We need our community spaces now more than ever. Resilience relies on the strength of our communities. We need places to build those strengths. Nothing takes place without a place.

By giving to 596 Acres by the calendar end, you allow us to extend the impact of our community land access advocacy program and help even more New Yorkers create and keep spaces planned and managed locally.

Since 2012, we have helped New Yorkers create 40 new community spaces across NYC where vacant lots used to be, including three in the past year. Primarily community gardens, hundreds of New Yorkers with different backgrounds and skills unite in 596 Acres facilitated spaces to grow produce, turn food scraps into soil, host gatherings, program arts and culture events, and take care of themselves and each other. Food justice, sustainability and greening are inevitable when regular residents have a say about using our land. Beyond even that, the connections made in the process of creating and managing community spaces together are the foundations of a strong, just and equitable city. Through stewarding our land together, New Yorkers feel the power of our collective strength and learn unforgettable lessons in how to work together to make the world better, one neighborhood at a time.

Your cumulative small gifts will make a difference for New York City because they will allow our staff to continue doing what we do best: spreading the word about how to participate in the land use decisions affecting our lives in our neighborhoods. With your generous donation, we will improve the tools we use to decentralize knowledge about land use decision-making in our city, including updating our Advocate’s Guide to Community Land Access.

We will also continue to bring communities across NYC together to strategically address the impacts of citywide policies that perpetuate urban inequality. Hundreds of community spaces are currently at risk of disappearing due to the Department of Finance tax lien sale. Opportunities for community land access are thwarted by the Mayor’s Housing Plan. In a city aspiring to heal its divisions, your gift will allow us to influence the reauthorization for the tax lien sale, coming up this year, and respond once to Housing Plan’s deleterious impacts on existing community spaces and land access opportunities.

We help New Yorkers most affected by histories of disinvestment and municipal neglect take shared control over public assets like land and community centers in order to build the strength and resilience we need this winter. We can’t do it without it you.

Please give today.

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About the Author : Paula Z. Segal

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