This message is from our friends at New Yorkers For Parks. You can read 596 Acres’ testimony in support of NYC funding GreenThumb here.

NY4P leads a RALLY at CITY HALL next Tuesday, June 5 at 10am in the Fight Against Further Parks Department Budget Cuts!

New Yorkers for Parks and New York City Council Members Brad Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito and James Oddo will speak out on the steps of City Hall next Tuesday, June 5, at 10 AM – and gardeners need to join them!  Many Parks advocates will be on hand, we need to SHOW THEM THAT GARDENS ARE IMPORTANT TOO!!!!

Join the rally to call upon the City Council and Bloomberg Administration to restore Parks Department’s funding!

  • GREENTHUMB’s Federal Grants budget will be slashed by $70,000!!!   It’s already operating on a shoestring, and now we need the City to provide tax levy funding to make up that enormous difference!  $70,000 could pay for:
  • two GrowTogether conferences
  • 4,666 raised beds
  • 106 loads of topsoil
  • 70 steel sheds
  • 1,400 linear feet of new fencing

GreenThumb has had as many as 5 Outreach coordinators in the past. Currently they have only two to serve all five Boroughs. This means that two people have to handle resource requests, staff workshops and giveaways, answer constituent phone calls, and do deliveries and site visits. Wonder why that soil delivery is taking a long time? Now you know. Everyone is stepping in and helping out as much as they can, but with a staff that small there is no way they can provide anywhere near the service level we need!

The Federal Block Grant Program, that FULLY funds GreenThumb, has been cut by Congress, and to some extent the City’s Office of Management and Budget has no choice but to cut allocations to many City programs. It’s important to note, however, that GreenThumb has never received an annual allocation of CITY tax levy funding to supplement the federal dollars. THE CITY OWES US THAT MONEY! Seeing that GreenThumb is included in the CIty budget is something that is in both the Mayor and the City Council’s power to change.

What You Can Do:

1. Get to the steps of City Hall Tuesday, June 5, at 10 AM – and feel free to bring signs (no wooden or metal poles) reflecting your SUPPORT FOR GREENTHUMB!!!  Tell your neighbors and friends to come, too!  Plan to arrive 20 minutes early, because you’ll need to pass through security on either the eastern (Center Street/Park Row) or western (Broadway) side of City Hall.

2. Testify at the City Council Budget Hearing on Wednesday, June 6, at 3:30 PM – The public comment period begins at 3:30, but arrive earlier to sign up if you want to speak – the comment period is first-come, first-served and the Council is trying to minimize the impact of the public testimony (and testing the stamina of their constituents) by having public testimony for ALL City Budget issues on the same day.  We NEED a strong showing supporting GREENTHUMB!!!

            Hearing details:

            Wednesday, June 6, 2012

            3:30 PM

            City Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan

3. Submit a written statement to the City Council.  Even if you cannot attend the City Council public hearing, you can submit a written statement. Email or fax your statement to Tanisha Edwards at or 212-788-7061 on or before June 6. Indicate that the statement is to be included in the record for the Parks Department Executive Budget Hearing.

 4. Contact your local Council Member and the Mayor.  Let them know that GARDENS matter, and the GreenThumb budget needs to be better funded now!

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