Information about this lot
1400 Williamsbridge Rd., Bronx, NY, 10461
Fax: (212) 748-6688
Thanks Mara - I'll let everyone at the school know. Let me know when is th=
e best time to catch you in the office. I am most likely to be by my phone=
7:45 - 9:30 and 2:30-3:15. I'll try you mid-day too. Thanks - Carla
Join us on a walk through of the hilly street with our architecture team and staff from supporting organizations: MONDAY NOVEMBER 14 AT 11AM. There might even be some hot cider on hand.
Good day all! A BIG thank you to Victor and all the Hill Street Community Garden team. It is wonderful to be a part of this team and I cannot wait for my students to become active participants in helping HSCG to grow.
Once again we are presented with what is amounting to an extraordinary amount of support. Thank you tremendously Ursula Chance for this great letter of support. We look forward to great things in the future working with your organization.
I am pleased with the excellent letters of support we have received both past and present. Thank you to Maddd Equities and Grow NYC for the most recent letters of support. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful project which will benefit the community today and in the future.
The coolest Design team met yesterday for more hard planning and design ideas. I call it progress in progress. The slide show YouTube link shows you where we've come so far.
Join us next Sunday June 5 at 10:30am at 820 St. Anns Ave., right next door to the hill, to see draft designs, give feedback and work on next steps.
Join neighbors and the design team recruited by 596 Actes for a discussion of what you would like to see in this space on Monday, April 25 at 5pm at New Life School, 831 Eagle Ave, Bronx, NY 10456. Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
596 Acres has recruited a team of architects to design the interum community use of this space with local community members: Marlisa Wise, Samuel Robinson and Michael Spina.
Sam is part of http://greenwoodrobinson.com/. Marlisa is part of http://interval-projects.org/ Both of them contributed to our response to the MTA’s Request for Expressions of Interest for the Adaptive Reuse of the Montauk Cutoff in Long Island City, Queens: http://livinglotsnyc.org/media/files/160225_Cutoff_Response-FINAL_spreads.pdf. Michael’s is part of the http://www.biohabitats.com/ team.
We will be facilitating a design process with this team and the local community.
After Council Member Arroyo stepped down in December, 596 Acres took over the role of setting up a meeting with the NYC DOT to discuss an agreement for this space.
We have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 8 at 10am with the Bronx Borough DOT Commissioner Constance Moran.
From: "Paula Z. Segal, 596 Acres"
Subject: Re: Follow Up Meeting
Date: December 4, 2015 at 10:20:51 AM GMT-5
To: "Cosme Ruiz, Ricardo" RCosmeRuiz@council.nyc.gov
Cc: Jamila Diaz email@example.com, Victor Maldonado firstname.lastname@example.org, "email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org
Ricardo and everyone!
It was great to see the Council Member yesterday at the Urban Agriculture Advisory Hearing and to hear her public commitment to making Hill Street Community Garden a formal reality!
I know this is a really busy time of year: how can we help make sure this happens before the Member leaves office at end of the month?
Paula Z. Segal, Esq.
Director of Policy & Advocacy
596 Acres, Inc.
540 President St #2E
Gowanus, Brooklyn NY 11215
718-316-6092 x 2
A new meeting has been scheduled for the Hill Street Community gardens project sponsored by Council member Carmen Arroyos office and will be hosted by the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation aka SOBRO. The meeting will be on Monday October the 26th, at the SOBRO office located at 555 Bergen Avenue/ 149 st. off of Third ave. The time is scheduled for 6:00 PM
For more information please contact Richard Cosme Ruiz, Logistics & Scheduling Coordinator for Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo
Today, eight members of the Hill Street Community Garden, the name for this garden project, met with Council Member Arroyo. Representatives from SoBro (Jamila Diaz and Justin) and JCAL Development (Mercedes S Gomez) were also in attendance.
