General Meeting April 17th

by Aziz Dehkan on April 16, 2014

NYCCGC will be holding our monthly General Meeting this Thursday April 17th 6:30 – 8:30
At Castle Gardens 625 West 140th Street New York, NY 10031

This will be an opportunity to hear about the latest on all things community gardens and for you to let everyone know what is happening in your garden.

Please join us as we celebrate Spring and the planting season.

Aziz Dehkan

Executive Director, NYCCGC

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For Immediate Release: Response to the New York Post March 16, 2014 article

Lead Found in Community Gardens’ Soil, May Affect Produceby Gary Buiso     

In response to the recent Post article, it is both harmful to our communities and inaccurate to state that the local produce grown in our community gardens is potentially hazardous due to soil contaminants. One might just ask where is the lead originating from and how do we remediate those sources.

The article referenced a Cornell research project, Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities, a Project Team that has been partnering with NYS Dept. of Health, GreenThumb, and others to help gardeners address soil contamination in NYC community gardens. The Healthy Soils research article that the Post based its article on has nothing to do with garden vegetables. The subject of the study was only garden soils. Therefore the Post’s discussion about contaminants in garden vegetables is unsupported by the study.

As the Healthy Soils research article states: “the nature and extent of community garden soil contamination in many urban areas remain poorly defined. Tests for chemical contaminants can be prohibitively expensive for gardeners with limited resources, often preventing them from learning whether their garden soil contains elevated levels of contaminants”.

The results discussed in the Post article were previously shared with gardeners after testing was completed; several years ago garden contacts received results for their own garden, along with a summary of overall results from all gardens. GreenThumb, a reputable city program with the NYC Parks Department supports gardens by providing technical and programmatic assistance and took proper measures to remedy these findings.

The Healthy Soils research tested over 500 soil samples. They learned some important things about NYC community garden soils. For instance, in general, levels of lead and other metals in the NYC community gardens were lower than those reported in other published studies of urban garden soils. Although most gardens in the study had at least one sample exceeding a health-based guidance value (most often for lead or barium), overall, fewer than a quarter of the samples tested exceeded any guidance values. Garden beds had lower levels of lead and other metals than non-growing areas, and raised beds had lower levels than beds planted directly in the ground.  This means many gardeners are already doing things – such as planting in raised beds and adding clean soil and compost to garden beds – that have a real benefit in reducing exposure to lead and other metals.  We and the Healthy Soils team urge all urban gardeners to consider using raised beds, and to adopt other healthy gardening practices.

Mr. Buiso assumed an alarmist point of view in the Post article. There are also risks from eating conventional carrots grown on a rural farm that uses pesticides. High levels of exposure to some pesticides have been associated with adverse health outcomes. That is the real story you should be reporting.

 We see this report as a call to action — this is an issue citywide. Landlords need to be held accountable to tenants because there are toxic heavy metals in our backyards. Gardeners, GreenThumb, Cornell, and DOH are already engaged in mitigating the issue in community gardens, not in any way concealing it. The Healthy Soils project has helped bring attention to this important issue, and we support their continued efforts to provide science-based information that helps urban gardeners understand potential risks associated with soil contamination, and implementation strategies to reduce those risks.

 Everyone involved in the study has been available to answer questions about soil contaminants and urban gardening. NYCCGC has a long history of supporting community gardeners, and we strongly believe that our elected officials and the smear-hungry press should highlight the dedicated and nourishing work happening in urban gardens across our communities.

That would be far more productive than using scare tactics, targeting and portraying our community gardens on a negative front.

Contact: Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director, New York City Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) — 973-222-5413   eighty20group@gmail.com

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GENERAL MEETING THURSDAY MARCH 20th in MANHATTAN

03.18.2014

 Thursday is the first day of Spring, our gardens are coming back to life. Celebrate with the NYCCGC at our General Meeting this Thursday, March 20th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm  at the Neighborhood Preservation Center 232 East 11th Street, Manhattan. As part of the celebration we are pleased to have as our guest Nancy Kohn, the new Director [...]

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03-05-14 NOON: BROOKLYN BOROUGH HALL RALLY

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THIS WAS CONEY ISLAND’S BOARDWALK GARDEN IN FULL BLOOM, SUMMER OF 2013:                AND THIS WHAT WAS LEFT OF THE GARDEN ON DECEMBER 28TH 2013 WHEN GREEDY DEVELOPERS AND THE BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT ILLEGALLY BULLDOZED IT TO BUILD AN AMPHITHEATER:   JOIN THE NEW YORK CITY COMMUNITY GARDEN COALITION & THE CONEY [...]

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Parkland Legal Victory, Party and Press Release, March 15th, 1PM

02.27.2014

From LaGuardia Corner Gardens: COME CELEBRATE!  VICTORY PARTY FOR PARKS Sunday, March 15th 1pm (date changed from March 9).   Location: LaGuardia Park  (LaGuardia Place between W3rd and Bleecker)   On January 7th, 2014, Judge Donna Mills made a crucial ruling that protects parkland in Greenwich Village. This ruling prevented the NYU Expansion Plan (The Sexton Plan) from [...]

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NYCCGC General Meeting this Thursday 02-20-14

02.17.2014

JOIN THE NYCCGC IN MANHATTAN ON THURSDAY, the 20th LOCATION: The Neighborhood Preservation Center. The Center is located at 232 East 11th Street. TIME: 6:30 -8:30PM The NYCCGC will be holding its General Meeting to talk with our fellow gardeners on what’s new and important. There will be updates on Boardwalk Garden and the terrific news [...]

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Pete Seeger – May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014

01.28.2014

It’s a moment of (selfish) grief for us. It’s a little hard to absorb.  Like hundreds of thousands of others, we claimed Pete as our own.  :”Papa Pete” we said.  We feel kind of helpless in this moment–how will we do it without him? But one thing we know is that Pete wants us to keep on [...]

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GENERAL MEETING THURSDAY JANUARY 16th

01.15.2014

JOIN THE NYCCGC IN CONEY ISLAND, BROOKLYN ON THURSDAY, the 16th LOCATION: The YMCA at 29th and Surf Ave TIME: 6:30 -8:30PM The NYCCGC will be holding its General Meeting in Coney Island to discuss the destruction of the Boardwalk Garden. Three weeks ago, at the break of dawn bulldozers leveled this once thriving community [...]

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Updated….News Links to Boardwalk Garden Bulldozing

01.01.2014

Follow the continuing story here: https://news.google.com/news/story?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=coney+island+bulldozed&ncl= dUYg8OveunHIG7MUTM1nNoAKbmXlM&cf=all&scoring=d Two videos during bulldozing & our press conference: http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/community-garden-razed-in-coney-island-after-dispute-with-city-1.6685904 http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/coney-island-residents-rally-after-demolition-of-community-garden-along-boardwalk-1.6693476 And follow us on our Twitter feed: @NYCCGC   https://twitter.com/  

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Ode to Boardwalk Community Garden from Karen Washington

01.01.2014

This is an open letter to the injustices that continue to plague low-income neighborhoods. Many times it has been said that history has a tendency to repeat itself. Recently a developer in Brooklyn was given the rights to develop an amphitheater on the grounds where a community garden stood. Politics as usual, the community had no say [...]

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