GrowNYC's garden program had an eventul 2015, full of new gardens, rejuvenations of existing spaces, and several innovative garden projects that help make New York a greener city.
We built 7 new community gardens this year, giving the city 80,000 square feet of new open space. These new gardens include:
Additionally, our garden program did major rejuvenation projects on 7 community gardens and 1 school gardens, totaling 72,000 square feet of existing green space that was transformed. All of this work is done alongside great partners, including GreenThumb, 596 Acres, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, FDNY, and New York Botanical Garden's Bronx Green Up.
Throughout 2015, GrowNYC built 12 new green infrastructure elements in gardens, including:
- 10 new rainwater harvesting systems, in Crotona Park East (BX) East Harlem (MN), Governors Island, Greenpoint (BK), Mott Haven (BX), and Park Slope (BK).
- 1 new bioswale, in East Harlem.
- A new aquaponic shipping container at an urban farm in Far Rockaway.
GrowNYC completed our second year of programming at Governors Island Teaching Garden, an urban farm that provides free educational programming for public schools students and summer camp groups from March to November, as well as holds open hours for the general public on weekends during the general Governors Island open season.
We made some great additions to our farm space in 2015, including a high tunnel greenhouse, a solar oven, a rain garden, and several rainwater harvesting systems.
This year's Governors Island Teaching Garden programming included:
- Working with more than 2,500 kids from more than 60 school groups
- Interacting with more than 5,000 visitors from the general public during weekend open hours.
This fall, GrowNYC helped build T5 Farm at JetBlue's Terminal 5 at JFK Airport. The 24,000 square foot farm features more than 4,000 recycled milk crates growing blue potatoes - the same variety that TERRA gives away on JetBlue flights - as well as other herbs and vegetables. T5 Farm was created in collaboration with GrowNYC Partners, a consultancy arm of GrowNYC that returns profits to the mission-based activities of GrowNYC - like the 7 new gardens we built this year.
We also continued our efforts to bring community gardening to affordable housing developments. 2015 marked our fourth year of working at Via Verde, where a 5,000 square foot rooftop garden is enjoyed by the building's residents. GrowNYC also ran seasonal workshops about gardening, healthy eating, and much more.
In Long Island City, GrowNYC helped to design a 2,300 square foot rooftop farm on top of Queens' newest affordable housing complex, Hunter's Point South. The farm features 13 oversized raised beds and a beehive, and will also host a GrowNYC-run Fresh Food Box for building residents.
We'll be back working at T5 Farm, Via Verde, and Hunter's Point South in 2016, working to continue bringing innovative programming to each one. We can't wait!