Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools

March 11, 2013


GrowNYC formed a partnership with Wagner Middle School in Manhattan called Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools, funded by NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin. Under one roof, we are providing support from five GrowNYC programs: Learn It Grow It Eat It, Grow to Learn School Gardens, Greenmarket Youth Education, Recycling Champions and Environmental Education. For an entire year, GrowNYC staff is educating young people about how to lead lives that improve their personal health and that of the environment around them; so that eating, growing, learning and going green become second nature.

On the recycling front, we recently helped Wagner launch a school-wide cafeteria recycling program – 1,200 students in grades 6-8 sorted everything from trays to milk cartons, placing them in their proper containers with help from dozens of student volunteers and Green Team members. 1,200 students recycling milk cartons for one year will save 31 trees!

To keep it fun, grades are competing to see who can reduce their overall waste – on a weekly basis, the amount of waste will be calculated and the winning grade announced on Fridays. At the end of every month, the grade that has reduced waste and recycled the most will receive special “Out-Lunch” privileges. Wagner has averaged a daily reduction of 9 bags of garbage or 17%, while generating an extra bag of recyclables.

The contest, designed by the Green Team, was the culmination of an outreach campaign they undertook to educate their classmates. Working with their advisor, teacher and sustainability coordinator Jessica Gordon, students created posters, morning announcements, and a PowerPoint. The success of the program could not have been possible without the support and help of Wagner’s administration and staff.

Some of GrowNYC's Best Volunteers

March 26, 2012
Posted in Community Gardens | Tagged volunteer

We are truly thankful for the time volunteers commit to helping GrowNYC provide resources for a better NYC. Meet a few of our awesome volunteers! JOE BUCK As an Open Space Greening volunteer with GrowNYC, Joe has led teams of volunteers at Greening's biggest event of the year, the Annual Spring Plant Sale, which distributes plants to over 500 neighborhood garden projects every year. Why he does it: I enjoy the opportunities with GrowNYC and the community gardens because I get to tap into my imaginary “Inner-Gardener” in the midst of the urban jungle. “To be of service” was instilled in me growing up, so it feels natural to lend a hand. Besides, being self-absorbed is far more exhausting. The best part: Getting dirty! My job is a suit and tie. So having the opportunity to dig in the dirt, learn about a flower or vegetable or help create an oasis in what was once an empty lot is magical. It sounds bit corny, but I mean it. The impact: It connects resources with needs! It gives people the opportunity to step out their comfort zones and actually be part of the solution. Each one teach one, right?! NANCY RAPHAEL As a recycling volunteer with GrowNYC, Nancy has helped teach New Yorkers about composting and contributed to successful recycling at large events. Why she does it: I thoroughly believe that it takes a collective effort to make a difference and enjoy working with GrowNYC staff and fellow volunteers who have dedication visible in their faces. I do not view my volunteering experience as giving up my Saturday or Sunday, or as sacrificing my sleep. Instead, I see it as contributing my time to making a big difference in changing the carbon footprint of New York and I am proud to be a part of such a large task. The best part: The fun of engaging with New Yorkers and asking them to take care of the city they live in and think of the world they are a part of as well as connecting with fellow volunteers. I also enjoy the camaraderie between recycling volunteers that makes for a successful effort. The impact: As people become more and more conscious, they will feel compelled to volunteer their time and recycle at home and everywhere they may be--picking up stuff on the ground or advising others to recycle. ERIN EASTERN As a Greenmarket volunteer with GrowNYC, Erin staffs Union Square Greenmarket's Market Information Station and answers customer questions while assisting with cooking demonstrations and other market promotions. Why I do it: I volunteer because I believe in the farmers market/food justice movement and enjoy being helpful to the Market Managers so that they can run one of the best Public Markets in the world. I am proud to be a small part in the success of Greenmarket. Also, I love being outside rain or shine. As an indoor worker during the week, I genuinely miss the time I spent working outdoors and the feeling of being out there (especially when the weather is beautiful, of course). The best part: Having a community that is separate from my work, family, and friends. The people I meet through Greenmarket cross the usual cultural boundaries (e.g. urban/rural, young/old, farmer/organizer) and broaden my social world. I enjoy meeting the other volunteers and learning how they came to Greenmarket; making new friends that also have an interest in food justice, urban growing, CSA's, and a myriad of other cool things unrelated to food like film studies, United States law, and sports. The impact: The larger impact of Greenmarket is huge and I like thinking about how I am part of what they accomplish: Encouraging New Yorkers to interact with their food producers and learn where their food comes from; providing underserved communities access to fresh, healthy foods; creating a learning environment for schools and media; incubating small businesses and helping farmers to stay on their land.

We Need a New Tagline!

February 2, 2012
Posted in GrowNYC

You know us best. You see us in your neighborhood leading recycling workshops, operating farmers markets, collecting textiles and food scraps for recycling and compost, and engaging NYC school kids in restoration projects. We are your resource for making New York City a greener, healthier City. Come up with a short, action-oriented tagline or even 4 or 5 words you associate us with. Tell us how you and GrowNYC work together to improve our city. If we pick your tagline, we’ll give you a shout-out on our blog and on Facebook and will give you a great prize! Email your submissions to ideas@grownyc.org.

