“The Ranch on Rails will generate a thriving social economy and natural ecology in the heart of Long Island City. Our vision for the Ranch on Rails is representative of how we see our community: diverse, creative, cooperative, and committed to the future of New York.”
– Cutoff Coalition, response to the MTA’s Request for Expressions of Interest in the Adaptive Reuse of the newly abandoned rail line next to Smiling Hogshead Ranch.
Over the last four months, 596 Acres has managed a process of community visioning and collaboration to produce a visionary master plan for a regenerative re-use. It’s the beginning of the future and we are all in it together. Read about the proposal and the process in DNAinfo here, click here to see the full plan and sign up to organize here to get updates.
NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Southside, Brooklyn – Hooper Park! It’s really happening. The lot on the corner of Hooper and South 5th has been waiting to become open space planned in 1992 for decades. Thanks to local organizing with our support, the transformation is just around the corner. NYC Parks will have jurisdiction of the lot within weeks and then its time to “plant til your’re planted.” The local organizers are planning a meeting for next week. Sign up on the lot’s page – http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3024500028/ – or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get meeting details.
Greenpoint, Brooklyn – The Newtown Creek Alliance has developed a vision for ecological restoration and community access for the Newtown Creek-facing end of North Henry Street. View their plan here and sign up on the lot’s page to become part of making it happen.
Harlem, Manhattan – The NYC Parks Department GreenThumb program is looking for stewards for this vacant lot at 128 West 127th St.who want to help get it transferred to the NYC Parks Department for permanent preservation as a community garden. Several neighbors have been in touch and have started organizing, including a teacher from MS 129. Contact them here.
Melrose, Bronx – A note from a neighbor and new organizer of this Housing Preservation and Development-controlled lot on Home St. and Southern Blvd. (one of hundreds the City has been holding on to for decades): “I have been cleaning the outside of this lot for six years now and i just got on this website cause i saw the signs up years ago. i have the info now. i see all this the city has to to do something with this lot. i have neighbors thats willing to build a community garden here.” Want to help make this dream real? Get in touch here or contact Pramash, email@example.com, 9293759727. The first step is to get together and put a garden vision on paper, then ask for the support of Bronx Community Board 3.
COMMUNITY LAND AT RISK
Plan ahead for an endangered community space bike ride with 596 Acres and Public Space Party on Saturday, April 9 at 1pm. We are constructing the route now. If your endangered space would like to be included, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ben at 917 586 7952.
Crown Heights, Brooklyn – Roger That! garden goes back to Landlord Tenant court in Brooklyn in the eviction case that may displace the garden on March 10 at 10am at 141 Livingston Street, Brooklyn. Plan to be there! And in the meantime, drop a note to Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey (Kevin.email@example.com) to let him know that you support the garden becoming permanent vie eminent domain. Read more in DNAinfo or Curbed.
Join 596 Acres and many of our collaborators for the Next System Project – NYC Convening, March 10-12 at The Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, CUNY, 25 W 43rd St, Fl 19th, Manhattan. More details here; RSVP here.
On February 18th, the NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Office released an audit revealing that New York City owns 1,131 vacant lots. That’s a lot of lots! Over half of them have been owned by the city and left vacant for 30-39 years, and another quarter for 40-50 years. This audit echoes the parallel efforts of 596 Acres and Picture the Homeless to make information about the City’s property portfolio public and put land and buildings to use. Comptroller’s press release and full report here.
The East Rockaway Growing Coalition, which includes Edgemere Farm at Beach 45th Street Community Farm, is looking for Rockaway residents between the ages of 18 and 25 who might be interested in learning all aspects of urban farming and gardening! They are hiring a few paid interns for 20 hours/week from April to September. To apply, submit resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE THESE DATES
Brooklyn, NYC – 596 Acres, the New York City Community Garden Coalition and Farming Concrete are leading the “What’s So Great About Your Garden?” workshop at Making Brooklyn Bloom on Saturday, March 12, 2016, 10-11am, with a lunchtime breakout session to follow. Event details are here.
Manhattan. NYC – 596 Acres is facilitating a Campaign Action Session at the Just Food Conference on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Teacher’s College at Columbia University in Manhattan: “Communities Protecting Growing Spaces in NYC.” Event details are here.
Manhattan, NYC – A Talk through NYC’s Gardens, Parks & Community Spaces at Fordham Law School, hosted by the Community Economic Development Clinic & the Fordham Urban Law Center on Tuesday, March 15, 4-6pm at 150 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023, Room 3-09. Everyone is welcome. RSVP here.
Trenton, NJ – On Friday, March 18, 2016, 2-3:15pm, Paula Z. Segal will be part of a conversation on opportunities for urban land conservation at the 2016 Land Preservation Rally in Trenton, New Jersey, facilitated by Isles, with Olin Studios (Philadelphia) and the Greater Newark Conservancy. The Greater Newark Conservancy facilitates community gardens on vacant public land. Last year, when the City of Newark held a Valentine’s Day land sale, several active garden sites were sold to private individuals without the knowledge of the Conservancy or the gardeners. The sites were sadly lost, highlighting how tools that connect municipal plans with land stewards remain acutely necessary
Bronx, NYC – 596 Acres will lead workshops on “Organizing ourselves: the basics of working in groups” at this year’s GreenThumb’s GrowTogether gathering, on March 19, 2016 at 11:30 am and 2:15 pm at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451.
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.
Beginning farmers in New York State who have been farming for at least three years can apply to receive support for a New Farmer Profit Team that provides customized, one-on-one guidance from farm professionals over an 18-month to two-year period. The project has up to $2,000 in matching funds available to 16 farms. Apply here by March 15, 2016.Community organizations in Harlem, Canarsie and Brownsville have been invited to partner in starting new farms on NYCHA campuses! Organizations will get paid up to $50,000 per year for supporting the development of these new projects. Partners are NYCHA, Green City Force and the Fund for Public Health in NY. Applications due March 25, 2016.