The battle for the preservation of Bushwick’s Eldert Street Garden continues. This week we challenged the illegal sale of the land in court. Full details in DNAinfo. For over two years, 596 Acres coordinated defensive and affirmative legal actions, recruited and managed pro bono help and continues to support permanent preservation – all while the garden continues to thrive! Donate to support continued community land access advocacy where it is most needed. And join us at Eldert Street Garden (315 Eldert Street) tomorrow, May 8, for a Mother’s Day Spring Celebration, 2pm until sunset! There will be a BBQ, live music, crafts for kids, planting, painting and a flower sale!
ACT NOW TO PRESERVE COMMUNITY LAND AT RISK CITYWIDE
The City of New York is poised to sell liens on community property and vacant lots in our neighborhoods to private speculative trusts next week. This is how the City gives up its leverage over properties where taxes have not been paid and allows community property to disappear.We have written about this before. Now it is time to act. Let’s make this the first year in 20 when gardens, churches, day care centers and vacant lots in our neighborhoods are removed from the sale. Read and sign our petition to Mayor Bill de Blasio here. Then call 311 on Monday and ask the operator to let the Mayor’s staff know that you want all charity institution properties and vacant lots to be removed from Thursday’s sale.
NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Bedstuy, Brooklyn – Neighbors who saw our signs are organizing to transform the vacant lot onMalcolm X and Chauncey Street. Shadel is planning to gather signatures in support of transforming the space this week. Join her! Connect by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We made you a petition you can use. Become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3016860048/
Melrose, Bronx – There is a wonderful opportunity to transform a vacant lot at E 161st Street and Melrose Avenue into something better – and neighbors are just beginning to mobilize (click for detailed directions). We created a petition you can use to show the City that the residents of the South Bronx want to transform this space; get it here and hit the streets to gather signatures. Contact Freddy, email@example.com or 3472462690 to coordinate; or sign up to become an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/2023830048/
Rockaway, Queens – A prototype Community Labyrinth arrived at Beach 78th Street and the boardwalk this week! Organizer Nancy’s years of perseverance is bringing a meditative and healing space to a neighborhood that really needs it. Contact Nancy to help transform the temporary installation into a permanent fixture in the coming years: firstname.lastname@example.org. NYC Parks Department has embraced the vision but will need our help to find the support it needs to create a permanent installation. Check out the photos and sign up to organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000040006/
Long Island City, Queens – The Cutoff Coalition’s vision for the newly abandoned rail line next toSmiling Hogshead Ranch is now online. Check out and share our vision for the future: a self-powered urban farm and resiliency lab, featuring innovative green infrastructure, landscaped common spaces, and economic development opportunities to form a thriving ecology that brings together nature, community, and industry: http://cutoffcoalition.org/
Flushing, Queens – Organizers of a future Corona community garden made the news! Check them out In the New York Post here then become a future garden member by contacting Alishia, email@example.com or (718) 600-0121; you can also sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4063910024/
Harlem, Manhattan – Margrichantie Memorial Garden on W 133rd near Adam Clayton Powell is already in the Parks Department inventory and intended as a permanent community space, but it needs new stewards to help it thrive. NYC Parks plans to hold a meeting for interested community members next Saturday, May 14, from 11am to 1pm at the garden. Join them in person or sign up as an organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/1019180011/
LOTS WITH ACCESS
Bedstuy, Brooklyn – Free Black Women’s Library, Mother’s Day Edition tomorrow, Sunday, May 8 from 12pm to 5pm at 462 Halsey Community Garden! (Last week’s event was postponed.) More information about the pop-up library is here. Check out 462 Halsey’s new website here.
Long Island City, Queens – On Tuesday, May 10 from 5pm to 9pm at Smiling Hogshead Ranch‘s Terrific Tuesday & documentary film shoot. Join in tackling some chores, enjoying a potluck style family meal and shooting footage for a documentary at the Ranch. More information here.
The New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative, which 596 Acres helped to incubate, is refining a rating system or evaluating whether a project is one we want to finance. See a preliminary draft here. Members and future members are invited to a public forum to discuss how to make this better on Tuesday, May 10 at 7pm at the Sunview Luncheonette, 221 Nassau Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY 11222. G to Nassau, then about a 10 minute walk.
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
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.
Does your community garden need help with a specific project? Habitat for Humanity NYC’sBrush with Kindness program may be able to offer volunteers and materials for painting, planting, or light “fix-up” work (i.e. building raised beds or other simple structures, minor landscaping) in your garden or community space. They supervise volunteers and provide materials to complete specific multi-day projects ranging from one day to four weeks (the typical project is two weeks). Contact Anna Darling at firstname.lastname@example.org describing the specific scope of work. You will work together to determine if the project is a good fit for their program.
The City Park Foundation’s Partnerships for Parks’ Capacity Fund Grant is due on June 1! Up to $5,000 available to community garden, park, and street tree groups stewarding NYC Parks Department property. Questions? Reach out to Grants@cityparksfoundation.org or 212-602-5348, schedule an individual consultation or join a webinar.