Sharing what we have and what we know
is at the heart of what GrowNYC does.
Grow Truck is our mobile tool lending and technical assistance service. We respond to requests from gardens to lend tools, provide technical assistance, and support green-up days, assisting more than 50 neighborhood greening projects in 2012, including transport and delivery at GrowNYC’s major renovation sites, giving schools, gardens, churches, block associations, and others without gardening budgets an opportunity to green the neighborhoods that need it the most.
One of the challenges that community gardeners face is having sufficient supplies for large scale work day improvement projects where you have willing volunteers but not enough tools for the job. Garden tools like wheelbarrows – especially in large quantity – can get expensive for those whose green space relies on sweat equity and tight budgets, not to mention the problem that all us urban dwellers face: where do we store it when not in use? That’s where Grow Truck comes in and why it is such a valuable resource for neighborhood open space.
Grow Truck to the Rescue
In March, we received a Grow Truck request from Basia Nikonorow from Proyecto de Embellecimiento: The 137th Street Beautification Project in Harlem. Proyecto wanted to clean up their block by clearing tree pits, moving soil, and planting flowers in May, and needed a Grow Truck delivery of 1 wheelbarrow, 10 trowels, 15 cultivators, 5 hoes, and 2 shovels. We called Basia to talk about her project, explaining that moving soil and plants in tarps was quicker than moving it in wheelbarrows, so we offered to loan some tarps too. We also discussed flower varieties, including what plants would do best in their sandy and shady tree pits. We arranged to drop off tools with Basia early on Saturday and to pick them up the next day.
Proyecto was also buying many of their flowers from our Annual Spring Plant Sale, and picked up their order in the late morning. Our volunteers helped her load 19 flats and 74 pots of annuals and perennials into her truck. We dropped off Basia’s tools at 7am. It looked like it would be a sunny day, and several of her volunteers were chatting over coffee and donuts.
The next day we arrived to pick up Basia’s tools at 1pm and she was cleaning them as we pulled up. Her block looked transformed by the hundreds of newly planted flowers, the smell of fresh mulch, and the clean street. She greeted us with a smile, helped us load up the tools, and waved as we drove away to deliver the next tool loan.
Click HERE to learn more about Grow Truck.