openhousegcef

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. Continue reading

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Cutest Dog Contest (+ More From The GCEF) in McGolrick This Weekend! (10/14)

WHAT: OpenHouseGCEF!
WHERE: McGolrick/Winthrop Park, Russell St. and Driggs Ave.
WHEN: Saturday, October 14, 11am-3pm (NOTE: If heavy rain the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. event will be cancelled!)

If you haven’t heard about the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, it’s the silver lining resulting from our neighborhood’s heavily industrious past—the disastrous Exxon oil spill, which leaked between 17-30 million gallons of oil into Newtown Creek over the course of several decades. The state was awarded millions of dollars ($19.5 mill to be exact), to be earmarked toward grants for Greenpoint-based environmental organizations. Since the GCEF was established in 2011, 46 grants totaling $16.8 million have been awarded to 40 projects, and the fund has leveraged an additional $37.6 million in matching contributions from grantees.

McGolrick Park. Photo: Megan Penmann

This Saturday, the second annual OpenHouseGCEF, hosted by the GCEF and the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance, will be a fun-filled day at McGolrick for adults and kids alike, featuring: live music, flower planting, crafts, story time readings, a “cutest dog” contest and other activities. And you’ll get to pow-wow with many of the community organizations that have received GCEF grants, like the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance, the Newtown Creek Alliance, the Greenpoint Library, the Greenpoint Monitor Museum, the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, NYC Audubon and others. Continue reading

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