Project EverGreen, the New York City Parks GreenThumb, landscape professionals, local businesses and residents joined forces to support local gardeners in New York City’s Jackie Robinson and Carolina Community Gardens become propagators of cleaner air, reduced temperatures and stronger community connections.
Project work being done at Jackie Robinson Community Garden.
The gardens, two of more than 550 community gardens across the city’s five boroughs, are a source of great pride for residents in the Harlem neighborhood they share. They serve as a connection point and source of pride for new and old residents as they bond over community gardening and other social activities, while promoting the health and environmental benefits that come with green spaces.
The projects are the latest in a series of GreenCare for Communities initiatives Project EverGreen and its partners have undertaken in the city since 2014. Previous projects include:
- Restoring the 9/11 Memorial Garden on Liberty Island following Super Storm Sandy
- Renovations of the Neighbors of Vega Baja Garden in East Harlem
- Restoration of the Clinton Community Garden on the Lower East Side
In addition to New York landscape contractors, the projects have been supported by local corporate partners including ConEdison and Mt. Sinai Health System.
“Thriving community gardens are gathering spots for neighborhood residents and provide numerous environmental and social benefits,” says Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “They are green oases that help cool temperatures and generate cleaner air, as well as promote healthier eating habits with easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
The projects at Jackie Robinson and Carolina Community Gardens will include the following upgrades:
- Installation of new planting beds and adding soil to new and existing beds
- Raise existing beds and regrade site to eliminate standing water
- Installation of a new access path for easy entry into the garden
- A new paver patio in the Carolina Garden
- New plantings including ornamental shrubs, flowers and vegetable plants
“This pandemic has helped reaffirm what many of us have long known that our green spaces and community gardens are vital resources which support positive physical and mental well-being,” said NYC Parks GreenThumb Director Bill LoSasso. “I thank Project EverGreen and their highly skilled volunteers for their continued support and look forward to seeing these newly improved gardens which will benefit all New Yorkers for years to come.”
Brian Tauscher, owner of Artisan Gardens, a regional full-service landscape company and a project leader for several GreenCare for Communities projects in the New York area, is again heading up the latest renovation projects.
“We’re more than happy to help revitalize these gardens and provide something we’re good at and the community needs. With everyone stuck inside, these gardens are even more important than before to keep people’s spirits up and engaged with neighbors and friends,” says Tauscher. “If you have the means to give back, you’re obligated to do that to help people who don’t have the means. It’s a good way to live.”
Since 2006, Project EverGreen has renovated more than 110 million square feet of green space across the country as part of its GreenCare for Communities initiative. Municipal parks and recreation departments and/or community groups can nominate a park for revitalization. Once selected, Project EverGreen works with green industry professionals and suppliers, local businesses, community groups and volunteers to transform and sustain community green spaces.