CM Arroyo said, "This project is a win-win in my mind, failure is not an option." She assured the group that the DOT is willing and able to sign an agreement that would grant access of the lot to the community members, as long as there is an entity that will be the responsible party for the lot in negotiations with the DOT. CM Arroyo invited SoBro, the South Bronx community development non-profit, to play that role given their proximity and relevance of their work. She also requests that the members of the Hill Street Community Garden create a plan for the long-term sustainability of the community garden as a community institution.
The main next step is facilitating an agreement between the Bronx Borough DOT commissioner and SoBro with the community members. Other next steps that were mentioned include securing proper lighting for the lot, formalizing a community group to represent the garden, making plans to construct the garden (including access to water and electricity), and continuing to win support for the project in the neighborhood.
CM Arroyo's office will schedule an evening meeting sometime around the third week of October. We will keep you updated.
Way to go Victor, Vivian, Carla, Jose, Carmen, Luis, Christine and Ed!
Hello Fellow Petitioner,
I hope you had a wonderful Labor day Weekend. Its time for a new season.
The council Woman Carmen Arroyo has called for a meeting with all those interested in our proposed Community Garden.
The meeting will be held at her office located at 348 E 149 Street suite 301 (718)292-2901 on Monday the 14th at 11:00 AM
You are invited because at one point you showed an interest in supporting the clean up of the abandoned hill on 159 St. bet St. Ann's and Eagle Avenues.
Our hope is to turn this empty lot into a Community Garden for all to use.
Your support is very valuable because without you it will not be possible
Please let me know if you will be attending this meeting by replying to this email email@example.com notice or texting me at 718-665-4281. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you once again for your support on our mission to helping improve the quality of live in our neighborhood.
Hill Street Community Gardens
We were invited to meet with Council Member Maria Del Carmen Arroyo to discuss getting access to this DOT lot!
The meeting is Monday, September 14th at 11am. If you are interested in joining us, please get in touch with Victor: firstname.lastname@example.org, 718-665-4281
Today we had quite a little crowd at the meeting in front of the lot. Myself, Andrew (596 Acres' new organizer), Paula the director of 596 Acres, Council Member Maria Carmen del Arroyo, DOT Borough Commissioner Constance Morran, Carla from the New LIFE School, two folks from the Bronx Green-Up program of the New York Botanical Garden, and five or six neighbors were all present!
Ms. Morran let us know that an entity or organization of some sort needs to represent the neighbors and sign a lease on their behalf. It sounded like none of the groups present might have the capacity to do so, so if neighbors can start looking locally, that would be great! Bill from the development company next door will also talk to his investors, and 596 acres may reach out to the Bronx Land Trust.
Council Member Arroyo will be reaching out to all the neighbors present who signed her info sheet (plus Victor, who couldn't make it, but she has all his info plus the petition signatures and some letters I passed along) and arranging a meeting with them to discuss the space further.
The Council Member's office confirmed for Monday, July 27th at 11 am in front of the lot. I hope some (all!) of you can make it!
I love good news, today we heard back from the Office of Bronx Council member Maria Del Carmen Arroyo. Mr Richard Cosme Ruiz is the Logistics & Scheduling Coordinator and he stated that they are scheduling a site visit with the member and DOT Commissioner on Monday, July 27, at 11:00 am
A copy off my tv version of the News 12 Report.
Victor and neighbors were filmed by Bronx 12 today. It will be airing today at 5:30. I think this link should work!: http://bronx.news12.com/multimedia/news-12-bronx-traffic-weather-live-stream-online-1.3925041
Neighborhood meeting in front of the lot with the management company next door. I am reaching out to them now with Victor to find out what works for them. They can connect us with DOT. (We could speak with DOT directly, but I think having the management group open us the conversation would be super beneficial.)
Welcome2the bronx just released this article today about our wonderful project.
GUESS WHAT? Bronx 12 News is coming by the lot to day to talk to Victor and myself about this project. WE NEED MORE FOLKS TO COME OUT! I know it's late notice, but if anyone can come by at 2:30 pm (a little early, like 2 would be great) it would make a HUGE difference by really showing that there are a crowd of neighbors interested.
