Long Island City Roots Community Garden

29-08 47th Avenue [map]
Long Island City, Queens
Founded: 2000

LIC Roots began as a small community gardening effort in 2000 when interested neighbors sought to make a positive change in the very industrial and post-industrial landscape of 47th Avenue. Noah Kaufman, the garden founder, and Terry Born, then principal of Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Secondary School for Arts and Technology, coordinated efforts to commemorate late Firefighter Michael E. Brennan, a native of Sunnyside, and a member of Engine 54 who lost his life responding to a mayday call at WTC 7 on Sept. 11, 2001.

With the support of the elected representatives and the members of Community Board 2, Queens, LIC Roots was encouraged to incorporate, and subsequently received a license for community beautification from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. LIC Roots was created directly over the tracks of the unused Degnon Terminal Railroad at 47-08 30th Street, and in building the garden, 140 cubic yards of garbage was bulldozed out and replaced by 160 cubic yards of clean dirt.

The garden itself is divided into four zones: from the east, there is a lawn area surrounded by flower beds at grade, and a memorial Flag Pole; passing through an arbor, there is a hard-surface patio, surrounded on the south by a raised bed and plank seating. This area was constructed by students of Queens International High School and the middle school at Robert F. Wagner. The raised bed contains native species and higher plants as a hedge.

In the westerly half of the garden there is a rainwater harvesting shade structure, which was built with the assistance of GrowNYC in 2008. The shade structure is 10' x 20' and the roof collects rain water into a 250 gallon raised cistern. From these 'open' areas, there is a plank fence and gate that leads to 6 raised vegetable beds. Four of these beds are tended by individuals. The other two were built by GrowNYC as part of our work in the garden related to our 2011 Greening Western Queens awards; these two beds are used by Robert F. Wagner students. LIC Roots maintains a lengthy waiting list for the their raised beds.

On Monday, July 11, we launched the “Oh SNAP!” educational campaign with a live mural painting on a Greenmarket, Co. delivery truck. The “Oh SNAP!” campaign was designed to draw attention to the fact that GrowNYC’s network of Greenmarkets accept electronic benefits cards (EBT) and shoppers can use their SNAP benefits to purchase farm-fresh produce from the region’s mid-sized family farmers.

  • Greenmarket

    Our network of farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Recycle

    We blanket the five boroughs with resources like textile and food scrap collection, Stop 'N' Swaps, and free training to make waste reduction easy for all.

  • Garden

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Teach

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 60,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.