Slideshow shadow

Support Friends of Brook Park!

December 22, 2009 in brook park, friends of, harlem river, organic gardening, south bronx, urban agriculture by brookpark

Show your Support for Friends of Brook Park

Dear Friend,

Friends of Brook Park needs your help.Mulchfest 2010

As 2009 comes to a wintry end, we reflect on what a great year it has been here. While we are proud to bring you our environmental programs, we need your support to keep us going. Whether you’ve known us for 2 months or our ten years, now is a great time to help us out with a generous end-of-year donation.

Your contribution is fully tax-deductible and will go directly to offering nature education activities, making New York a greener, healthier place to live.

Donate now and up to $2,500 will be matched! Think about who does more with few resources. Click here to give on-line now.

In the words of a seventh grader:

By doing what you do, you and your team are saving the community and a lot of animals. The tomatoes and the spicy peppers were very good. Also the scented plants smelled really good. It was very interesting because I never thought that plants that don’t have flowers have a nice smell, like the leaves that I ate which was peppermint plant. I also liked the little fire you made for us and all the people that were going in the park. I had so much fun moving the heavy logs around and fixing them so the garden could look prettier. The garden made me feel really relaxed.

Your support has helped us:

* Continue to expand a model of urban farming, with hundreds of youth involved in organic gardening with local and city-wide schools and groups like ASPIRA

* Expand our growing area and move forward on the brook restoration project with Gaia Institute

* Advance a new park on the Harlem River, convening meetings with a Parks Commissioner and two City Council Members

* Restore the shoreline by designing and planting hundreds of native species with NYC Council on the Environment, Sustainable South Bronx and Waste Management

* Jumpstart the Harlem River Working Group, over fifty stakeholders invested in the long-term enhancement of this vital waterway

* Spearheaded challenges to rezoning and inappropriate infrastructures that would block waterfront access and navigation

* Hosting many arts and indigenous cultural gatherings uniting a diverse array of people with groups like Vamos La Pena and United Confederation of Taino People

* Engaging in city and state-wide, regional, national and international efforts about Climate Change

And more!

We know this is a busy time of year, but please take a moment to give right now, knowing that you’ve done your part to support an organization you care about and a cause you believe in.

Click here to support Friends of Brook Park today.

As the year ends, we at FoBP want to thank those of you who have helped us this year with contributions of much-needed funding, volunteer time, and personal support.

You sustain us.

To more!

Harry J. Bubbins
Executive Director

P.S. Friends of Brook Park is a 501(c)(3) organization – your donation is deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. Please remember to make your contribution by December 31 for a 2009 tax deduction.

P.P.S. Even if you don’t feel like you can give a lot, being part of the behind-the-scenes support system helps us more than you’d imagine. One more person can make a big difference. Please contact me if you can volunteer. Gardeners, proposal researchers and writers, designers, educators and artists, and people with other skills are always needed. You can also pass on this appeal to your networks with a personal note.

P.P.P. S. Keep reviewing our updated blog at:

Please give at the bottom of this page here:

Or Donate by Mail:

Friends of Brook Park
PO Box 801
The South Bronx, NY 10454

You can also help by by sharing this appeal with your network of friends and family, on Facebook too. If you have used the garden or the rivers, or just appreciate what we do, please email this letter out with a personal note to your friends and colleagues and families.

Some companies have a matching grant fund, please inquire about that at your place of work.

Thanks again for all you do.

Friends of Brook Park


Brook Park in NY Times!

August 12, 2009 in aspira, brook park, garden, organic gardening, urban agriculture by brookpark

Congrats to the ASPIRA gardeners and Ray Figueroa!

In the Bronx, Less Asphalt, More Vegetables

In the Bronx, Less Asphalt, More Vegetables
By David Gonzalez

A symphony of dull thuds and sharp clanks heralded — what else? — the planting season at Brook Park in the Bronx. Teenagers took turns swinging sledgehammers and pickaxes as they tore up the remains of an ancient basketball court inside the Mott Haven park, where they have already planted eight large boxes now bursting with tomatoes, peppers, greens and other natural goodies.

“This used to be a parking lot,” said Raymond Figueroa, a program coordinator with Aspira, the youth group sponsoring the urban planting. “We’re opening up the asphalt so we can plant some more.”

And before you could ask, he launched into a list of the stuff they had already planted earlier this year.

“We got tomatoes,” he said. “We got eggplants. We got peppers. We got collard greens. We already did one harvest, which we donated to a food pantry that feeds 500 people.”

Brook Park, at Brook Avenue and East 141 Street, is a real city park run by some civic-minded folks, like Harry Bubbins. The plan had once been to rip up the asphalt to expose the brook that many believe still courses below the soil. But until the money can be found for that project, the plot will be used as a garden. Other parts of the park are thick and green with natural shade.

Mr. Figueroa said this was not some crunchy green exercise. When they haven’t been planting, watering or harvesting, they have been asked by Columbia University to help survey a wide swath of the South Bronx for other empty lots that can be used for vegetable gardens.

“Then we’re going to get into negotiations with the city so we can replicate this garden,” he said. “This is the diabetes capital of New York. One of the reasons is, the corner store doesn’t offer fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Rahkeem Williams, 14, was hauling chunks of broken asphalt to a slowly growing pile by the fence. He lives in the neighborhood and knows how hard it can be to eat properly.

“Healthy food? Around here?” he said. “It’s not that easy. It’s easy to get fast food. You go to McDonald’s, and they got their dollar menu. You go to the supermarket, and they want $3 for two cucumbers.”

The slow smashing of asphalt continued. A delegation of young people ventured off to a local church to see if it would take a donated harvest of collard greens. A young man waved a garden hose, shooting a glistening stream over the garden. Starr Giscombe went back to fill up her wheelbarrow with asphalt.

“It’s hard work,” she said. “It’s a lot of manual labor. It’s not just sitting in your office and working on a computer. It’s taking action.”

Full article where you can comment at: