The official announcement of GARDENS RISING will take place tomorrow, Monday, November 2, 2015 at 10 am at La Plaza Cultural. We are asking all gardeners to show our unity and support for this very important project by attending and making your voices heard.
GARDENS RISING is a New York State funded project to build green infrastructure in the Loisaida community gardens for storm water capture and abatement. This is a $2 million grant through the HUD-funded NY Rising program, which came as a response to Hurricane Sandy.
New York City Community Gardens Coalition (NYCCGC), and their partners NYC Parks’ GreenThumb and LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) will announce this Community Development Block Grant. This is Disaster Recovery funding from the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) to undertake a feasibility study for stormwater capture best practices within the community gardens of the Lower East Side of Manhattan and to implement the study with an extensive green infrastructure.
This is a two-phase project. The first phase is to develop a Feasibility Study and Master Plan. The Master Plan will combine the best of community engagement, landscape design, engineering and creative thinking about storm water management with cost effectiveness and sustainable practices. The Master Plan will be approved by October 2016 and will end phase one. The second phase is the implementation the Master Plan, construction must be completed by September 2019.
GARDENS RISING is a community based operation, all decisions will ultimately be made by the gardeners affected, gardens can choose to participate or not. A Steering Committee of gardeners will be elected and make the final determinations as to the Master Plan.
This as a huge step forward for our community gardens. We are finally being recognized as a vital environmental asset. GARDENS RISING puts us at the center of the greening movement in New York City.
We hope to parlay this grant into other funding to build other sustainable systems throughout Loisaida and become a Green Lab for the City. We can look at this as seed money to attract more greening programs and grants into our remarkable and diverse community. GARDENS RISING should be interwoven other projects involving permaculture, renewable energy, conservation, local food production, rat abatement policies, composting practices, citizen science, and other ideas and practices that will evolve with this process.
We have much work to do to make GARDENS RISING a success but for now let’s celebrate our community gardens and think this new opportunity to contribute to our common future.
So Tomorrow–Please join City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, many other electeds and your fellow gardeners for this important announcement.