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GrowNYC Annual Report 2012 | Letter from the Chairman

Kafin-Robert-0348-HeadshotLetter from the Chairman

To Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Members, Contributors, Volunteers, Staff and Friends:

In 2012, GrowNYC turned 42. When I am asked what GrowNYC does, it is tempting to say “Oh, we are the organization that operates the City’s 54 Greenmarkets,” and stop there because everyone has heard of Greenmarket, and that one statement always elicits a positive response. But, just saying that we are the Greenmarket organization dramatically understates the breadth and
depth of our work improving the quality of life in our City through many vibrant programs that deal with the essentials of human existence within a community we share with other living things.

Throughout our Annual Report and on our website you can see the impact of GrowNYC’s activities on people and places. Our objective is to involve every citizen in activities that lead to a more healthful and sustainable environment. Sometimes we advocate and teach to bring children and adults into our circle of care. Other times we take hands-on direct action to change the impact of
day-to-day functions on the environment. And, we create opportunities for New Yorkers to participate in wholesome tasks for their own benefit and enjoyment and that of others. Finally, we collaborate with governmental institutions, businesses, and community organizations to leverage our expertise and resources and acknowledge how much more can be accomplished through teamwork.

You know about Greenmarket, but please take the time to learn more about our broad portfolio of other programs. Think about all your household wastes and then go to our website for help in preventing waste and recycling that which you can. Visit our Randall’s Island Learning Garden or encourage your neighborhood school to schedule a field trip there or participate in our Citywide School Gardens Initiative. Tell your block association about our Annual Plant Sale. Maybe your company or employer would like to participate in a volunteer work day at a community garden. Bring your used clothing to one of our textile collection sites. Sign up for GrowNYC email alerts. The opportunities for you to join with us in doing something good for yourself, our City, and the environment generally are many.

We are lucky to have a talented and dedicated staff at GrowNYC working under the leadership of our Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. Their energy, resourcefulness, and skill bring excellence to all that we do. We also have had wonderful support from the Mayor, numerous City agencies, the City Council, and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets for which we are most
appreciative. And GrowNYC on behalf of the citizens of our City is grateful to the many individuals, companies, and foundations that have supported us. Private sector contributions are needed to support many of our initiatives. We appreciate the trust shown in us by our benefactors, and please be assured that our organization will do its very best to put contributions to good use in making New York City healthier, cleaner, and sustainable into the future.



Robert J. Kafin