Articles Archive for January 2011
Data and Results »
By Mara Gittleman
Two new resources for community garden info in NYC!!
Last month, GrowNYC and GreenThumb (NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation) released a comprehensive report about community gardens in New York City today. The report comes from a survey issued in 2009 and the first half of 2010, sent to 500 community gardens, with a nearly 50% response rate.
The 2009/2010 NYC community garden report attempts to answer a number of questions, including:
- How many community gardens are there today?
- How many grow food, and which crops?
- How does one join a garden in my neighborhood?
- What kinds of partnerships with schools and community groups do gardens have?
- What types of events take place?
…and a lot more. (full disclosure, I am an author on the report)
To make this massive amount of information a bit more manageable, digestable, and fun, Eric Brelsford and I created GardenMaps.org and mapped it all. This map lets users look at each surveyed item spatially and compare two items at once – for example, gardens that compost AND partner with schools, or gardens that grow food in the Bronx. It also lets users add a few political borders.
The report and interactive webmap are for exploring the depth and magnitude each community garden has, no matter what size. With their unique histories of greening where there was no green, squatting on vacant land, and neighborhood revitalization, community gardens maintain an important position in our city’s landscape – physically, socially, and economically.
Visit gardens often between the months of March and October to experience the diverse, community-generated flora, fauna, events, activities, and opportunities that community gardens offer. Join one if you live nearby. The more we join, use, and visit community gardens, the deeper their roots grow, the better chance they have of longer land tenure. The GrowNYC/GreenThumb report has a great concise history section that puts today’s community garden land issues and politics into context. Many gardens have winter hours and activities, for example the Prospect Heights Community Farm has winter composting hours, and several gardens around town are host sites for this year’s MulchFest. Dig in!
Big thank you to everyone who contributed to and helped with the survey, report, and map. Feedback is welcome!