Thursday, May 15, 2008

Trolley Tour seats still available

Thanks to the generosity of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation we get to ride around in these classic trolleys to gardens all over the city.

Today we went to four community gardens of the Manhattan Land Trust up in Harlem between 121st and 141st Street. This is one called Five Star, where the HSNY GreenTeam under the supervision of John Cannizzo has been involved and helped a great deal.

The gazebo had to be taken apart and rebuilt in order to be moved to the center of the garden, but now it is easily wheelchair accessible so everyone can visit and enjoy. Michael, wearing red, is one of the community gardeners and was busy filling up the new raised beds with lettuce and peppers. Standing with him is Erica Packard from the Manhattan Land Trust and devoted HSNY members. No question there will be a lot of good veggies coming out of this garden!

From there we moved on to the Hope Steven community garden up on 141st. There the new brick path laid by the HSNY GreenTeam came in handy as we walked to the front so that I could show people the mini green roof that John installed this spring. The green roof is atop the shade structure in the background of the photograph and is planted with a fabulous selection of Sedum and other winter hardy succulents.
As the day warmed up the shade of the fruit trees were becoming more and more welcoming. This peach tree is definitely an important member of the local community up there at Hope Steven.

First off, thank you to all the HSNY members and supporters that joined Erica Packard from the Manhattan Land Trust and I for the HSNY trolley tour of four community gardens today. It was a fabulous crowd and such a pleasure to expose and share these gardens that the local communities, Manhattan Land Trust, and HSNY have invested so much time and energy in.

Also, in related news, there are still seats available for the HSNY trolley tour this Saturday from 10am-2pm. This Saturday we will pick people up at the NW corner of 60th and 5th Avenue in Manhattan by 10am. Then we will venture out to Brooklyn to visit three of HSNY's GreenBranches Learning Gardens. "GreenBranches works within a social context to design, install, and provide educational programs in public gardens at branch libraries to transform under-resourced public space into community learning centers." By visiting these gardens with us you will see how we work with and for the local communities to create green spaces that are both beautiful and programmatic. Each garden is unique and has something special to offer. Tony Smith, HSNY President, will be there to give you a history of the GreenBranches program which he created, and I will be there as well to point out specific plants and flowers and answer any horticultural questions that might arise. We will leave at 10am and hope to return to Manhattan (again to 60th and 5th) by 2pm. We will supply water and snacks. You are welcome to bring lunch if you wish. Lastly, in case there is any confusion, these tours are open to the public so any one can RSVP and join us. Donations the day of the tour are not required, but certainly welcome. We hope very much that you might be able to join us. It will be a great day.

HSNY Trolley Tour: HSNY GreenBranches Learning Gardens
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Donations Accepted, RSVP Required, Limit 25 People

RSVP to Fiona Luhrmann at (212) 757-0915 x100 or
Hop aboard a classic trolley, provided by the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation, and join Alex Feleppa, for a tour of three GreenBranches Learning Gardens in Brooklyn. Discover the past, present, and future of this unique outreach program that provides local communities city-wide with both beautiful and programmatic garden space outside their public library branches.
Please Note: Meet at the NW corner of 60th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

The river birch trees out at the Dekalb GreenBranches garden looked fabulous in the springtime sun on Tuesday. Saturday I am sure I will be talking about how the garden has transitioned from sun to shade and how we attend to that.

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