First meeting scheduled for 2015

Our first Block Association meeting of 2014 is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th at Ephesus Church at 7pm, 101 West 123rd street.  The entrance is on 123rd St. and there will be signs posted around the block and on the garden message board.

At this meeting we will be collecting dues for 2015. Please remember that member dues are the primary source of funding for all BA and garden activities.  We ask all of our new and returning members to pay dues for both the Block Association and Garden so that we can get a financial jumpstart on this year’s activities.

Starting in April, the garden will be fully functioning and open to the entire communityand general public. We look forward to sharing all the amazing work that our members, friends and neighbors contributed to bringing the garden back to life after it was destroyed in 2012.

As a reminder, we have included portions of the BA and Garden Bylaws for your review.

A Note on Garden Boxes
Please note that we will be starting fresh with box holders in 2015. If you were a previous box holder, you will need to pay your dues and add your name to a list of those interested in planting this season, along with those who are new to the garden or have never had a box. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Sign up at the BA meeting on 3/18 at 7pm
  • Email garden@west123street.org by March 30, 2015
  • Call or text 917.837.8373 with your name and contact details by March30, 2015

If you would like to plant in a garden box this season, you must add your name to the interest list by March 30, 2014.

On March 30th we will tally the members interested in a garden box and if there are enough boxes to accommodate all interested members, we will assign a half box to each family/individual. If there is more interest then boxes available, it is likely we will conduct a lottery for the boxes.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday the 18th the BA meeting and are excited to get our member involved in all the block activities.

Block Association Membership

All residents of the block are automatically considered “General Members” of the BA.
General Members are invited to become “Members in Good Standing” if they agree to subscribe to the Bylaws and have fully paid their membership dues. Only Members in Good Standing can vote on election of Officers and amendments to the Bylaws.
Annual membership dues for the calendar year 2015 are set at $25 per household or individual. This rate will be reviewed annually and approved by a majority vote of the Board. Membership dues must be paid in full (and not on a pro-rata basis).
Each Member in Good Standing is entitled to one vote per issue brought in front of the Board of Directors during monthly BA meetings.  Members must be present at meetings to cast a ballot.

Garden Membership
Garden Memberships are available to any households and individuals who agree to subscribe to the Garden Bylaws and abide by GreenThumb regulations (both of which will be made available and must be signed as part of Membership agreement).  Membership dues are $20 per year, paid no later than March 30th of each calendar year or upon joining.
Vegetable or flower boxes are available to any interested Garden Member in Good Standing and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Aaron
President of the New West 123rd St. Block Association

March 2014 Update

Dear Neighbors,

Our first Block Association meeting of 2014 is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19 at Ephesus Church at 7pm, 101 West 123rd street.  The entrance is on 123rd St. and there will be signs posted around the block and on the garden message board.

At this meeting we will be collecting dues for 2014. Please remember that member dues are the primary source of funding for all BA and garden activities.  We ask all of our new and returning members to pay dues for both the Block Association and Garden so that we can get a financial jumpstart on this year’s activities.

Starting in April, the garden will be fully functioning and open to the entire community and general public. We look forward to sharing all the amazing work that our members, friends and neighbors contributed to bringing the garden back to life after it was destroyed in 2012.

As a reminder, we have included portions of the BA and Garden Bylaws for your review.

A Note on Garden Boxes

Please note that we will be starting fresh with box holders in 2014. If you were a previous box holder, you will need to pay your dues and add your name to a list of those interested in planting this season, along with those who are new to the garden or have never had a box. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Sign up at the BA meeting on 3/19 at 7pm
  • Email garden@west123street.org by March 26, 2014
  • Call or text 917.837.8373 with your name and contact details by March 26, 2014

We are expecting a renewed interest in garden boxes and will be adding three additional boxes to accommodate demand. If you would like to plant in a garden box this season, you must add your name to the interest list by March 26, 2014.

On March 27 we will tally the members interested in a garden box and if there are enough boxes to accommodate all interested members, we will assign a half box to each family/individual. If there is more interest then boxes available, it is likely we will conduct a lottery for the boxes.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday the 19th the BA meeting and are excited to get our member involved in all the block activities.

 

Block Association Membership

All residents of the block are automatically considered “General Members” of the BA.

General Members are invited to become “Members in Good Standing” if they agree to subscribe to the Bylaws and have fully paid their membership dues. Only Members in Good Standing can vote on election of Officers and amendments to the Bylaws.

