Protecting Our Places! Know Your Rights on Not-for-Profit Tax Exemptions is tonight, Thursday, November 10 from 6pm to 8:30pm at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus at 155 W 60th Street in Manhattan, Room 109B. Does your nonprofit or church own property? Did the city send you a notice of a tax lien? Join us for an evening discussion, with help and solutions. Event information here. Facebook event page here. There will be an opportunity to connect with the Department of Finance staff beginning at 6pm.
PRESS: PROTECTING OUR PLACES
Today, Urban Omnibus released For Sale: Nonprofits, by D.W. Gibson, with additional reporting by Fordham Urban Law Center and 596 Acres. This is a story we worked on together about what happens when the city sells the right to foreclose on these community properties to outside investors: childcare, soup kitchens and veteran service centers close and entire neighborhoods that rely on these resources suffer immediate consequences, particularly if they are already underserved and vulnerable.
JOIN US NEXT SUNDAY! 596 ACRES GENERAL MEETING
On Sunday, November 20 from 3pm to 6pm, join us in the greenhouse of Green Valley Community Garden & Farmers Market (formerly Powell Street Block Association) at New Lots Ave at Sackman Street in Brownsville. Our host Green Valley is in danger of disappearing. Just as neighbors have come up with plans for stewarding vacant public lots that the city let languish behind fences in their neighborhoods for decades, the city is poised to sell them for $1 to developers to build housing targetted for people who make at least double of what current residents can afford. We will focus on these and other impacts of the Mayor’s Housing Plan on existing gardens and community land access. Bring your land access stories! Facebook eventhere. Event information here. Read about the City’s plans for public land in City Limits here.
NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bushwick, Brooklyn – The battle for the preservation of Eldert Street Garden continues! Last week, we went to court again to challenge the illegal sale of the land (cover photo). We introduced ourselves to our new judge, who now knows this is a case that is important to the community. We met the lawyers for the Romans, who sold the non-profit’s land illegally, and the developer who bought it (read more in DNAinfo). Mark your calendars! We will return to court onWednesday, January 11, 2017 at 9:30am at Brooklyn Supreme Court, 360 Adams Street room 469 for oral arguments. We will ask for the deed to be declared void based simply on the fact that this charity transaction was not approved by the Attorney General as required by law, and argue against the motions that the Romans and the developer have filed to dismiss our case. The garden continues to thrive. Join 596 Acres and the gardeners this Sunday, November 13 at 12pm at the garden (315 Eldert Street) to discuss strategy or contact founding garden member Kim at email@example.com, connect through facebook here.
Weeksville, Brooklyn – Come next Tuesday, November 15 at 7pm to 444 Thomas Boyland where neighbors will present their plan to transform a vacant public lot at 45 Somers into a vibrant community garden for making music, playing in the herb garden, and studying science! Local youth nonprofit D.U.E.C.E.S. has collected over 100 signatures and met with Council Member Darlene Mealy’s office. Planned open space via top-down urban renewal is being made real through the grassroots. Get involved! C. Aaron – firstname.lastname@example.org, (347) 589-7583; sign up to Organize: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3015380043/
East New York, Brooklyn – Two weeks ago, we shared the plan that B.R.O.K.E Youth made to transform a long-vacant lot on Hinsdale Street between Sutter and Blake into a community garden. But last week, the city announced its plan to sell these lots each for $1 to a private developer to build “workforce housing,” as part of the Mayor’s Housing Plan. Units will be marketed to people who make twice and a-little-more-than-three-times what average people in the neighborhood make! Auradis grew up next to these abandoned lots and is taking this injustice to task. Organize together: email email@example.com or call (516) 582-1460; sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59162/. Gather next Sunday at 596 Acres General Meeting to focus on the impact of the Mayor’s Housing Plan on existing gardens and community land access: November 20 from 3pm to 6pm at Green Valley Community Garden & Farmers Market at New Lots Ave at Sackman Street. Event information here.
Melrose, Bronx – This Monday, November 14 at 11am, go on a walk through of neighbors’ plans for a park that’s also a staircase to replace a sloping de-mapped lot on E 159th St between St Ann’s & Eagle Ave in the South Bronx. Gardeners and designers will guide us through theincredible plan that neighbors dreamed up together. Check it out and sign up to Organize here for updates: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001/ – or contact Victor to plug in to the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 665-4281.
Foxhurst, Bronx – We met Andrew and Jannelle last Saturday at the Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners conference (photo). They want to transform a vacant lot in their neighborhood, on Bryant Avenue and East 165th St, in into a community garden. Their lot is in the jurisdiction of NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Through local planning and advocacy, it may be possible to have it transferred to the Parks Department to create a permanent community green space. Andrew is hanging a sign on the fence letter neighbors know they are organizing (photo)! To plug in, contact Andrew at IamDrew27@gmail.com or (917) 631-5413 or Jannelle at email@example.com; sign up to Organize here:http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/2027500030/
Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan – Tonight, Thursday November 10 at 6:30pm, Manhattan Community Board 4’s Waterfront, Parks and Environment Committee will be discussing the water tunnel site on 10th Ave between West 48th and 49th streets at Friends of the High Line, 820 Washington Street in the Conference Room. This isn’t an organizing meeting, but It’s key for folks who are organizing to attend, take notes, and make plans! When the City used this as a construction site to build an access point for a huge tunnel bringing drinking water to Brooklyn, the Community Board approved it with the condition that the site must be landscaped and developed for recreational purposes. Neighbors can make the city come good on its decades-old promise and partake in planning how this space will be used. Get involved by contacting Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joselyn at email@example.com or (646) 584-2702; sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1010770029/.
