“We were surprised and shocked by the generosity of the donors. This garden is part of our community, it helps bring people together. It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to us. We appreciate everything.”
Yvonne “Eve” Bryant
Bradhurst Garden Group
Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Communities initiative was recognized at a reception hosted by New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Parks & Recreation Commissioner Sue Donoghue for its extensive work revitalizing community gardens in the city’s five boroughs. Executive Director Cindy Code attended the event which was held September 20 at Gracie Mansion.
In collaboration with the NYC GreenThumb, Project EverGreen has worked for more than eight years to create thriving community gardens for NYC residents through sustainable, accessible parks and gardens.
“Parks are a great equalizer and vital for healthy families and communities,” Adams told attendees.
GreenCare for Communities has completed seven community garden and park projects valued at $250,0000 in New York City since 2014 including:
- Liberty Island (2014)
- Neighbors of Vega Baja (2017)
- Clinton Community Garden (2018-19)
- Jackie Robinson Community Garden (2020)
- Carolina Community Garden (2020)
- Wishing Well Community Garden (2021)
- Bradhurst Garden (2022)
The most recent project – Bradhurst Garden in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of East Harlem – improved accessibility to the garden that had been relying on plywood flooring to form its outdoor gathering space. The garden has stood for more than 30 years on the site of a former concrete building. And despite the tireless efforts of the community garden group and interested neighbors, the annual upkeep was too daunting a task.
Neighborhood gardeners were also awaiting the renovation so they could restore their prized vegetable gardens where they grow a variety of fruits and vegetables to feed the community.
The project – valued at $30,000 – transformed the garden’s accessibility and was the first step to restoring the 5,000 sq. ft. garden to its deserved standing in the community.
“I grew up here and I love the peace and serenity it brings me and my family,” said Leanne Williams, president of the Bradhurst Garden Group. “My uncle, Papa Joe, helped build this garden and created a place to bring people together in the community. It’s our pride and joy and now it’s better than ever.”
Parks, lawns, landscapes and maintained green spaces help to mitigate temperature increases in communities and significantly reduce energy use and cooling costs. Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Communities initiative has made a significant impact. Since 2008, Project EverGreen and its partners have renovated community parks and public green spaces totaling more than 200 million square feet of living green space.
Through its nationwide base of professional volunteers, Project EverGreen has connected people, plants and their communities to maximize the health of grass, plants and trees, which in turn sequesters carbon and cleans the air. The initiative supports healthy green spaces in neighborhoods and cities, enabling maintained green spaces to function as the lungs of the city and offsetting the negative effects of a warming environment.
Visit the GreenCare for Communities project pages and view the progress we have made in creating a greener, healthier, cooler Earth.