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President Street Block Association Garden

Information about this lot

Known Use: community garden
Address: 503 PRESIDENT STREET, Brooklyn, 11215
Area: 0.05 acres (2300 square feet)
Block and Lot: Brooklyn, block 440, lot 45
More information about this lot at OASIS

Political Boundaries

City Council District 39 represented by Brad S. Lander
Community District Brooklyn 6 ( info@brooklyncb6.org / 718-643-3027 ), district manager: Craig Hammerman
Find all elected officials for this lot at Who Represents Me? NYC

Why is this lot here?

We posted this lot because:

  • The lot is being used as a community garden.
  • In MapPLUTO the city lists this lot's landuse as vacant.
  • In MapPLUTO the city lists this lot's building class as vacant.

Government Agency

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (public)
Contact: GreenThumb Deputy Director Carlos Martinez ((212) 602-5329 / Carlos.Martinez@parks.nyc.gov)

News feed

Jan. 4, 2016, 4:41 p.m.
paula at 596 acres uploaded
2013 letter of support for garden from Community Board 6 After our presentations to the Block Association and the Community Board, they requested formal support for the garden and got it.
Jan. 4, 2016, 4:40 p.m.
paula at 596 acres uploaded
2014-01-23 503 CB6 Letter in Support of President Street garden After our presentations to the Block Association and the Community Board, they requested formal support for the garden and got it.
Jan. 4, 2016, 4:28 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

Back in 2013, 596 Acres connected Barbara and Ivan with the proceess they would need to follow to create a new garden formally through GreenThumb and made a presentation explaining the same to their community board; we also connected them to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Block Association took it from there.

We’re happy that the lot (Brooklyn Block 440 lot 45) is now a permanent open space asset in the inventory of the NYC Parks Department: http://596acres.org/en/news/2015/12/29/gardens-being-transferring-to-nyc-parks/ !

Dec. 29, 2015, 9:39 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

Thanks to amazing organizing by gardeners and supporters, this community space was taken off the list of potential development sites and TRANSFERRED TO THE PARKS DEPARTMENT TODAY!

May 1, 2014, 3:17 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

I spoke to CB 6 and heard that this group was given a letter of support and was planning on submitting an application - either to GreenThumb or HPD directly. Does anyone have any more details?

Feb. 27, 2014, 5:17 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Nice pic! Any updates for this future garden?

Feb. 14, 2014, 7:13 p.m.
someone posted
Nice Sign!
Oct. 8, 2013, 7:40 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

The group has chosen to proceed with an independent application for an interim use agreement with Housing Preservation and Development through GreenThumb.

Oct. 8, 2013, 7:38 p.m.
someone posted
Signs of next steps!
Sept. 17, 2013, 1:02 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

I am writing to clarify the great opportunity for a community project at 503 President Street.

503 President Street is a lot owned by the City of New York that has been under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for the last many years. HPD has not been able to figure out in all these years how to use this land to develop housing in the current market and within its own agency mandates. There is lots of land like this all over New York City -- land that is trapped in a holding pattern of vacancy due to agency inability to use if to fulfill that agency's specific mandate.

A recent inquiry about this lot reminded HPD staff that it is still in its portfolio and they determined that its size and location were not suitable to being able to build housing under any HPD program any time in the foreseeable future. The Department has made an internal decision to transfer the lot from its portfolio to the inventory of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is making this lot available as a garden through the GreenThumb program. The program allows neighbors to come together as stewards of public land to create beneficial and unique spaces that reflect the characters of their neighborhoods.

596 Acres is New York City's land access advocacy organization. This lot and other city-owned land appear on our map of opportunities for communities to create new public spaces and grow our commons together: 596acres.org. We would love to see a group come together to utilize this patch of our common space and can help the group navigate the process. We also can connect you with others who have done the same, a list of resources that might help and a compendium of funding sources.

Another source of materials for the new garden is your neighbor, A Small Green Patch. A Small Green Patch is a garden on Bergen Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues that has become an institution in its local community in the two years that it existed there. Sadly, the land that A Small Green Patch was on had a different set of conditions - the site was always temporary and even included a privately-owned lot. The private owner and HPD are collaborating on a new housing development that will displace the garden.

Under Parks Department Rules, when a GreenThumb garden must be displaced, the Parks Department must offer to "move" the garden to any available public land within a half mile. Given the nature of New York City's neighborhoods. "moving" a garden is a bit of a fallacy, since we all know that each block in our city is unique and a local institution cannot simply be moved from one community and super-imposed on another. Nonetheless, GreenThumb is obligated, under the regulations, to offer to move the A Small Green Patch to any available site within a half mile. The program has offered to move the Patch to 503 President Street. As I mentioned before, there was an inquiry that prompted HPD to realize that this lot was still in its inventory and offer a transfer to the Parks Department. That inquiry came directly as a result of the Patch's imminent displacement.

