What comes to your mind when you think of New York? For residents and visitors, most the city triggers the thought of traffic, or blocks of industry and never-ending business. Often, it is an accurate depiction of what we see and experience on an average day. Green spaces can be hard to access if you don’t know where to look and even harder to to steward in some city areas. For some, the only space a person can to tend to their own greenery is on their windowsill. What many might not know is that New York City is home to over 600 community gardens throughout the five boroughs! Aside from making strides to increase neighborhood open spaces, a great way to build green space right now and community relationships is to participate in your neighborhood’s community garden.
Two summers back, we shared the experience of several budding student gardeners from P.S. 110 who had the opportunity to lend a hand to Greenpoint’s own Lentol Garden. Not only do gardens like these provide children with a fresh new activity, they also plant the seeds of knowledge and interest for kids to develop a deeper understanding and respect for the environment and future eco-sustainability.
Green Thumb, the largest community gardening program in the nation, will attend our very own Go Green! BK Festival on June 1st. They want to connect with volunteers and urban gardeners! No experience needed, just enthusiasm.
According to their website, “GreenThumb was initiated in response to the city’s financial crisis of the 1970s, which resulted in the abandonment of public and private land. The majority of GreenThumb gardens were derelict vacant lots renovated by volunteers. These community gardens, now managed by neighborhood residents, provide important green space, thus improving air quality, biodiversity, and the well being of residents.” Doesn’t that sound like something you’d like to be a part of?
If you’re looking to get out of the house and in touch with the environment, take on responsibilities volunteering in your local community garden. You might even leave a few months later with some of your own organic produce! Take a look at our list of some upcoming events at local community gardens. Get involved!
Sharing Our Farm Traditions: Oko Farms, Wednesday, May 22. Check out a GreenThumb community garden known for its aquaponics system — a hybrid of aquaculture and hydroponics that raises freshwater fish along with a variety of vegetables and fruits.
Basic Chicken Care Part 1: 100 Quincy Community Garden, Tuesday, May 28. Learn the nuts and bolts of keeping chickens in the city.
Go Green! BK Festival: McCarren Park, June 1. Meet all sorts of green organizations and learn how to get involved. If you want to volunteer for the festival itself, please sign up here.
Lead in Soils: An Advanced Workshop – McCarren Park Demonstration Garden, Saturday, June 15. Take home a bag of compost and learn about lead in soils.
Field Day Friday: Leslie Adatto and the Rooftop Explorers – Newtown Creek Wildflower Roof and Community Space, Friday, June 21. Take a Q&A tour of the roof and learn how you can get involved.
If we missed your neighborhood, you can always find a comprehensive list of our neighborhood community gardens here: http://www.greenthumbnyc.org/gardensearch.html or visit http://596acres.org/
Want to tell us about your community garden? Submit your story here! Meet Green Thumb and many other green-focused groups, participate in fun activities, taste yummy food samples, and hear great music at Go Green! BK Festival on June 1st.
* Reprinted from the Go Green! BK Hub, the 24/7 representation of the annual Go Green! BK Festival.