to get lots on Piave Avenue and Sand Lane transferred to the Parks Department from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). DCAS has acknowledged the proposal and now we need to make sure they are aware of community support. One thing still in our way is a broken sidewalk, which the city refuses to fix. Remind the city this is their responsibility by filing a complaint! File a complaint about the sidewalk and to sign up to Organize here:

Highbridge, Bronx – Organizers continue planning a vision for Corporal Irwin A. Fischer Parklocated between West 169th between Nelson and Shakespeare Avenues. The next meeting will be held in January, date and place to be announced, where we will be joined by Council Member Vanessa Gibson to review our first drafts of a design! Email or call Sabeena at (914) 263-2454, or Dian at (929) 575-3438, to be in the loop out about the next meeting, or sign up to Organize to receive updates here:

Lower East Side, Manhattan – On Tuesday, January 10 from 6:30 to 8:00pm GreenThumb is hosting “New Year’s Resolution: Learn How to Compost”  workshop at Sixth Street Community Center.

Downtown Manhattan – On Saturday, January 21 from 11am to 1pm, GreenThumb is hosting part two of their three part “Organizing for Garden Success: By-Laws” workshops. RSVP here to join them for this free workshop at 100 Gold Street, Suite 3100.

Save the Date for the GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference: Sustaining Garden Legacies!Saturday, March 25, 2017. Check out their winter program guide here and if you are interested in presenting a workshop at the conference, there is still time to submit a proposal! Find more information here about how to submit a proposal no later than January 13.

City Parks Foundation is hosting an upcoming Capacity Fund Grant Informational Webinar onJanuary 12 from 1 to 2pm and again on January 18 from 6:30 to 8pm. Find out how to join them for this free online workshop here:

Citizens Committee awards Neighborhood Grants up to $3,000 to resident-led groups working on community and school projects throughout the city. Grants are for volunteer led projects addressing issues which communities deem important to them. Applications are due January 23, 2017. Information session are underway now; more information here.

The Manhattan Borough President’s office will be offering grants in support of various capital projects throughout Manhattan. This funding is available to city agencies, nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions, and public schools for projects serving New York City purposes. It is one way to fund new fences or water access for your Manhattan community spaces. Deadline to apply is February 14 and more information can be found 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.

Green Valley Community Farm members and Paula Z. Segal

As Brownsville Patch tells it, “City Urges Brownsville to Eat Fresh Produce, Then Kills Its Community Farm.” 596 Acres is supporting residents are in a battle to save the Green Valley Community Farm and Market. More notes on recent developments are here. We were joined by Council Member Inez Barron at City Hall during the winter break to meet with the Deputy Mayor’s staff. Right before we took this picture, they told us they are still planning for the Farm’s demolition. Sign up to Organize for updates:

We are going to need each other,
596 Acres

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