Community Green

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

Spring at Bissel Gardens!

Andy King, Council Member & Alisha Freeman, New Cares

Andy King, Council Member & Alisha Freeman, New Cares

We’ve been busy at Bissel Gardens this Spring. We have hosted a Tree Giveaway with Million Trees and NYRP and a New York Cares Volunteer Day and we are looking to do a whole lot more this year. Below are some of the pictures of the two events mentioned.  We you there? Don’t see yourself in these shots, click on the link on the bottom of the page to go to the Bissel Gardens Spring 2014 Album on Flickr.

Enjoy the photos and be sure to come out and visit or volunteer. Feel free to contact me about Bissel Gardens activities. See you there.

Yes, Erin Clarke, NY1 and Council Member Andy King were at Bissel Gardens for the New York Cares cleanup!

Bissel Gardens Tree Giveaway & New York Cares Day

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Community Greens – The Newsletter

For those of you that like print media, welcome to Community Greens – The Newsletter. It captures some on the topical posts from the past month and puts them on a handy, printable page. Enjoy!

In This Issue:

  • Bissel Gardens: More Than A Community Garden
  • Why We Need Community Gardens
  • Create Your Own Butterfly Park
screen beans paper

Community Greens Vol. 1 Issue 1


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Brooklyn Sewage Bike Tour Saturday May 10

NYC H2OJoin sewage enthusiasts Matt Malina and Adam Schwartz on a tour of the sewage plants of Southern Brooklyn. Before the 1880′s, Brooklyn’s sewage was piped into the bay and ocean untreated. During Brooklyn’s fast growth after the Civil War, science led to a clearer understanding of the adverse health effects of untreated sewage. As Coney Island was becoming a popular beach destination, the first sewage ‘purification’ plant was built there in 1885 to protect bathers. Other plants followed in the 20th century, leading to current system of 14 Water Pollution Control Plants we have today.

On the tour we will;

  • Bike to 3 sewage plants, 1 storm water retention facility and 1 CSO outflow point
  • Explain the sewage treatment process and what is a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO)
  • Explain the ad hoc way in which the sewage system initially developed

Tickets and more information can be found by clicking here.

Saturday May 10 at 11 a.m.
East New York

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Come See Gardens of East New York on Sat., June 28, 2014!


I going on Morgan Powell’s tour of Gardens of East New York and I am bringing my camera. Hope to see you there!

Originally posted on bronx river sankofa:

The old towns of Brooklyn DSCN8495

Event: FREE public tour of diverse community gardens thriving with activity showcase traditional and non-traditional techniques and plants. Five sites in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood open their doors to you!
Date/Time: Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 10 a.m. – Noon. (Rain or shine).
Location: Tour will assemble inside UCC Youth Farm (600 Schenck Avenue, 11207) between Livonia and New Lots Avenues.
Tour leader: Morgan Powell –

Note: The actual tour will focus primarily on current conditions however the narrative below is an alternative way to imagine the richness of the route.

Visitors congregate within UCC Youth Farm (established in 2000) located at Schenk Avenue between Livonia Avenue & New Lots Avenue by the tracks of the no.3 train line.

Hello Neighbors and Friends:

My name is Morgan Powell.  I’ll be your host for the next two magical hours as we survey a few community gardens here in East…

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The Need For Community Gardens

Living in cities removes us from nature.  It turns the soil that should be beneath our feet to concrete and the animals we should recognize into curiosities. As urban dwellers we begin to believe the food we eat should come in jars, cans, be frozen or given unnatural shelf life with chemical additives. Too many city kids grow up thinking cranberries are just a flavoring in a Thanksgiving sauce and a salad is iceberg lettuce and carrot shreds.

Parks are passive entry points to the natural world and invite people to stroll. Community Gardens demand engagement. Community Gardens foster intimate knowledge of nature as a food provider. Community Gardeners get to plant, tend, water, harvest and eat the fruits and vegetables they grow. Like me, you may have learned from your grandmother how to feel ripeness or smell freshness. You may remember the green grocer or open air markets. You may remember life before supermarkets but your children don’t. Our children need active connections and contact with what they put in their mouths. Having that context will also have an impact on what comes out of their mouths.

Green checklist

  • There should be a Community Garden in every neighborhood, one (minimum) every 10 square blocks.
  • Neighborhoods should be zoned for Community Gardens and land should be set aside for them.
  • Community Gardens are as beneficial as parks and play grounds and certainly cheaper to establish and maintain.
  • Become a member of a Community Garden
  • Start a Community Garden.
  • Support a Community Garden.
  • We need more Community Gardens!


Filed under: Community Green, It Takes A Village, ,

Shoelace Park 10K Run/Walk May 37, 2014

Friends of Shoelace Park will be hosting their annual 10k Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 10 am.

The event will begin at 219th St and Bronx Blvd. The route is set in Bronx Park, and plenty of points will provide a view of the lovely Bronx River.

The 10k is a fundraising event for Friends of Shoelace Park, a community-based organization. It is sponsored by the East 222nd Street Block Association working in partnership with the Bronx River Alliance.

Friends of Shoelace Park works year long maintaining the park and coordinating free events for the community.

