Green Thumbin’ It: North Brooklyn Community Garden Roundup

61 Franklin Street Community Garden. Photo by Lucie Levine
61 Franklin Street Garden. Photo by Lucie Levine

It’s planting season, and North Brooklyn’s giving us lots of opportunities to play in the dirt. This past weekend community members turned out for OpenHouseGCEFBushwick Inlet Park’s Daffodil Planting, Free Garden Workshops at the McCarren Park Demonstration Garden, and Transmitter Park’s Weeding Workshop. On Saturday, you can participate in the Friends of Cooper Park Daffodil Planting. If you’re a Greenpoint Resident, you can even become a licensed Citizen Pruner for just $15 by completing the Trees New York Tree Pruning Course beginning This evening, October 16th.

If the current Columbia study on lead levels in Greenpoint’s soil has you steering clear of all things growing, community gardens could help you find a safer place to try out your green thumb: the study finds that public park spaces have significantly lower concentrations of lead than private yards. Further, based on Cornell’s 2014 study of New York City community garden soils, NYC Parks GreenThumb (which administers the city’s community gardens) prioritized clean soil deliveries to affected gardens.

So, ready to pull a Joni Mitchell and get yourself back to the garden? With over 600 community gardens throughout all five boroughs, New York City has the largest community gardening program in the nation. This handy NYC Parks GreenThumb Community Garden Guide lets you search by zip code or address to find the ones closest to you. Read on for a roundup of local community gardens.

61 Franklin Street Garden
61 Franklin Street Garden aims to “provide a vibrant open space and the opportunity for environmental education to the residents of Greenpoint.” The garden is open through October, Saturday and Sunday 10-3 and Wednesday 4-6. Get involved here!

Java Street Garden. Photo by Megan Penmann
Java Street Community Garden. Photo by Megan Penmann

Java Street Community Garden (59 Java Street)
The Java Street Community Garden sees itself “as a living laboratory for participants who wish to gain design and gardening experience and to contribute to their community.” It’s open Monday-Friday 6-7:30pm and Saturday & Sunday 10am-6pm.

Red Shed Community Garden. Photo by Megan Penmann
Red Shed Community Garden. Photo by Megan Penmann

Red Shed Community Garden (266 Skillman Avenue)
Red Shed Community Garden seeks to promote “organic horticulture and agriculture in an urban setting” while fostering “cooperative engagement with the local community.” Their Fall Garden Party is Saturday, October 28th at 1pm. Get involved here!

El Puente Espíritu Tierra Community Garden (201-203 South 2nd Street)
The El Puente Community Garden was founded in 1990 as “a space dedicated to cultivating a peaceful space for medicinal herbs, meditation, and music. Today, the garden boasts a very diverse group of about 30 households and youth groups who grow food, herbs, and decorative plants in the space. El Puente also organizes events, workshops, and arts and cultural activities in the garden.” Get involved here!

Green Dome Garden, McCarren Park (229 North 12th Street)
The Green Dome is year-around, 10am til dusk. It is entirely volunteer-run, and accepts your compost as fertilizer.

Lentol GardenLentol Garden is named for New York State Assemblyman and Greenpoint resident Edward S. Lentol (1909-1981) who dedicated 30 years of his life to public service and to improving the quality of life in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

About Lucie Levine

Lucie Levine is the founder of Archive on Parade, a local tour and event company that aims to take New York’s fascinating history out of the archives and into the streets. She’s a Native New Yorker, licensed New York City tour guide, and freelance writer with a passion for the city’s social, political and cultural history.

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