Annual membership dues for the calendar year 2014 are set at $25 per household or individual. This rate will be reviewed annually and approved by a majority vote of the Board. Membership dues must be paid in full (and not on a pro-rata basis).

Each Member in Good Standing is entitled to one vote per issue brought in front of the Board of Directors during monthly BA meetings.  Members must be present at meetings to cast a ballot.

Garden Membership

Garden Memberships are available to any households and individuals who agree to subscribe to the Garden Bylaws and abide by GreenThumb regulations (both of which will be made available and must be signed as part of Membership agreement).  Membership dues are $20 per year, paid no later than May 1 of each calendar year or upon joining.

Vegetable or flower boxes are available to any interested Garden Member in Good Standing and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

 

End of Year 2013 Update

Dear Block Association & Garden Members,

Thinking back on 2013, I’m incredibly proud of all the hard work we’ve seen from the New West 123rd Street Block Association and Community Garden members. It was a very productive and positive year: we welcomed over twenty new BA members, had scores of new faces at our monthly meetings and worked together to rebuild the Community Garden, which will re-open in the spring. In short, you’ve all helped make our community a better place to live.

Particular thanks are due:

To those who led the Citizen’s Committee for New York grant application effort, which resulted in the BA and Garden being awarded a grant to help with the garden rebuild.

To Kenneth Williams from GreenThumb for his continued help in making sure we had what we needed to restore the community garden, and especially Kenny’s aid in securing a brand new fence for the front of the garden.

Finally, to the many neighbors that came out to the garden each weekend and contributed however they could to put our community garden back together! Together, we accomplished so much. Here’s just a few of the things we did:
Moved 40 yards of soil, 20 yards of sand and 20 yards of wood chips
Built 13 garden boxes
Installed a new arbor
Organized the new tool shed
Installed and edged the new blue stone patio and pathways
Planted 14 new trees, 400 bulbs, 300 perennials, 30 shrubs including blueberry and raspberry bushes
Re-installed our community message board

A few notes regarding garden boxes:
IMPORTANT: All full-sized boxes will be split in half, regardless of past membership and past box-holders are not guaranteed a box in the spring. This decision was made in order to accommodate an uptick in interest from the community, and resolve past challenges with box tenure.
Garden boxes will be available to dues-paying Garden members on a first come, first serve basis, beginning on March 19th, when we hold our first 2014 meeting and start collecting dues.
If there is an overwhelming turnout for the boxes, a lottery system may be necessary to allocate the boxes.
Nothing is set in stone, so if you have any thoughts on this process please feel free to email the BA with your suggestions.

We will take a winter recess from our monthly meetings, and reconvene on March 19th, 2014. During that meeting we’ll discuss 2014 plans, collect dues for the 2014 Block Association and Garden membership, and start a list for garden boxes.

Again, many thanks to all who participated this year and we look forward to your continued participation and support in 2014.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.
Aaron Albano
President of the New West 123rd St. Block Association

Sad news

Dear Friends,
As many of you may have already heard or seen, the building directly to the east of our community garden collapsed and has completely buried the garden.  No one was hurt, which we are incredibly thankful for. Sadly though, our wonderful garden has been mostly destroyed and is closed until further notice.

We had a significant amount of support from various city agencies on the scene yesterday evening.  The Executive Director of GreenThumb said it was a great sign that there were so many people from the Parks Department visiting the site.

We spoke with representatives from Parks & Recreation at length about what the next steps are for the garden and they were quite optimistic that we would have our garden back sooner than expected.  Parks & Rec is committed to helping us rebuild and “bring it back better than it was before”.  We will, of course, keep every one up to date on any information we get from the Parks Dept.

Many of us were out on the street last night talking with the various crews from the Department of Buildings and the Fire Department; they were all incredibly sympathetic to our asks to preserve as many trees in the garden as possible.  We were able to get into the site and pull out the apple tree, just in case the bulldozers aren’t as delicate as we hope they will be.  We were also able to save the bulletin board, although it had to be cut, rather than dug out.

Crews began clearing the site at 11pm last night, worked straight through and finished around 6:30 Saturday evening.  There is currently a wooden fence around the garden and we don’t know when we’ll be able to get back in.

I think I speak for many of us when I say this is a truly awful event, not only because of all the hard work we’ve put in but because our garden is truly a special place for the block and the community. We’ve been brought together by the garden and its given us many happy times.  But I also know that this is DEFINITELY not the end of our garden and that we will come back from this event better than ever.

We will find a time soon to meet and give each other hugs and talk about next steps.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact us with any questions.