Information about this lot
Why is this lot here?
We think this lot is vacant because:
Housing Preservation and Development is not granting interim licenses now. The only way to have the community access this lot is by getting it transferred to another agency. Look below for Pathways that will guide you.
HPD is not ready to turn this over the NYC Parks Department at this time:
From: "Goldberg, Arielle (HPD)" firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: RE: Checking in on 5 new garden applications
Date: January 19, 2016 at 6:34:14 PM GMT-5
To: "'Paula Z. Segal, 596 Acres'" email@example.com
Cc: "Martinez, Carlos (Parks)" Carlos.Martinez@parks.nyc.gov
Happy New Year to you as well!
[...] As I’m sure you are aware, three of the sites—the one in Brownsville (3775/150), the one near P.S. 335 (1356/6), and the one on Buffalo Ave (1363/7) are in the NIHOP and NCP RFQ and are therefore not available for use as community gardens.
At an in-person meeting at City Hall on December 30, 2015, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been committed to reviewing this application and considering transferring this property to the NYC Parks Department for stewardship by volunteers as a GreenThumb community garden.
She also announced that 34 gardens other gardens on HPD land were being transferred to NYC Parks. More details here: http://596acres.org/news/2015/12/29/gardens-being-transferring-to-nyc-parks/ (15 of the gardens just transferred to become permanent Parks' gardens had been offered for sale to developers for $1 early in 2015 through the same program this lot is included in; a year of organizing paid off!)
We just brought the garden application to the attention of this advocate:
Sarah Currie-Halpern | Senior Policy Advisor
NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability
253 Broadway - 7th floor | New York, NY 10007
O: 212-676-3067 | M: 646-265-2654
She is planning to help move this along. Drop her a note and thank her!
At last week's meeting both Dierell and I made announcements - mine about 596 acres' work and Dierell's about the party he's going to throw for the oldest woman on the block, who turns 103 on August 2nd (though the party will be on Saturday, August 1st). At this party we will likely gather petition signatures or hold a lot clean up event, Dierell is still deciding. More details to come!
I spoke to Dierell. He went to Mr. Campbell's office but he was in the middle of something and needs to head back a different day. I urged Dierell to remember that phone calls first are key!*
Dierell is heading to the community board tonight to make a three-minute announcement in the public speaking portion. (I'll be there, too.) He's going to announce a birthday party for the oldest member on the block on Saturday, August 1st. He's also going to talk about all his efforts in trying to get access and the frustration of dealing with HPD and GreenThumb. Maybe he'll just starting gardening there without permission...
I heard from Dierell last week, who had been out of town but was on his way back, and said he'd go visit Mr. Campbell. However, his voicemail box is full and I can't get a hold of him. Will update when I know more!
Update: I haven't heard by Dierell in about two weeks. His phone goes straight to voicemail and then doesn't have room for messages! I hope everything is ok! I called Mr. Campbell at the community board who hasn't heard from him either, but is still happy to call HPD to advocate for the future garden with Dierell if he comes in to the office.
Last Thursday night (May 14th) I went to a very small and informal Parks Committee Meeting of Community Board 5. I chatted with Ms. Salema David, the chair of the committee, and the District Manager Mr. Walter Campbell afterward. Ms. Salema said that the committee has always been very aware of the full board's support of this garden, and that perhaps Ms. Fischer was confused. She encouraged us to still get a letter from Ms. Fischer, but on behalf of the Council Member only. Just as I suspected...
Mr. Campbell says that he'll call everyone he knows at HPD and advocate for them to let this garden happen. He also said he would write another letter! He also said he would come to the party in front of the lot when we plan it!
I am writing a draft letter for Ms. Fischer to share with the Council Member and get her to sign it!
Yesterday Dierell got a hold of Nancy Kohn, the director of GreenThumb! Nancy told Dierell that she would call HPD and advocate for his garden to come to fruition! She also said that GreenThumb and the Parks Department (which GreenThumb is a program within) are working out a solution to getting temporary HPD gardens transferred to the Parks Department to become secure gardens!
