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

BA meeting and Garden Update

Just another quick email to say thank you to all who supported our efforts this weekend in the garden: whether you shoveled and sweated, made a donation, or even delivered freshly baked breakfast goodies, everyone’s help was invaluable.

Our next Block Association meeting will be on October 16th at 7pm at Ephesus Church, located at 101 west 123rd Street.

On Friday, October 18th, we are expecting a delivery of ornamental shrubs. Our next garden rebuild day will be on Saturday, October 19th from 9am-1pm. (Sunday, October 20th is the rain date). Scott Ahlborn and Jim Streacker will be overseeing the placement and planting, so please find them in the garden bright and early on Saturday. The updated rebuild schedule has been posted on the garden fence.

Thanks again to the volunteers and greater community for all your help as we get the garden back in shape. Looks great so far!

President of the New West 123rd St. Block Association

Rebuild Schedule
Oct. 18 Delivery: Shrubs, cement (no parking in front of garden)
Oct. 19 Volunteers: 9am-1pm Plant shrubs
Oct. 20 (October 19th Volunteer rain date)
Oct. 25 Delivery: Ground cover & mulch (no parking in front of garden)
Oct. 26 Volunteers: 9am-1pm Spread mulch & plant ground cover
Oct. 27 Youth Program Halloween Party! 1pm-4:30pm (Soft opening of garden)
**Trees to be delivered after first frost, date TDB.

Garden Rebuild Schedule

Hello Members and Neighbors of the New West 123rd Street Community Garden!

As you can probably see, the garden is slowly being rebuilt and will soon be ready to welcome Garden and Community members back into its green oasis. It has been a long road since the building at 110 West 123rd Street collapsed and destroyed the garden on May 4th, 2012 (and thankfully no one was hurt), but the Block Association has been hard at work to secure funds and materials to reopen the garden for all to enjoy.

In the past few months, we’ve worked with GreenThumb and the Parks Department on a number of projects to make it safe for community members to be in the garden. A lot of building debris had been compacted into the soil, so the earth was sifted to remove shards of glass, metal, brick, etc., and leveled to make it safe and accessible for all ages. Pathways of blue stone have been laid, two new benches plus a new arbor have been delivered and wooden frames for vegetable and flower boxes have been cut and drilled.

But clearly there is a lot left to do, and we hope you can lend a few hours over the next month to help rebuild the garden. Below is a schedule listing the dates of expected material deliveries and the work that will need to be done to get those materials in place. If you are able to help, please email gardenrebuild@west123street.org or jimstreacker@me.com with your availability. For updates on the rebuild process, please visit www.west123street.org.

Thank you again for your support, patience and positivity – we’re almost there!

Oct. 3 Delivery: Top soil & weed fabric (no parking in front of garden)

Oct. 5,6 Volunteers: 8:30am-1:00pm Level garden, move soil, install & fill garden boxes

Oct. 8 Delivery: Sand, edging, & bluestone (no parking in front of garden)

Oct. 9,10 Volunteers: Level sand (Scott or Jim will layout grid for bluestone patio)

Oct.12 Volunteers: 9am-1pm Help lay bluestone, & edge path

Oct. 18 Delivery: Shrubs (no parking in front of garden)

Oct. 19,20 Volunteers: 9am-1pm Plant shrubs

Oct. 25 Delivery: Ground cover & mulch (no parking in front of garden)

Oct. 26,27 Volunteers: 9am-1pm Spread mulch & plant ground cover

Please let us know if you would like to volunteer: gardenrebuild@west123street.org

If you are able to volunteer during the week please contact: jimstreacker@me.com

If you would like to post this info in your building you can download these PDFs.
Garden Update 09.29.13 | Garden Rebuild Schedule

Garden Rebuild Update

BA & Garden Members,

We are ready to begin rebuilding the New West 123rd Street Community Garden with your help!

GreenThumb has confirmed that a purchase order has been issued for all of the items on our list.  Scott Ahlborn is coordinating the delivery of those items starting with bluestone for the patio area and sand for underneath the stone.  We will also be able to begin building the new garden boxes, after which new soil can be delivered to fill those and top dress the entire garden.

We are scheduling a garden cleanup for the weekend of August 9, 10 and 11.  We are renting a 20 yard dumpster that will allow us to clear the remaining debris, dead trees and weeds from the garden. The dumpster will only be available for those days and be removed on Monday, August 12. Continue reading

Garden Rebuild Update 4.23.2013

Con Edison is currently working in front of the garden updating the power grid. During the upgrade process, Con Ed uncovered a sewage problem that must also be repaired. The work is schedule to be completed on 4/26/2013. After the completion of this work, Parks will resume the garden rebuild process.

Two weeks ago Parks delivered soil to level out the pitch of the garden. After Con Ed has finished their work, Parks will return to install the fence that separates the garden space from the plot directly to the east, from which the building collapsed onto the garden. They will also install the stone paths. Continue reading

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.