New York City – Clinton Community Garden
Lower East Side
Lower East Side
Project EverGreen, the national nonprofit devoted to creating a greener, healthier, cooler Earth; the New York City Parks GreenThumb, landscape professionals, local businesses and residents teamed up on June 12-13 to further the efforts of the volunteer gardeners to make New York City’s Clinton Community Garden a green oasis amid a concrete jungle.
Volunteers including landscape contractors, industry suppliers and neighborhood residents from the Lower East Side came together on a rainy morning to complete a two-phase renovation project valued in excess of $25,000.
The Clinton Community Garden, one of more than 550 community gardens across the city’s five boroughs, is a source of great pride for neighborhood residents. It serves a connection point for new and old residents as they bond over gardening and other social activities, while promoting the health and environmental benefits that come with green spaces.
“Neighborhoods deserve a healthy community garden and green space that they can call their own,” says Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Thriving gardens create a community hub for neighbors – young and old – to meet and connect in a healthy, cool environment. Vibrant gardens also help instill community pride, create confidence, and establish a learning environment to grow fruits, vegetables and shade plants.”
Specific elements of the project included:
“Community gardens are labors of love. Having highly skilled volunteers build paths and patios makes a huge difference in helping these valuable public spaces become accessible to all New Yorkers,” says Bill LoSasso, Director of GreenThumb. “We are happy Project EverGreen supported the vision of the gardeners at Clinton Community Garden who have worked hard for years to transform this site into a place for the entire community.”
The project was supported by New York energy supplier ConEdison and the Mount Sinai Health System.
“As cities rise in popularity as a destination for individuals and families alike, residents – myself included – increasingly ascribe outsized premiums to those communities with access to, and the initiative to maintain, functional, high quality green spaces,” said neighborhood volunteer Ari Schottenstein.
Since 2006, Project EverGreen has renovated more than 50 community parks 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.
Why Are Green Spaces Important to New York City
Green spaces are important to New York City residents for several reasons:
Environmental Benefits: Green spaces help to mitigate the urban heat island effect, reduce air pollution, and provide habitats for wildlife. They also help to reduce stormwater runoff and prevent flooding.
Health Benefits: Access to green spaces has been shown to improve mental health, reduce stress, and promote physical activity. In a city like New York, where many residents live in areas with limited access to fresh food and safe outdoor spaces, green spaces can provide important opportunities for exercise and recreation.
Social Benefits: Green spaces provide a gathering place for community events and activities, fostering a sense of community and social cohesion. They also provide opportunities for volunteerism and community engagement.
Economic Benefits: Green spaces can increase property values and attract businesses, tourists, and new residents to the area. This can lead to increased economic activity and job creation.
In New York City, the availability of green spaces varies widely by neighborhood, with some areas having more parks and greenways than others. As a result, there has been a push to increase access to green spaces in underserved communities, through initiatives such as the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Parks and the Parks Without Borders program. These initiatives aim to improve the quality of life for all New York City residents by increasing access to green spaces and promoting a healthier and more sustainable city.
Mount Sinai Health System
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation/Green Thumb Community Gardens Initiative