The garden that was formerly here was Bradford Gardens, which was licensed under the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's GreenBridge program.
Dierell visited the CB 5 Parks Committee on Thursday night. Ms. Fischer will help him get a letter of support from the Committee as well as letter from the Council Member Barron's office.
596 Acres has been speaking with Ms. Fischer in Council Member Baron's office about writing a letter to Mayor Di Blasio supporting the creation of Eden Learning Garden. Ms. Fischer is also on the CB 5 Parks Committee, and although the General Board previously issued Dierell a letter of support for the project, the Parks Committee would like a visit from him, too. Dierell is heading to the Parks Committee meeting TONIGHT at 6 pm at 127 Pennsylvania at Liberty Avenue to share with them his progress of this campaign.
Check out this article in Metro New York about persistent neighbors starting gardens! The work of 596 Acres and Dierell are mentioned: http://www.metro.us/new-york/community-gardeners-unfazed-by-city-s-freeze-on-government-owned-lots/zsJocD---1gORfW5jgIPWI/
It was nice chatting with you today regarding your office expressing support for the future garden at 743 Blake Street (at Bradford)! Below is the initial letter that our organization, 596 Acres, sent to Ms. Simmons in your office, as well as a reply of support from David Vigil of East New York Farms!
Please feel free to reach out to either me or Dierell Willson, the lead organizer: 347-863-8694. .
Mary Elizabeth Prall
Organizer | 596 Acres' NYC Community Land Access Project
596 Acres, Inc.
540 President Street, 2E
Gowanus, Brooklyn NY 11215
718-316-6092 x 3
596acres.org | urbanreviewer.org
On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 1:13 PM, David Vigil firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I am writing to express our support for Dierell and the Eden Learning Garden. Dierell has been involved with East New York Farms! for the last two years as he has developed this project. He has sought out assistance from experienced gardeners, networked extensively in the community to gain support for this space, and has already done so much work to keep this site clean and productive. We also have brought our Youth Interns to help at the site last year, and they were inspired to see a young person taking on this project.
We are at a time when we need to be cultivating a new generation of stewards for our community gardens. By supporting this project, we will not only increase the community benefits associated with gardens, but also invest in a new leader within this community and this movement.
We plan to continue supporting the Eden Learning Garden with the experience and resources that East New York Farms! provides to local gardens. Let us know if there's anything else that we! can do to support this project.
David Vigil On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 2:42 PM, Paula Z. Segal, 596 Acres <email@example.com> wrote: Joy,
We need your help and advocacy to make sure that the Eden Learning Garden gets its interim use license for an HPD lot in the district in time to start growing this Spring!
I didn't expect to be writing to you so soon after our meeting. But, on Monday morning, we heard from HPD staff that, in their enthusiasm to prioritize building construction, HPD plans to stop issuing licenses for interim uses. It's going to take some work to make sure this pending agency policy change at HPD - which has not been vetted by any public process - does not stand in the way of East New York and Brownsville residents being able to put public land to public use this Spring.
No HPD-led or private development is currently planned for Brooklyn Block 3775 Lots 150 (the site where the Eden Learning Garden plans to grow). The site is included the RFQ that HPD put out last month but that is no guarantee that it will be used this year or next. A developer will need to express an interest in the site, HPD will need to negotiate contract, a project design will need to be produced and the transfer will then need to go through ULURP.
All of this adds up to potentially 2+ years; these are years that children could be playing in a garden, neighbors can be growing food and resiliency can be increased through an enhanced, place-based social infrastructure.
Community Board 5 supports an interim use garden at this location. They wrote a letter in December and submitted it directly to GreenThumb (I'll forward a copy as soon as I have it).
It would be great if you would contact Parks GreenThumb Deputy Director and HPD's Planner in charge of interim use licenses to let them know that getting the Eden Learning Garden a license is Council Member Barron's priority. You can be clear with both agencies that your office will help transition the property from an interim use to being a development site when the time comes (we'll help, too! and the organizers are already anticipating this!).
