Monday, December 12, 2011

596 Acres Organizing Groups Across Brooklyn

At our most recent meeting, we were joined by Paula Segal of 596 Acres whose organization has enabled at least one group so far to go ahead with their community garden project: 426 Halsey Community Garden.

Organizer Shatia Jackson says "We have had two weekends of working on the garden thus far. and I can't believe how far we have gotten! We completed our compost station which has 4 bins, raked up all the dead leaves to use for compost, got rid of about 15 bags of garbage and pruned all the trees to optimize sunlight. The volunteer turnout was amazing: at our peak we had at least 20 people helping out. The community's interest is overwhelming! For anyone who would like to help out, we will have our gates open every weekend as long as weather permits. "

596 Acres is a public education project aimed at making communities aware of the land resources around them. With the goal of a food sovereign New York City in mind, 596 Acres is helping neighbors form connections to the vacant lots in their lives -- from the smallest (throwing a seed bomb) to the largest (hosting a public meeting with the head of a City Agency that owns a vacant lot that was promised to the community as a park, see Thanks to the Center for the Study of Brooklyn, we have learned that many of these lots are actually publicly owned and are developing a platform for negotiating interim and long term community uses for this warehoused public space.

596 acres is how much vacant public land existed in Brooklyn alone as of April 2010. If even a small portion of that was committed to neighborhood food production, we would have an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables to eat! And think of all the grassy parks we could have! And composting sites! And whatever else Brooklynites and their neighbors know they need.

Contextual information provided by the Center for the Study of Brooklyn.

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