Although most members of A Small Green Patch are not looking to join a garden that is so far from their original site, the group is eager to make sure that their garden's bounty of tools and supplies goes to a good home. And GreenThumb is obligated under the regulations to provide assistance for the actual move. The A Small Green Patch gardeners would like to share their supplies with the new garden at 503 President, should one form here. Here's what's available:
13 or so bushes
Miss Kim Lilac bush
Royal Red Butterfly bush
Pink Delight Butterfly bush
Hibiscus - 'afrodite de sharon'
Java Red Wegela
Beach Plum
Glossy Abelia
Snowmound Spirea
Golden Vicary Privet
Cornus Kousa beautiful dogwood tree
Viburnum
Summersweet
2 - Hydrangea's - Nikko Blue
Rain Gutter Grow System - with rain barrel and float bucket/valve
Steel Shed w/ lock and key - The current price of a 3' x 5' steel shed with a 3' wide single door
the strongest steel sheds on the market. Our reinforced steel panels are struck with 'V' crimps for strength every 4 1/2" with channel ribs welded on around the perimeter and down the center of the panels, they Cannot Be Bent By Hand! Rodents will not be able gnaw or chew through our buildings. Some of our previous customers have referred to our shedsas tanks and bomb shelters when compared to the Home Center products.
3 bin compost system built based off of NYC design
20 - 30 cinder blocks
large painted on chalkboard and chalk
18 bags of 20lb Long Island Compost Potting Soil
Lot's of wood that could still be used for raised beds
5 a-frame shelves built with 2x4's
20-30 window boxes
5 shovels +
Rubbermaid Tubs
Filing cabinet with pens, markers, paintbrushes, screws, etc.. supplies to build with
The A Small Green Patch gardeners need to know by October 10, 2013, if a new garden at 503 President would like to receive these supplies so that we can work together to make alternative arrangements if needed. Contact asmallgreenpatch@gmail.com to let them know.

The new group -- should it decide to use this opportunity to put our public land at 503 President to common use as a garden under the GreenThumb program -- will need to make a presentation to Community Board 6. The Community Board may be available to hear such a presentation on October 2.

We will also be printing the text of this letter and making sure that everyone on the block gets a copy in their mailbox. If the group would like 596 Acres to facilitate a meeting or to come to one to answer questions about public land in New York City or any other land access concerns, we would be glad to do so.

If anyone has questions specifically about the GreenThumb program, you can contact them directly at (212) 788-8070.

CC: Charles (HPD) Marcus MARCUSC@hpd.nyc.gov, Roland Chouloute Roland.Chouloute@parks.nyc.gov, A Small Green Patch asmallgreenpatch@gmail.com, districtmanager@brooklyncb6.org Hammerman districtmanager@brooklyncb6.org

Aug. 6, 2013, 11:16 a.m.
tami said

Hello,

I need help getting a meeting set up. What's needed and when.

What's going on? (very simple explanation)
A Small Green Patch on Bergen needs to move because a building will be built. We have a Green Thumb agreement that allows us to get moved within a 1/2 mile. HPD has offered us this lot after an inquiry sent months ago - HPD sent an agreement to be signed. I signed the agreement because once HPD gets this back the land will be turned over to the Parks Department and the space will be PERMANENT.

What's needed:.
- Sign to hang up on lot's fence needs to welcome everyone to a meeting to discuss what the neighbors and all interested would like to see happen at the lot.


  • Meeting can be held this Sun at 4:30pm and any other weekend Sat or Sun at any time

Please contact me if you can help make this happen asap.

Flyers would also be nice but I do not have funds at this time so if anyone can help with something simple and homemade or can barter. Please reach out.

Thanks,
Tami

Aug. 5, 2013, 5:32 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Seems like a meeting soon at the lot would be a good next step! I know Tami has talked to most of the neighbors already. Is there a good date?

July 29, 2013, 11:35 p.m.
Benjamin Shepard said

Tami

This is great news.
I live right in the neighborhood.
Let us know how supporters can help.

Best

Benjamin
benshepard@mindspring.com

July 29, 2013, 2:29 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Great news! In response to Tami's inquiry, Housing Preservation and Development has offered to transfer this lot to the Parks department. In turn, the Parks department is offering a 4 year license to a group of neighbors who will transform this space into a community resource as a garden. Contact Tami to get on the list of initial stewards and begin the process!

May 24, 2013, 12:47 p.m.
tami said

hi - I sent an email to my contact at Green Thumb and he is still checking into it - I will check back with them again in the middle of June to see how it's going.

Thanks!
tam

May 24, 2013, 11:13 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Tami --

Did you get a response to your email? Has anyone called the City Agency to find out their plans for this lot?

Jan. 31, 2013, 12:30 p.m.
Gowanus Canal Conservancy said

We look forward to working with Tami and other community members to convert this unused green space into a significant community asset. We're excited to contribute compost and plants and help to make part of this space a native wildflower rain garden.

Jan. 28, 2013, 5:42 p.m.
tami said

I have emailed Green Thumb and HPD about this lot - Trying to contact them early in preparation in the event that A Small Green Patch may need to move from it's current location. This is the closest lot that the city owns to the current community space.

March 1, 2012, 10:36 p.m.
Oksana said

This lot is owned by HPD. Visit http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/my_community.jsp to view any open Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the lot.