Rasheed Hislop | Deputy Director
New York City Parks & Recreation
49 Chambers Street | Room 1020 | New York, NY 10007
212.788.1960 phone | 347.263.4177 cell | 212.788.8052 fax
Director of Operations
HPD Division of Planning, Marketing and Sustainability
The history of advocacy surrounding the lot is here: http://596acres.org/en/lot/3037750150/ (with pictures and case notes!)
I've copied community members involved on this message. The lead organizer Dierell Willson can be reached by phone at (347) 863-8694.
New Yorkers involved in interim projects who receive clear communications from their elected officials and are included in planning for the future of their neighborhoods will not stand in the way of whatever comes next; fearing that they will, HPD seems to be on a course to continue holding our public lands hostage and condemning East New York and Brownsville residents to living in neighborhoods full of holes.
Thank you for your help here - let me know if you have any questions.
Paula Z. Segal, Esq.
Director of Policy & Advocacy
596 Acres, Inc.
540 President St #2E
Gowanus, Brooklyn NY 11215
718-316-6092 x 2
Dierell has been checking in with Rasheed but no word yet... maybe we'll see him at GreenThumb's GrowTogether this weekend: http://596acres.org/en/events/819/
Dierell is mailing the application in to GreenThumb and calling Rasheed (the deputy director) to give him a heads up!
This site was included in a list of sites that developers are being asked to apply to build housing on by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. (see http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloads/pdf/developers/NIHOPNCPRFQAddendum%201.pdf).
The list was published on January 14, 2015 and developers' responses are due on February 20, 2015. The fact that this site was included DOES NOT necessarily mean that housing will be developed here, but it does me that HPD is encouraging housing development and is not likely to consider other uses for the time being. If no one applies for this site, it may again be available in March!
The list and RFQ are products of HPD, under the direction of the Mayor's office. Development is not certain - this is simply a request for developers to apply to become qualified to build in these sites.
This site has been slated for a rental housing program: 15-30 units of housing going to people making less than 165% of the Area Median Income (AMI); this means rents in these units could be more than $3,000. per month for a family of four.
This article sums things up pretty well (and has the voices of folks from across the 596 Acres network): http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150116/morningside-heights/community-gardens-threatened-by-de-blasios-affordable-housing-plan
You can let your City Council member, the mayor's office and HPD know if you have feedback about the program or the selection of this site.
Dierell let me know that the letter from the community board is ready to be picked up. A VICTORY! Next Dierell is working with a neighbor named Johanna to touch up their GreenThumb application (they might be changing the garden's name) and send everything in!
For a long time the Park Committee of Community Board 5 was on hold... now it's back and Dierell needs their support to submit his application to GreenThumb! Dierell is going to find out when the next meeting is!
Dierell is working with Mr. Campbell, the district manager of the community board, for a letter of support. Mr. Campbell is going to call HPD personally and advocate for this garden!
Dierell's in touch with Rasheed at GreenThumb who is checking with HPD to confirm whether or not it's available for interim use. Fingers crossed!
Dierell is planning on heading to the next CB 8 board meeting this September to present his proposal and the photos of gatherins he's been having throughout the summer. The meetings are usually every fourth Wednesday at 6:30pm so the next one should be September 24th. Mark your calendars!
I spoke to the community board this afternoon and they said that the best way to get started on earning a letter of support is to show up and sign up to make a 3-minute announcement about the project/share the proposal.
The meeting is tomorrow night at 6:30 pm at 557 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE BROOKLYN, NY11207.
This group is planning a meeting for this coming Wednesday 5/28/14 at about 4:30pm at the New Lots Library (665 New Lots Ave between Schenck and Barbey)to talk more about this project. They'll then be attending the Community Board 5 meeting at 127 Pennsyvania at 6:30pm. Please join!
Wayne & all,
Any updates? We're having a meeting tomorrow night in Bed-Stuy! It would be great if you could attend or send someone from your group.