Rockaway Beach, Queens – Last week, we sent NYC Parks the GreenThumb application forBeach 84th Street Community Garden on the bayside and are now waiting for them to take jurisdiction! The proposal includes a description of the garden, photos, a drawing of the site, a list of 10 volunteers, a list of plants that can grow in salty water (it’s on the bayside!), and letters of support from Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Community Board 14 and other local organizations. Check it out here. Soon, neighbors living across from this abandoned public DCAS lot will finally able to open the gates and make a space for community. Contact: Wanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or Claudia at email@example.com, (917) 848-1082. Sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58968/
OUR LOTS WITH ACCESS
Long Island City, Queens – Help Smiling Hogshead Ranch plant hundreds of daffodil bulbs around the ranch! This Saturday, 10am to 12pm at 25-30 Skillman Ave (facebook event here). We will also be accepting fallen leaves – please bring them in clear or paper bags, preferably dry and free of trash. Stay for a Wellness Self-Healing Circle from 2:30pm to 5:30pm including a discussion about health and the environment and a 30 minute yoga session (facebook eventhere). And check out these gorgeous photos of the ranch along the old rail lines that Mitch Waxman shared with us, here!
Crown Heights, Brooklyn – 1100 Bergen Street Community Garden at Nostrand Ave has been land sovereign and resident-stewarded since 1979! They are seeking new members (photohere)! Join this historic garden: contact Hazel at (917) 612-2065 or Hazelhurley3@gmail.com.
The GreenBridge Community Garden Alliance invites Brooklyn community gardeners to a Meet and Greet next Saturday, November 19 from 11am to 1pm at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 990 Washington Ave, room 236. Free admission at all entrances until noon. There will be snacks, conversation with fellow gardeners and special guest Bill LoSasso, director of NYC Parks’ GreenThumb. Come ask him your questions and exchange knowledge with fellow gardeners. Flier here. Event information here.
Join NYC Parks GreenThumb for Winter is Coming, Prepare for the Off Season next Saturday, November 19 from 11am to 1pm at River Garden at 474 Devoe Avenue in the Bronx to learn how to prepare your garden for winter so you can get a head start on the growing season. They will go over proper storage of tools, winter compost maintenance, and general garden cleanup. Event information here or call (212) 602-5300. RSVP here.
Save the Date! The First Annual Urban Soils Symposium is December 9 from 9:30am to 5pm(cocktails at 5) at the Brooklyn College Student Center, East 27 Street and Campus Road in Brooklyn. Hosted by Brooklyn College, NYC Soil & Water Conservation District, The Gaia Institute, US Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service. The event is for community groups, gardeners, farmers, artists, activists, academics, practitioners, industry representatives, government agency representatives – everyone interested in urban soils! Event information here. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tatiana at (646) 847-7763.
JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
The New Economy Project is hiring a Staff Attorney to support local organizing for community land trusts, worker co-ops and other community-led development; contribute to impact litigation and policy advocacy; and help staff our NYC Financial Justice Hotline for community groups and low income New Yorkers — and a Program Associate who will conduct workshops with community groups throughout NYC, using our know-your-rights and cooperative economics curricula; and help staff our NYC Financial Justice Hotline. They offer an excellent benefits package and competitive salaries, commensurate with experience. More information here! The deadline is November 15.
GrowNYC is looking to hire two Fresh Food Box coordinators for the winter season, from now until June. Interested? Mondays through Thursdays, starting as soon as possible for training but going in earnest from December 16 to June 2017. $15 per hour. Spanish speaker STRONGLY preferred! Sites in Lower Manhattan, the Bronx, and East Harlem. GrowNYC’s Fresh Food Box Program is a food access initiative that allows under-served communities to purchase a curated selection of fresh, healthy, regionally-grown produce; the best of what’s seasonally available. More information here. Apply by contacting Nicole Tucker at email@example.com!
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
The GreenThumb Winter Supply Giveaway continues. For QUEENS: This Saturday, November 12 and next Saturday, November 19 from 10am to 12pm at the GreenThumb Compound in Queens Plaza, South St. and 10th St. For the BRONX: Monday, November 14 from 4pm to 7pm at La Finca Del Sur in the South Bronx, 175 E. 138th St. For BROOKLYN: Wednesday, November 16 from 4pm to 7pm at UCC Youth Farm at 613 Schenck Ave, East New York, andThursday, November 17 from 4pm to 7pm at Hattie Carthan, 719 Marcy Ave in Bed Stuy. Get your gloves, ice breaker, shovel and calcium chloride pellets. More information here.
SeedMoney‘s grant application deadline is this Saturday, November 12! Last year, they helped nearly 400 food garden projects raise over $200,000 for their work. That bought a lot of seeds, tools, and supplies! Applications should be submitted online at https://www.seedmoney.org/.
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.
This land is our land!