Information about this lot
Queens block 13434, lot 110 (220-04 147 AVENUE). More details at OASIS.
Queens block 13434, lot 112 (147 AVENUE). More details at OASIS.
Why is this lot here?
We think this lot is vacant because:
Hi Nicole! Thanks for posting the update! Sounds like great progress. Keep us posted on the dates of any community board meetings you'll be attending and we can boost them. Onwards!
My Director(Thomas Arrington) and I met with Lillian Reyes from Greenthumb on 12/1. She and her colleagues took measures of the two lots to add to their records. Lillian provided us with additional information on what we needed to provide in our garden proposal and recommendations on how to gain community support.
On 12/14, I sent Lillian a short description of what we intend to do with the lot so her Deputy Director could submit it to the nearby Parks Manager. Provided below is the description submitted to Greenthumb:
"Site Plan Description
Submitted by Thomas Arrington & Nicole Morris
The Thurston Creek Community Garden project aims to turn the vacant lot located at 220-04 147th Avenue, Queens, 11413(Queens block 13434, lots 110 & 112) into a community garden and educational space for local community members. The garden will provide the community with opportunities to learn about urban farming, native plants, and local food systems. The garden will also create a safe space for people to build a solid network that will strengthen the community socially and economically."
We have most of the proposal created and are working on the bylaws to include in the proposal. We are collecting signatures from community members that would like to support and/or be apart of the garden. Also, we are looking into attending the local community board meetings so we can gain additional support from the local leaders.
New Message from Nicole:
3:13 PM (10 minutes ago)
to Stephanie, TJ
Thank you so much for all your support! We are schedule to meet with Greenthumb at the proposed garden site next week. We will keep you updated on our progress and let you know if we need additional support when we meet with the community board.
Have a happy thanksgiving!
We have updated communication! See below:
Nov 16 (6 days ago)
to TJ, Stephanie
I wanted to update you on the progress made so far. I contact Kyle Daniels at DCAS and he sent me the following message:
"Hi Nicole-What is the basis of your interest in these lots? If you are interested in a starting a community garden I suggest you reach out to GreenThumb, an office within the Parks Department. You can contact them here:
I did not receive a definitive confirmation from Kyle that the lot was available so as he instructed, I reached out to Greenthumb to get more information on what we needed to do next. I received the following message from Lillian Reyes(Senior Outreach Coordinator at Greenthumb):
"Hi Nicole, here are some step to Follow before we can request for this site
Follow step 3-7 let me know what days are good to meet on the site after Thanksgiving."
The steps 3-7 Lillian is referring to includes drafting a garden proposal, identifying 10 or more members of the community that are interested in participating in the garden, and obtaining support from the local community board. We already have a proposal drafted. However, we are still working on the last two items. Does this all sound correct to you? Is there anything else we need to do or alternative approaches we should think about as we move forward? I still need to respond to Lillian. However, I wanted to check back in with you before I do so.
FYI-I've copied my Director, Tom Arrington, on this email to loop him into the conversation.
We received the following message regarding this lot:
Dear 596 Acres organizer,
My name is Nicole Morris and I’m the Project Manager for Friends of Idlewild Park Preserve and a new student at Farm School NYC. I am writing to you because my organization is interested in starting a new community garden in Springfield Gardens, Queen. We are specifically interested in Queens block 13434, lots 110 & 112. I believe my colleague, Tom Arrington, was in contact with one of your staff, Mary Elizabeth Prall, a few years ago regarding the property. We are interested in revisiting this property as a possible community garden. Is there anyone at 596 acres that can confirm the property is still available though the city? If so, what do we need to do to get the process started for this project?
Thank you so much for your message. Congrats on getting into the Farm School NYC!
The lot page for this project is here: https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58251/
I am not sure if the government has any plans for the vacant public lot at 220-04 147 AVENUE, Queens, 11413. The way to check is to contact Contact: Kyle Daniels (212-386-0486) at the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (the government agency that has jurisdiction over the lot). Be ready to take notes on your call and get the name of the person you speak to.