Tomorrow - Thursday, April 10th
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
At the garden of Eagle Academy, Mott Hall, Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, & Brooklyn Food Coalition at
Saratoga & Fulton, Brooklyn
(Take the C train to Ralph Ave or Rockaway Ave Stations)
You can contact me at 718-316-6092 ex 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How are you weathering the storm?
CB5 meet changed for Wed 26 6:30pm.
Did not meet with parks due to weather. Like to meet at New lots library at 5:30pm
or earlier before CB5 meeting.
Next meet with CB5 is Feb 13th 6:00pm. We will meet with Parks Committee to share proposal and discuss partnering with local park.
General CB5 meet will be Feb 19th 6:30pm.Sign in to speak out for urban gardens.
We will have weekly meetings at the New Lots Libray on Wednesdays 5:30pm leading to CB meetings and the Greenthumb process. Email or call to confirm.
Wayne - that's awesome!
Yesterday we went by the lot and put up a few of our 596 signs. Hopefully more folks walking by will see them and join the supporter! We also ran into Dierell who is a member of the organizing group and he helped us put up a sign! He filled us in on more information: the space was named a Brooklyn Botanical Garden's GreenBridge garden in the past, but has been sitting unused for years. (The old sign is still up.) We were also surprised to see that HPD has yet to replace the old wooden fence that the original garden used. Such a lovely corner spot!
We plan to meet with Parks Dept at the next CB5 ENY Brooklyn meeting Thur Jan 16th 6pm. Please contact me if you can attend. 127 Pennsylvania Ave
We aim to meet again Jan 8th to discuss Eden Garden progress and other projects. New Lots Library ENY Brooklyn 5:30pm.
Happy Holidays and a Growing New Year!
The CB5 Brooklyn meeting was canceled today Dec 18th. Please email me to arrange a conference call to discuss progress.
Things are moving! The organizers have met with the CB5 Chair Walter Campbell who's asked the group to attend both the parks committee this Friday and the general board meeting next Wednesday, Dec 18th. Attend to show your support!!
CB5 Meeting on Dec 18th
127 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11207
I heard the meeting was great! The group is still gathering supporters, finishing their proposal, and preparing for the upcoming CB meeting. They're going to be sending GreenThumb their proposal soon as a heads up and to arrange a site visit.
Due to Weather and Holiday, meeting was postponed. We will meet Wed Dec 4th, 5:00pm New Lots Library. Please post if you will attend.
We will meet Wed again Nov 27 around 5pm to discuss proposal for GreenThumb, the Hot Pot Luck and CB5 Meeting on Dec 18th
This groups needs to send CB5 District Manager Walter Campbell a proposal to get on the agenda to see the Land Use Committee. The next meeting (which was postponed for the holidays)on DECEMBER 18 at 6:30 pm.
Brooklyn Community Board 5
127 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11207
Wayne (an organizer listed above) is going to reach out to Green Thumb after speaking with his community board.
Brooklyn Community Board 5
127 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11207
Chair: Nathan Bradley
District Manager: Walter Campbell
Board Meeting: FOURTH WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH AT 6:30pm
He's also interested in having a Winter Harvest Feast at the site and inviting the community.
Become a watcher or an organizer to connect with Wayne and help change this space into a garden!
Join us in your neighborhood --
596 Acres NYC Land Access Workshop & General Organizing Meeting at East NY Farms
Wednesday, October 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
At 613 New Lots Avenue ; East Ny Farms
Hi East New York. We're really excited about everything you're doing and want to be sure that you have the space to do it in.
There are lots of lots of vacant public land local to vibrant existing institutions and we're partnering with one of them - East New York Farms, to seed some new projects. Come out and meet your neighbors.
Learn how to read city data, tap community resources, use the 596 Acres map and website to engage your neighbors, and plot your next steps to gain access to city land for your community projects.
Here are two local projects to plug into:
Many communities in Brooklyn have successfully used these tools to create gardens and host events in formerly empty lots. Could your community be next? This workshop is presented by 596 Acres, a project of the Fund for the City of New York.
For more information, visit www.596acres.org.
RSVP and share: https://www.facebook.com/events/200180246830630/