Here's the text from the wonderful letter of support that Carla Rice wrote:
Mary Elizabeth Prall
596 Acres’ NYC Community Land Access Project Organizer
596 Acres Inc.
540 President St., #2E
Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY 11215
RE: Restoration of Abandoned Lot located at East 159th Street between St. Ann’s Avenue and Eagle Avenue, Bronx, NY 10456. Area: 0.15 Acres (6542 square feet).
Dear Ms. Prall,
My name is Carla Rice and I am a School Social Worker at The New LIFE School, which is located at the corner of Eagle Ave and 159th Street in the Bronx. I have consulted with school teachers and administrators and our organization would be pleased and honored to support the development of the Hill Street Community Garden. Our Principal, Mr. Barbo and I met with Mr. Victor Maldonado yesterday and I signed the petition for the New LIFE School to support the project. The administrative team is working on a budget to contribute to garden development and maintenance, the teachers are imagining lesson plans and the social workers are inspired by the healing potential of the garden.
The New LIFE School is also interested in developing pathways of mentorship, internships and career development opportunities for our students. They would benefit from participation in a community project that could teach them about civic engagement, community development, government operations and environmental science. In addition, we are currently a school that has no outdoor space. The possibility of working in or just sitting in a community garden would greatly enhance the health, happiness and well-being of our students.
The New LIFE School services students (3rd grade—12th grade) from the New York City Department of Education. We are a 12 month school that is open from 7:45 am until 2:30 pm. If you have any questions, please contact me at 718-665-2760, x2009, email@example.com.
Carla Rice, MA, LMSW
School Social Worker
Today I received a response letter By Ursula Chanse Director of The Bronx Green Up and Community Horticulture program at the New York Botanical Garden. She expressed support and interest in our project and would like to meet with us at the location some time this summer. I let her know we will be organizing our first meeting soon. She stated that In the meantime, any interested members are welcome to join them for their upcoming workdays and workshops listed here: http://www.nybg.org/green_up/events.php Sara Katz (our Community Horticulturist cc:ed here), also offers free certificate programs on vegetable gardening, pruning and soils and can give you more information if you are interested.
This is a wonderful idea and great use for an empty city lot. I support anything to do with adding a green space that will sustain our environment and community.
Let's work on making this a reality and a part of our community life!
ok so I worked out the kinks and ironed out the link to the online petition. here is the new version of the link.
This is the online version of the petition which can be signed directly on the site.
Click here for petition:
Hi Carla, please contact me for more information about my challenger league a=
t your earliest convenience=20
Hi All - I have spoken to students, teachers and administrators at the New LIFE School and everyone is excited about this project. I would love to learn more about your baseball team Ms. Hernandez. Ms. Maldonado, you are free to quote me to support the project. I hope to meet you all in person at the next meeting.
Welcome aboard, Carla Rice!! It’s great to see the organizers’ team grow!
To the team; I have been, and will continue to be asked to write letters advocating the Hill Street Community Gardens’ cause. As a result, I ask for your permission to quote some of your comments going forward because I believe your experiences and suggestions will help strengthen our letters. Please let me know. Thanks, Nancy
I was very please today when a lady contacted me because she saw a flier in her building and wanted to sign the petition. She was so excited about helping her community she took a picture of the flier so she can post it on her Facebook. I have to thank Cristina Montas for putting up those fliers in her building and getting signatures for the petition. Thanks a mil Cristina.
I am a homeowner of Melrose Court Condominiums. I am also an advocate for children with special needs. I currently coordinate a baseball program for children with Autism and I think this would be a great activity for the children to participate in.
I am a School Social Worker at The New LIFE School at 831 Eagle Ave, bordering the Hill Street lot. We currently have a small, indoor garden inside the school and no outdoor space for our school at all. The New LIFE School students (3rd grade - 12th grade) have been active in planting our small, indoor garden and frequently ask if we can plant vegetables, rose bushes and other plants that need more earth, sun and space. The opportunity to contribute to bringing new life into this community garden would be educational, empowering and healing for our students and would strengthen our bonds with the surrounding community.