Deadline: Feb. 29

Starting 2012 on a Healthy Note

January 3, 2012
Posted in Greenmarket

EBT Yesterday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn stopped by Union Square on the first market day of the New Year to applaud an increase in use of food stamps at GrowNYC Greenmarkets across the city in 2011. Food stamp purchases at Greenmarkets increased from $505,166 to over $620,000 in 2011, a 23 percent increase from 2010.  Some markets reported nearly $6,000 in food stamp sales in a single day. In 2011, approximately 75% of food stamp dollars at Greenmarkets were spent on fresh fruits and vegetables, while EBT spent on baked goods dropped by nearly 5 percent. Families are choosing nutrition first by spending their limited food dollars on the healthiest options available at the farmers market. At the same time, these dollars are reinvested in our regional economy as increased revenues for farmers. The Union Square Greenmarket had the highest food stamp sales of any market at $151,813 in 2011. Greenmarket partnered with the NYC Food Bank to offer food stamp screenings for more than 250 New Yorkers at Union Square to determine if they qualify for Food Stamps, providing valuable public education and outreach on the program. GrowNYC is deeply grateful to Speaker Quinn and the New York City Council for their support of this program. In 2006, the City Council began partnering with GrowNYC to provide funding for EBT scanners, signage, community outreach, merchant account fees and dedicated staff members to operate the machines at the Greenmarkets. The program has been highly successful and this year EBT was accepted at 43 Greenmarkets. Read more about our EBT program, find a Greenmarket near you that accepts EBT, or read NY1's coverage of our great 2011.

Help GrowNYC Raise $$ on Facebook

November 23, 2011
Posted in GrowNYC

Tri-State Ford Dealers is donating up to $5,000 to GrowNYC, $1 for every “Go Green” click they receive!

Help us earn needed funds to support programs you use, like Greenmarket, Office of Recycling Outreach and Education, Open Space Greening and more.

Support GrowNYC and go to Tri-State Ford's Facebook page.

Greenmarket Thanksgiving Round Up

November 14, 2011

We've got a lot of stuff happening for Thanksgiving. Here's a quick summary: Greenmarket's Turkey Buying Guide Want to know where to buy a locally-raised turkey for Thanksgiving? Our guide gives you a rundown of farmers, prices, breeds, what Greenmarkets they'll be selling at, and when you can order and pick up your turkey. Read more. Holiday Schedule Changes Greenmarkets and textile recycling are affected by the holiday. Here's our updated schedule. Donate A Bag Our Thanksgiving Donate A Bag program was extremely successful last year, and it's back again this year. Greenmarket is partnering with local food rescue organizations to help feed New York City's hungry men, women, and children. Read more. Thanksgiving Produce Bags at La Marqueta Wholesale Greenmarket will be selling pre-packed bags of fresh, locally grown produce at La Marqueta's Clothing and Textile Recycling Day on Saturday, November 19th. Read more.

Greenmarket's Winter Warm Up Party

November 14, 2011
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged holidays

Farmers, Shoppers, Cooks and Neighbors unite for a night of revelry

Greenmarket's Winter Warm Up Wednesday, Dec 7 - 7 PM to 10PM The Bell House 149 7th St, Brooklyn NY 11215 Tickets: $40, 21+.  Buy tickets online. Join GrowNYC’s Greenmarket and Harvest Home for an end-of-season party to wring out a soggy year and plant some hope for a strong harvest in 2012. Warm up to winter and dance our regional farmers into the night with music by Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens and Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band at the Bell House on Wednesday, December 7 from 7 – 10 p.m. Groove to sensational gospel music and soul-rattling Balkan beats, bid on books in our ‘Cookbook Library’ silent auction, enjoy light hors d’oeuvres prepared with locally grown ingredients and $3 Brooklyn Brewery brews all night. Proceeds will benefit participating GrowNYC's Greenmarket program and Harvest Home farms that were devastated by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in September. Come shake it with us as we bid good night Irene once and for all. Tickets are $40, 21+.

Buy tickets here.

Chamber Players International Concert to Benefit GrowNYC's Hurricane Relief Fund

October 14, 2011
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged relief

Friday, October 21, 7 p.m.
Chamber Players International Concert to Benefit GrowNYC's Hurricane Relief Fund
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space
44 Charlton Street, Manhattan [map]
Tickets: $25 online and at the door

Chamber Players International present a benefit concert event for GrowNYC’s Greenmarket farmers. The program features works by Beethoven and a world premier by guest artist Reinhard Seehafer, internationally renowned composer and symphony conductor. The ensemble consists of world class, award-winning performers including violinist Anna Rabinova, member of the New York Philharmonic and winner of the Leipzig and Belgrade International Violin Competitions. 100% of the proceeds generated by the concert will be donated to the recovery fund to help GrowNYC’s Greenmarket farmers who were severely impacted by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in early September.

Buy tickets.

GrowNYC Added to Governor's NYC Regional Economic Development Council

August 2, 2011
Posted in GrowNYC

On July 29, 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, and named GrowNYC's Executive Director, Marcel Van Ooyen, as a member.

From the press release:

"Today we are taking a new approach to economic development that will send a clear message that New York is open for business," said Governor Cuomo. "For too long, one-size-fits-all economic development plans have ignored the unique assets and challenges of regions like New York City. With the Regional Councils, we will empower individual areas to chart their own course for job creation and growth."

The Regional Councils represent a fundamental shift in the state’s approach to economic development, from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions’ unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.

Read the Governor's press release.

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