Drum roll please…
GrowNYC is proud to announce that we have completed our 100th community garden -- Jackson Forest Community Garden!
The Jackson Forest site has been home to a garden since 1983. After a building was demolished, the lot was an eyesore – it was a mess and full of trash. The community cleared out the lot and began planting, and the site became a GreenThumb garden in 1991. It flourished – it was full of trees, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. A true community space, gardeners at Jackson Forest would often leave extra produce near the entrance so neighbors walking by could grab fresh vegetables. In 2008, the garden closed to build a new retaining wall and an iron fence and install a permanent water source. The garden had to be demolished in the process, and the renovations ended up taking longer than expected, while the anxious gardeners had no access to the site.
Jackson Forest Community Garden was recently rebuilt by the GrowNYC Gardens team, along with help from corporate volunteers from BrainPOP, Morgan Stanley, and KPS Advisors. It was a lot of hard work! They mulched, raked, spread soil, and built new garden beds, tables, and benches for community members to enjoy.
The gardeners have been working on getting the garden back up and running and so far have grown cucumbers, okra, peaches, and lots of tomatoes! Students from the nearby school come to take care of their two beds and learn about the science of gardening and composting. Next spring, the gardeners plan to throw a big opening party to welcome the neighborhood back to the garden. In the future, the gardeners hope that Jackson Forest will again be a community meeting space, to offer fresh produce to the neighbors, and to teach classes for children on weekends.
“Thanks to [GrowNYC staffer] Mike, we have a lot of benches, we have a lot of tables where the community can come sit, read the newspaper, just get in touch with nature.” - community gardener Marie Brook
GrowNYC is so honored to call the Jackson Forest Community Garden our 100th garden. The dedicated spirit and joy of the community gardeners at Jackson Forest are a shining example of how important places like this are for a neighborhood. Today, this garden’s beauty shows what can be accomplished when we work together!
You can be proud knowing that all the achievements of our Gardens program were made possible with support from people like you. We never would have been able to do it without help from our many donors, especially the Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation. Since September, you helped to raise $41,592 for the New Garden Fund. That’s $11,592 over our goal! You’ve helped establish the foundation for our Gardens program to continue building the NEXT 100 gardens that serve communities like yours all around the city.
Thank you so much to everyone who believed in our vision and helped contribute! We couldn’t do it without you!
Want to stay involved? Visit our website to learn more about our Gardens program, find a community garden near you, receive our community gardens newsletter, or sign up to volunteer!