Today was a busy day, I sent out letters to Bx Borough Pres. Ruben Diaz, Council woman Carmen Arroyo, SS Peter & Paul Church as well as the School, neighboring businesses Family Dollar and Brightside children academy. As an added bonus Nancy suggested we invite The president of the botanical gardens into the ring, so I did and included their Bronx Green Ups organization http://www.nybg.org/green_up/
The petitions Both Spanish and English are starting to fill up and copies being filled by other neighbors ill get back soon. The Condo board across the street from the site will be meeting soon to discuss their involvement. We should be on our way to our first meeting.
I'm so excited hearing about the supportive local businesses and the bilingual petition forms, and reading the awesome letter to the Borough President that Nancy wrote. Hooray!
Today, I provided to Victor a Spanish version of the Petition Form.
Also, I give credit as follows:
- To Mary Prall of this website, and the 596 Acres website for information retrieved and required for the Letter.
- To my friend, Sonia Rodriquez, whom assisted with the Spanish translation of the Petition. Thank you to all.
Hello Organizers: As Victor Maldonado requested, I have created a letter of advocacy to Bronx Borough President Ruiz. Victor approved the letter, and will use it going forward. I have also created a Petition Form to facilitate the collection of names from neighbors and local businesses. I also suggested to create a Spanish version of the form. We are currently working on that. Regards!
Today I was walking around to the local businesses in the area and the response was all positive as the clean up and improvement for this property is something they longed for. They love the idea of a community garden on it. We are working on signature forms for them to sign showing their sopport. I would love to see raised beds with the business names on them.
Thank you Mary for all the Hard work you put into this project. Today I wrote on the Melrose Court Condominium Facebook Page to welcome Home Owners into this project. I am a proud homeowner at MCC which is right across the street from the proposed project.
*Attention All GardenersAttention All Gardeners
I have been working with 596 Acres an organization which helps transform vacant properties into Beautiful community gardens. As you may know there is a vacant hill on 159 st and St Anns Ave. This has been abandoned for way to many years. Currently The DOT does not have any plans at the moment for developing that site. Mary over at 596 Acres has been working hard to open channels of communications for this project to work and I have shown my interest by going to the general meeting at 596 Acres in Brooklyn to represent this property.
I think this property being in our back yard is an eye sore as it is, however it does not have to stay that way. I love Gardening and I know many of our Homeowners love Gardening however our space is limited and this would introduce a great opportunity for all of us to have a community space we can all manage, beautify and enjoy.
What is needed now to move forward is the involvement of the people to show their support and say "YES this is something I would like to endorse and be a part of"
I need everyone's support so that this project can be a reality. Mary will organize a meeting with all involved in front of the property. If you are interested please contact me by inbox or email firstname.lastname@example.org text or call @ 718-665-4281 or Mary@596acres.org 718-316-6092
Thank you and I hope to meet with you soon
I spoke with Ginny Quiroz and Bill Bollinger from Verbena. They are so excited by the potential to have neighbors involved!
A few years ago the owners of the development on both sides of this lot starting speaking to the Department of Transportation about turning the space into some sort of garden. DOT said that they had plans for the space: to build a stairway in the year 2315. Yep, IN OVER TWO HUNDRED YEARS. (Bill clarified this over and over, but I'm convinced it's some typo in the DOT plans.) Anyhoo, the Verbena folks connected with Borough Commissioner Constance Morran who thinks another use for this space in the meantime would be excellent! So, all that's missing is neighbors to steward the space. Verbena could even provide tools or materials for whatever neighbors want to create.
Next step? We need someone who lives in the neighborhood (hopefully Victor!) to rally some folks to come to a planned meeting that I can help host in front of the lot!
An awesome email to the church across the street!
