The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is a non-profit corporation that works with the city to drive economic development.
If the lot you've found is managed by the EDC, a good first step is to call Lydia Downing from the EDC (212-312-4281 / firstname.lastname@example.org). Be ready to take notes on your call.
First, ask if they have plans for the lot. If not, ask the EDC if they might be willing to transfer the land to another agency, such as the the Parks Department or the Department of Cultural Affairs. If they do have plans, ask what they are! Perhaps you and your neighbors can borrow the space for the interim or you might be interested in what the plans are. If the lot continues to be vacant, check back in with the EDC as plans can change.
After you finish with your call, record your notes on the lot page so that others who are interested in this lot can benefit from what you learned. We're all organizers together.
You can begin organizing your neighbors to create a campaign that will convince the Parks Department that your community group will be successful stewards. Here are some things you might consider gathering as you organize your neighbors, which will help you build a successful campaign:
- A mission or vision statement that lists benefits to the community;
- A letter from the local Community Board in support of the project and group (this information is found in the "Political Boundaries" section of the lot's page);
- A name for the proposed garden/group being formed to look after the garden;
- List of community members interested in the project (at least 10 names, addresses, phone numbers, emails)
- Sketch or rendering of project
- List of partners/sponsors/endorsers (including churches, school, local business, city agencies, etc.)
Some letters of support from elected officials is also helpful. You can use the "Political Boundaries" section on the lot's page to see the elected officials and community board for the lot. You might also be able to get a letter of support from GreenThumb.