Composters in Know Waste Lands garden

In early 2013, Bushwick’s youth-run composting service BK Rot, identified vacant lots on Myrtle Avenue as a future place to compost food scraps and spread environmental stewardship with 596 Acres’ help. They led a community land access advocacy campaign that expanded to include Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Community Board 4, and many local residents. By summer 2014, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation took jurisdiction of the long-forgotten lots for permanent preservation as a community garden: Know Waste Lands, which is now a thriving community resource! Join them in the garden! Open hours are Tuesdays from 8 to 10am for watering, weeding and relaxing in the cool part of the day and Sundays from 10:30am to 4pm for composting, weeding, watering and hanging out with the BK Rot crew. Know Waste Lands is located at Myrtle Ave between Cedar Street and Dekalb Avenue.

This is one story out of the dozens we have helped create in the five years (this week!) since first launched. Support more transformations by donating to 596 Acres. Happy birthday to all of us!

596 Acres is seeking two interns who can work with us 10 hours per week for 10 weeks exploring the data behind our built environment. Internship dates will be approximately September 19 – November 23, 2016. You will learn intimately how to sleuth online for information about building transactions, city dispositions, the tax lien sale and warehoused public buildings. Application due Friday, September 2, 2016.

Weeksville/Bed Stuy, Brooklyn – There’s a vacant public lot dotted with beautiful trees at 45 Somers Street. Planned as “Open Space” when the City created a plan for the area, it used to be a Lots for Tots Park, but has been abandoned for decades. Neighbor and youth organizer Cyeann has started a campaign to revitalize this piece of our commons. She needs help collecting signatures from neighbors in support of activating the space as a community-managed Parks space. Join her! Email Cyeann at or call her at 917-202-1977, and sign up to Organize here:

East New York, Brooklyn – Local youth want to make something great out of the abandoned public land at Livonia and New Lots Ave. Join them: Tewens ( or 518-536-4267), Al ( or 929-385-9722), and Jenae ( or 347-418-2310). Sign up to Organize here:

Harlem, Manhattan – Neighbors want to make something better at W 136th Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Lenox Ave. Join them! Sign up to Organize here:

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn – 462 Halsey Community Garden needs your help! They say: “Our compost crew is very over-worked right now. We’ve been getting 1000 pounds of food scraps a week and we can’t keep up! If we don’t get the compost under control, we might have to close our gates. We really don’t want to do that!” Visit or email for more information about helping out! ‪#‎ThankYou‬!

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn – Communal Spaces: A Garden Play Festival is happens in Bed Stuy gardens including 462 Halsey this weekend and next weekend! More information here.

Bushwick, Brooklyn & Ridgewood, Queens –  Help spread the word about The Housing Not Warehousing Act in Council District 34! This is a set of bills that will add transparency and accountability to vacant public and private property in our neighborhoods. The bills in the Act:

  • create a registry that all individuals and corporations holding their property vacant have to enter or pay penalties for failure to register,
  • mandate the City perform an annual count of all vacant property in New York City, and
  • require the City to compile a list of all city, state, federally, and authority-owned vacant property.

Picture the Homeless is coordinating volunteers to flyer on Wednesdays, from 12 to 2pm, at the Broadway/Myrtle station and Fridays from 12 to 2pm at the vacant lot at Bushwick Ave. and Himrod Street. Contact Jenny:

Long Island City, Queens – This Saturday, August 20 from noon to 5pm, join our friends from Smiling Hogshead Ranch at the Long Island City Block Party at the Sculpture Center, 44-19 Purves Street. Come drop off your frozen kitchen scraps and stay for the worm petting zoo for the kids, young and old.

Red Hook, Brooklyn – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a plan to remove toxins from the Baseball Field on Henry and Bay Street, and your neighbor Peter is keeping us in the loop about it. You can read the status and clean up plans they presented to the community earlier this month and their recent Community Involvement Plan. The EPA’s Community Involvement Coordinator (CIC) is Natalie Loney, and her role is to connect the community to the EPA’s work. Contact her at (212) 637-3639 and for more information. Sign up to Organize here for updates (thanks, Peter!):

Bedstuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn – This Saturday, August 20 starting at 6pm, gather for another free summer concert at The People’s Garden, Greene Avenue and Broadway with Escasos Recursos, DJ Miss Hap, and more. This summer concert series is a collaboration between the People’s Garden and Consumata Sonidera, Free. More information here. Promo video here.

Get your free daffodil bulbs for planting in public spaces! Register to receive some from New Yorkers for Parks by Thursday, September 1 at 5pm here.

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.

Person shows girl a lot on a map


Stay rooted,
596 Acres

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