Registration is open and only $25. Whether you’d like to run or walk, come on out and enjoy the beauty of the Bronx River and support the work being done by the community to enhance and preserve Shoelace Park.

Register online at:

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GreenThumb Grow Together March 29, 2014 at Hostos


The NYC Parks GreenThumb Annual Grow Together Conference has to be one of my favorite events of the year. All of my gardening friends seem to officially come out of hibernation for the event and it gives us a great way to catch up and discuss plans for the upcoming growing season. This year’s conference was the 30th and that clearly demonstrates NYC Parks dedication to the other side of green; what other people grow and care for. Bravo for another great event. And the workshops continue . . . Go to the NYC Parks GreenThumb website for upcoming workshops and events.

You can find photos from the event last year in my Flickr photostream in the GreenThumb Grow Together Photo Set.


Filed under: Community Green

Bissel Gardens Sunflowers


Photos by Chuck Vasser, Community Green.

Originally posted on Bissel Gardens:

Community Green and Bissel Gardens embarked on the Sunflower Project several years ago and the first planting of dozens of community gardens that now look forward to sunflowers each summer was in the Bissel Gardens Propagation Area. Blessed to be in a very sunny location, you can see the sunflowers tower over the community gardeners that care for them. The sunflowers are a delight for the butterflies, birds and an occasional squirrel. DSC_0657 DSC_0661 DSC_0663 DSC_0665 DSC_0666 DSC_0667 DSC_0670 DSC_0671 DSC_0676 DSC_0680 DSC_0684 DSC_0686 DSC_0687

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Native Plant Giveaway with Bronx River Alliance at River Park


Bissel Gardens is working up the food chain and will be participating in the Million Trees Giveway with NYRP this year! They’re also looking to use their Propagation Area to carve out a niche cultivating native shrubs that will benefit overwintering birds. There looking for volunteers. Now may be your chance to get your hands in the good earth!

Originally posted on Bissel Gardens:

And after we gave away all of the native plants that attracted butterflies, bees and other pollinators we paddled the Bronx River with the folks from the Bronx River Alliance.

Can you spot the popular local rapper from Castlehill in the photos? She was looking forward to getting more butterflies in her back yard.

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Bissel Gardens Tree Giveaway Sunday April 6, 2014


What’s better than a tree? Not much. And if you can plant it yourself and watch it grow, it’s even better. To reserve your free tree please register online at

Sunday, April 6, 2014
Barnes Avenue at Bruner Avenue, Bronx
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

For more information click Bissel Tree Giveaway Flier

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Shoelace Park 10K Fun Run & Walk

Run alongside the Bronx River!May 3rd, 2014
14 days to go.

Community Green Photo

Community Green Photo

Community Greens

Certainly it takes more than a parent(s) to raise a child and prepare him/her to live in the here and now and to do well in the future. The world is more than the sun, moon and stars of our village but it's also the village on the other side of the river. It's not that they are different objects in the sky, but viewed from a different orientation. Community Greens

Food Tuesday

I have gone to bed fed but not nourished physically or spiritually. These days some folks call that being food insecure. Let's change that on a lot of levels. Lets start with healthy food that makes us happy. Welcome to Food Tuesday.

Garden Wednesday

Hyperlocal Food: Grow Your Own Fresh grown vegetables from your own garden is incredible. Nothing tastes better and it's not difficult to grow your own. Try some of the favorites like tomatoes, zucchini and collard greens. Strawberries are also pretty easy if you have the space and are willing to put in a little more work. While you could grow these on your apartment balcony,it's a lot more fun, and neighborly, to join the local community garden. Get started now and by the end of summer you'll notice you are saving money on groceries, reducing your environmental impact, and benefiting from knowing you are eating healthy food.Welcome to Garden Wednesday.

Blacks In Green

There are more of us out there than you realize and we are coming together to express our perspective, concerns and ideas. This could be called a seat at the table, a plot in the garden or a home in this hood!

CG's BIG of the Month:

Nilka Martell

Nilka Martell

Morgan Powell’s

Bronx River Sankofa

Kim Beazer’s Nature’s Nurses

Nature's Nurses
Harlem Seeds
Bronx River Alliance

Bissel Gardens

Bissel Gardens is a community garden that serves many purposes — It brings people together, beautifies the neighborhood, creates safe outdoor space, offers community gardening, grows food for donation and provides environmental and educational programs.

Find Your Community Garden

Anyone can join a garden. With more than 600 gardens across the five boroughs, potential members and volunteers should choose carefully. To aid in your search, GreenThumb has provided a Garden Finder from GardenMaps.
MillionTreesNYC - Make NYC Even Cooler

Upcoming Events

  • Million Trees NYC Spring Stewardship Day April 26, 2014 Various locations
  • Million Trees NYC Spring Stewardship Day April 26, 2014 Various locations
  • Shoelace Park 10K Fun Run Walk May 3, 2014 Shoelace Park, Bronx River

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Did You Know. . .

Capacity Fund Grants fund projects to strengthen groups’ outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity. Grants range from $250 to $5,000. Three grant cycles a year, with deadlines on February 1, August 1, and November 1. Projects must take place on NYC Parks property. - See more:

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