First, ask if they have plans for Queens block 13434, lots 110, 112. If they do, ask if they have a timeline or a developer lined up. If the plans for the site are hazy, more than a year away, or if they don't have a developer, a transfer is still possible!
After you finish with your call, record your notes on the lot page (https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58251/ ) so that others who are interested in this lot can benefit from what you learned. We're all organizers together.
You can also sign up to Organize at the lot page (https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58251/) so you get email updates whenever somebody posts on the lot page, and so you can connect with other neighbors who want to create something here.
Keep us posted and let us know if we can assist your organizing!
Stephanie J. Alvarado
Director of Advocacy
596 Acres, Inc.
540 President St #2E
Gowanus, Brooklyn NY 11215
718-316-6092 ex 2
Thomas is still waiting to hear back from the board... Maybe give them a little reminder phone call, Thomas!
Thomas is submitting his proposal to the Parks Committee of the community board next week! A secretary of the board said that he could also submit some text for the committee to use in a letter of support. Fingers crossed!
Thomas has been working on a proposal and building up a list of volunteers. He thinks he can get letters of support from the manager of Idlewild Park and local businesses. I encouraged him to connect with the community board and find out what they need from him to issue a letter of support!
Kyle Daniels, a City planner at DCAS emailed me yesterday. He said that DCAS would be willing to transfer these two lots if the Parks Department requested them. How do we get Parks to request them? We get neighbors organized with a proposal to GreenThumb (a program of the Parks Department that registers gardens)!
Here's a list of the things needed to apply to GreenThumb:
- a mission statement
- letters of support from local organizations, churches, schools
- a birds eye view drawing of the space
- at least 10 members
- it's also helpful to have signatures of neighbors who simply 'support' the project
- use all of the things above to convince the community board to also issue a letter of support, which is also great to have from the start to push this forward!
Additionally, our director Paula met with Council Member Richards yesterday. His office is going to see what they can dig up on this space. The contact person to check in with is Franck D. Joseph III, the District Manager (718-527-4356, firstname.lastname@example.org).
I left another message for Randall Fong at DCAS. I also called the community board. The office person said to email her information and she'd pass it on the Land Use Committee to see what they know. Here's my email:
"I'm inquiring to get some information about the property at 220-04 147th Avenue (Queens block 13434, lots 110, 112). Here's a link to the lot in Oasis: http://www.oasisnyc.net/map.aspx?zoomto=lot:4134340110
I am the community organizer for 596 Acres, a community land access organization that helps neighbors get access to vacant, City-owned land. A few neighbors who live near this lot have reached out to us to help see if they can turn this space into a place for native plants and compost.
I've been trying to get details from DCAS (who has jurisdiction over the space) for months but have had no luck. Additionally, neighbors have reached out the Borough Presidents office and the Council Member. Is there any information you can share?"
I was away for a few weeks, so my calls to Ms. Smith were stalled. BUT I left her a message again today...
Once a week I've been leaving Jonnie Smith at DCAS messages! Today I also followed up on the original email I sent her. I also spoke with a woman named Shirley in Christopher Nesterczuk's office (Acting Assistant Commissioner, Acquisitions & Leasing; 212-386-0363) who said she would personally pass on the message.
Thanks, Thomas! Strange response: City agencies don't pay taxes at all, especially in place of other City agencies. Looking forward to more info..
Staff from borough presidents office just called and said property is administered by DCAS but property taxes are paid by Parks dept. They're supposed to get back to me with more details soon.
Tom heard from DCAS that there were plans for this space, but we can't figure out what! We thought it might have something to do with the expansion of Springfield Blvd, but it's already extended, sidewalks and streets replaced, including the sidewalk in front of the lots... Tom called the borough president and council member's offices and is waiting to hear back.
Yes we are give me a shout 3478665114 email@example.com
There are 2 contiguous lots here. This is the other one: http://596acres.org/en/lot/4134340110/
We'll merge the pages shortly!