Congratulations to the developers of FreshFixNYC for winning the Reinvent Green Popular Choice Award. FreshFixNYC helps users connect directly with farmers markets and vendors, and even has a function that helps you search for specific products. On the other end of things, the app allows farmers to reach out to customers and tip them off about product availability. Congrats to the FreshFixNYC team – you can learn more about the app here.
We’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Change by Us mini-grants! We received dozens of applications from projects all over the city, and after much deliberation, we’ve chosen 10 terrific groups to take their projects to the next level. The next few months should bring a lot of exciting news from our grant-winners, and we can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. Read more about the program and our partnership with MillionTreesNYC in the official press release from the NYC Parks Department, and check out the full list of CBU grant winners below.
Our friends at ioby have gone national! The previously New York City-only crowdsourced fundraising site is now serving the entire United States, so environmental projects everywhere take note – now’s your chance to make an even bigger impact on your community. With ioby, community-led environmental projects can seek funding from their surrounding communities via micro-donations. So far, the site has helped raise more than $250,000 for projects in New York alone, and volunteers have committed more than 50,000 hours to hundreds of different projects. Congratulations to Erin Barnes and the entire ioby team on this terrific expansion.
Since CBU launched, we’ve attracted:
…and counting! Our grantwinners have some pretty impressive achievements to their credit, too. 19 different projects across all 5 boroughs have improved 16 neighborhoods. 611 volunteers have given more than 3,804 hours of service, maintaining 85 trees and processing upwards of 4,646 pounds of food and 4,700 pounds of yard waste in 18 different community gardens and composting sites. And this isn’t even counting the immeasurable impact this work has had on NYC communities! Congratulations to everyone who has helped make CBU such a success so far!
Brenda Duchene of the Powell Street Community Garden has a vision. Ever since she started working with the East New York Farms, she’d been thinking of ways to bring a similar community garden to Brownsville. Now, with the help of her dedicated volunteers and some of the resources at CBU, she’s secured funding and made her vision a reality.
Duchene’s passion for working with seniors and youth alike led her to approach the Powell Street Community Garden in a unique way. She decided to make the revitalization of the garden an intergenerational effort shared by seniors and neighborhood kids alike. Where the kids were excited about getting hands on experience, the seniors were interested in beautifying the neighborhood – Duchene realized that, working together, they could definitely do some great things.
The garden is settled on 1.5 acres in Brownsville, and after putting up much of the initial cost out of pocket, Duchene found out about CBU and won one of our first grants. That money was used to build and install a number of planter boxes, and with her recently won Love Your Block grant, there are plans for another 25 planters in the works.
Future plans for the garden are big and bold. Duchene hopes to make the garden into a resource for teenagers who aren’t able to find jobs next summer – she wants to give them the opportunity to become entrepreneurs by planting vegetables that they can sell at local farmers markets. This plan will bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to the neighborhood, put some money in the pockets of the kids, and jumpstart activity in the finished garden. Other plans include healthy meal workshops that focus on fresh produce and aim to improve the way people eat and source their food. With all of these projects gathering momentum and a whole community behind them, it doesn’t look like the Powell Street Community Garden (or Brenda Duchene) will be slowing down any time soon.
Last Friday’s sifting party was a success! The CBU organizers from Beekman Compost got together with neighborhood students at the Compost for Brooklyn Garden to stir up some “black gold.” It was a great way for everyone to learn about how compost gets made and what can be done with it once it’s ready to go!
Check out photos from the event on the new CBU NYC Tumblr, and be sure to check back or follow us for more updates and details from CBU projects and events!
This past weekend CBU NYC joined the 300 West Block Association, PS 11 Garden Committee, Chelsea Garden Club, Lower East Side Ecology Center, DSNY’s NYC Compost Project, Western Queens Compost Initiative, Trees New York, Citizens Committee for New York City, and Build it Green NYC for their Jack-o-Lantern Composting Event. We mashed some pumpkins, enjoyed some laughs, and got some firsthand experience with effective community building: http://nycchangebyus.tumblr.com/
Events like these are a great way of getting new neighbors involved in the community – with the kind of atmosphere where anyone can walk right up, say “hello,” and start helping. As Andra of the 300 West Block Association put it, “Once you’ve composted pumpkins and planted daffodils together, it’s hard to be mad at each other should more controversial issues arise.” More than just a day working with new friends, though, it was a great example of the collective decision making and effort that our neighborhoods need to make real progress.
Thanks to the all of the event’s organizers for putting this fantastic day together, and thanks to everybody who made it out! We encourage all of the projects on CBU NYC to plan events they can hold throughout the winter months to keep their communities engaged and active - which we hope will be made even easier with the new “events” tab that is coming soon to CBU NYC!
We couldn’t be more pleased about the amazing work that CURES has done at Edsell Avenue. They’re a Change by Us NYC grant winner, and they’ve used their project on Change by Us to gain real momentum in recruiting the local community to come and transform a three-block long corridor into a “lovely green strip.” You can visit their project page here and look at the photos of all the great work they’ve done. You can also read a terrific article about how the work they’ve done is attracting a lot of attention and drawn assistance from students, electeds, City agencies, community groups, local business, and residents. We couldn’t ask for more. Join them for their next event on October 29th and learn their secret to success.
One of our grant winners has gone from 0 to 60 in no time flat! Check out the progress they’ve already made with their coop and the chickens:
And the press keeps rolling in as well! Two stories in just a few days:
But don’t just read about them, if you’re in the South Bronx and are ready to pitch in, make sure to visit their project page to join:
Way to go Brook Park Chickens!
We’ve written about some of the coverage Change by Us NYC has received since the site launched. Now, here are a few places in the blogosphere where the site is popping up. And they just keep coming. Read up on what grassroots leaders, the tech community, and others are saying about Change by Us NYC:
• Harvard Kennedy School: “NYC Launches Change by Us”
• Pratt Center: “Pratt Center Participates in Launch of Change by Us Social Network”
• Public Interest Design: “Change by Us NYC Launched”
• Streetsblog: “New Online Platform Focuses on Greening NYC”
• Typekit: “Sites We Like: Change by Us. . . “