Dear Sisiter Mckeon S.C,
My name is Victor Maldonado I have lived in the community all my life and have attended St Peter and St Paul parish. For over 20 years there has been an abandoned street across the street from the rectory on 159 street bet St Anns and Eagle avenue. Having lived on St Ann's avenue i have come to agree that this property is an eye sore for the community. http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001/ Recently I have joined with an organization called 596 Acres, they specialize in helping communities turn unwanted abandoned land into beautiful community gardens for all to enjoy. Being that this property is right in the center of where I live, I have taken on a special interest in turning this unused land into a community Garden. I am sure all the neighbors, landlords, store keepers and even the Church would like to see this eye sore properly cared for. If given the opportunity we will be responsible for the upkeep and beautification of the property, we will also obtain proper liability insurance for those tending to the garden. I imagine a day where your students can be able to participate in this future garden while learning and growing plants, fruits and vegetables of their own as well as learning about healthy eating and sustainable living. I am asking for a letter of support from you so that we will be able to prove that this is a project that is really needed and desired in this community. If this is something that you think will be of benefit to the church, the school and the neighboring community please show your support by sending a reply letter to email@example.com and to me firstname.lastname@example.org If you need further information please a call is welcomed. Mary can be reached at 718-316-6092 and My number is 718-665-4281
Thank you for your time and consideration,
I just spoke to Ginny Quiroz, the Asset Manager for the maintenance company who thinks that community use of this space is a great idea! She is unsure whether her company has any sort of easement over this property, but is going to call a couple folks at DOT and get back to me. If neighbors start creating a vision for the space, she could likely give support or advocate for it.
She thinks that neighbors invested in the space will keep it clean and reduce some of the crime in the area. She also mentioned that her company is opening up a medical center next door and thinks they could be involved!
(Here's the company's general number that has a name directory: 516-821-2003)
LET'S PLAN A MEETING!
I spoke to Mr. Figueroa is does the maintenance for the management company of the two buildings on either side of this lot. He gave me the contact info for Ms. Ginny Quiroz (516-821-2050) who can give me any background info. She didn't pick up so I followed her message instructions and called and left a voicemail with her assistant... I'm basically just trying to find out any info of their experience with the DOT about this site in the past, or if they can write a letter of support for neighbors now!
In the meantime, perhaps we'll work on planning a meeting! Victor is reaching out the church across the street to see if they have some interested members of their congregation!
I visited the management office next to the property and was told that they do not intend to use the lot any time soon. I was given a contact person who handles that department for Wavecrest. I called Mr. Figueroa and he said they do not manage that lot/ street because it belongs to the city. I asked about the wall and fence they constructed and he said they intended to create a garden area for the building but was not granted permission so the plan was aborted. He said they have no intention on pursuing the matter. He is in favor of a community garden for that location.
I spoke with Victor who lives right across the street who told me that he spoke with a maintenance person who said that the management company has plans to add lighting to the corners of the space and perhaps put in a garden! We hope to hear more soon!
From Larry Bremer:
"I have elected to take a new Job in another neighborhood. I am no longer connected to that development and green space annexed to the property. I suggest that you can reach the ownership through wavecrest management. Wavecrest manages the site and may be interested at this point in a person or group to become involved in the site.
The Wavecrest Management Team Ltd.
87-14 116th Street
Richmond Hill, NY 11418
Yesterday we hung signs on this incredible lot! It's a de-mapped street that slopes up a hill, and is visible from the church on 159th and the school on Eagle Ave. We spoke to a neighbor, Louie, who thinks the church might want to help! If you live around here or go to the church, call us at 718-316-6092 ex 3!
We got the message from a non-profit housing developer working locally on July 21, 2013:
"We constructed a large affordable housing project on St. Anns Avenue in the Bronx. Prior to starting and to this day, the City demapped a street (East 159th Street) between Eagle Avenue and St. Anns. It is a sloped street with a steep pitch, but the DOT has no funds to construct a step garden or use the street for any other use. They have indicated to us that the street may be used for a garden, or any community use. The space is approx. 30'0 by 200 feet. The developer installed a new chain link fence and gates around the garden. As well, the developer installed attractive brick columns and walls and gates at each end, St Anns and Eagle. It appears to me, a garden or community space would be a great use. Some funds may be available."
Reaching out to DOT would be good, too, at the number for the Bronx commissioner above.