In 2009 and 2010, GrowNYC hosted Compton Mentor Fellow Mara Gittleman. Mentored by Open Space Greening Assistant Director Lenny Librizzi, Mara's first project was updating the community garden information on OASIS, a powerful GIS-based online map that allows users to view details about every block and lot in the five boroughs. This was the first full-scale update to the community garden information in many years.
This updated information gave us the opportunity to collect and analyze data and create charts and maps highlighting all the benefits of community gardens. Nearly half of the city's 500 community gardens responded to the survey, answering questions like:
How many community gardens are there today?
How many grow food, and which crops?
How does one join a garden in my neighborhood?
What kinds of partnerships with schools and community groups do gardens have?
What types of events take place?
The results are astounding! 80% of responding gardens grow food, 65% compost, and 43% partner with at least one local school.