Our Annual Halloween Festival

Our Annual

Halloween Festival

Saturday October 31 11 AM to 1PM

with buildOn and Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito’s office

IMG_1007Parents, join us as a Volunteer one hour earlier.

– Bobbing for Apples and Arts & Crafts

– Games & Activities (obstacle course, hand in a jar, ect)

– Fair Trade Chocolate awareness and give-away and Face Painting

– Teach kids “Thriller” dance

– Making/decorating Halloween bags, making halloween mask, and

writing and telling “scary” stories.

Parents, you can volunteer!

South Bronx Community Meets Directly with Mayor deBlasio on Waterfront Issues

Friends of Brook Park, as part of the South Bronx Unite coalition was at this important meeting at City Hall.


We are grateful to the Mayor and lo0ok forward to him addressing the concerns raised directly with him, in person, live  and direct!

Meets with Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito to Discuss South Bronx Environmental and Health Crisis, Including FreshDirect


The battle for our community continues as South Bronx Unite members, including Welcome2TheBronx, met with Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito as well as senior members of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation.

News article here.

From South Bronx Unite:

Last week, members of South Bronx Unite met with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and senior members of the city’s Economic Development Corporation to discuss the environmental and health crisis in the South Bronx.  The neighborhood, surrounded by an 850 acre industrial area and three highways, suffers from asthma rates eight times the national average, and such disproportionate rates of respiratory illness were cited last month as among the causes of the deadly Legionnaire’s outbreak that claimed 12 lives and infected over 100.

Within the last month alone, residents of the over-industrialized nabe have been challenging the re-permitting of two fossil fuel power plants (with routine violations of emission levels) and the expansion of a 3,000 ton per day waste transfer facility (also with routine permit violations).

“For decades, economic development dollars have been given over to industries that are hurting our community,” said Mychal Johnson, member of South Bronx Unite.  “But if we can’t breathe, we can’t work.”

Meeting participants addressed the nearly four year fight against the proposed relocation of FreshDirect, a company which stands to add upwards of 1,000 additional diesel truck trips through the neighborhood every day.

“You know that the Speaker and I did not want the FreshDirect project to go forward,” said the Mayor during the meeting. He and his team took notes on the health and environmental impact of the proposed project (which relied on a 21 year old environmental impact statement) as well as the substantial changes the project has undergone since the subsidy approval was passed, potentially triggering the need for a new inducement resolution from the NYC Industrial Development Agency.

“We told the Mayor that while he was telling us he was against the project, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen was having private email conversations with FreshDirect lobbyists promising support for the $140 million subsidy if the company could deliver on living wage jobs, but more than half of FreshDirect’s workforce remains below living wage,” said Harry Bubbins, Director of Friends of Brook Park and member of South Bronx Unite.

The group also presented the breadth of projects for which the community has been advocating to change the tale of two cities, including the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan, comprised of seven interconnected waterfront projects. The project has already received draft priority status by the State Department of Environmental Conservation Open Space Committee Region 2 (pending approval by Governor Cuomo), and two of the projects have been taken up by New York Restoration Project as part of its Haven Project. Another project of the group presented to the Mayor is the Mott Haven-Port Morris Community Land Trust, a dynamic vehicle owned and controlled by the community to acquire vacant city-owned property to provide space for displaced community organizations as well as affordable housing.

“Solutions are found in the community,” said Ivelyse Andino Austria, member of South Bronx Unite.  “All of these problems have been developed because the community has been excluded from the decision making process, while our solutions are routinely and mistakenly overlooked.”

The group ended the meeting by also imploring the administration to establish a long-term partnership with the community to address the South Bronx environmental and health crisis  – from enacting a change in policy that allows routine siting of industrial and diesel truck intensive facilities in environmental justice communities without thorough environmental review – to a reduction of the South Bronx’s disproportionately large maritime industrial area – to heightened enforcement of the recurring violations of designated truck routes, among other areas.

Monthly Volunteer Day : It’s Our Park Day

Monthly Volunteer Day

It’s Our Park DayIMG_0332

Saturday October 24

11am to 2PM or so

Brook Park, East 141st Street and Brook Avenue

With Indigenous Arts & Cultural Committee

RSVP here.

Come visit us, see what we are growing and learn about out mission to build a healthy, happy, socially engaged community. Please bring food and water, your family and friends and come hang out in our beautiful garden, farm, park. Youth are always welcome! And for any interested regular volunteers out there, opportunities are still available!


For those of you new to Friends of Brook Park, we’re on a mission to build a healthy, happy, socially engaged community. We know that growing your own food is rated as one of the top 5 things you can do to improve your well-being and nourish your body. Over the years we’re transforming a .75 acre vacant lot into a vibrant hub, hosting workshops and events all centered around health, wellness and urban agriculture. We hope you’ll join us!


Volunteering with Friends of Brook Park green team crew is a wonderful way to support the work that we do while experiencing the magic of growing food and experiencing Nature in the South Bronx. We welcome all levels of gardening experience. The only requirements are an observant mind, a curious spirit, a love of dirty hands, and a willingness to work in rain or shine.


All hands on deck! Come support Friends of Brook Park at our monthly garden volunteer day. Help clean up the garden, weed, plant bulbs, rake and shovel to support outdoor learning for children, students and adults and our whole community.


Seeking people to be at our sign-in table that day for one hour shifts, let us know if you can help that way too!  Email us to let us know.  You can take a whole bunch of kale in thanks!


RSVP here.



BBC Broadcast Live From Brook Park

Honored to host BBC Live from Brook Park with their great team.  They came to learn more and speak with members of our community about the many polluting industries that impact our air, the proposal to subsidize diesel trucks and Fresh Direct and the potential wonders of our waterfront.bbcinpark











As they put it” We’re live in New York City this week ahead of the UN debate on global development. Today, stories of poverty and deprivation from the South Bronx, within sight of Manhattan.”   Link to podcast here.

Photo album of their tour and visit of our waterfront and community.



Brook Park Fall Tree Giveaway online registration now open!


Fall Tree Giveaway! 




When: Sunday, October 3rd, PM 12:00-2:00 PM

Location: Brook Park, East 141st Street and Brook Avenue. Bronx, 10454 (Map)
Plus earlier on the same day there will be a FREE tree pruning and care tutorial. Free Pruning Workshop is happening earlier at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Have fun learning the basics of tree care and pruning to help ensure your tree stays healthy for many years to come. Free hand pruners will be handed out to the first 25 participants too!

free-october-clip-art-425677To pick up your free tree, you must agree to:

  • plant in one of the five boroughs. Our NYC neighborhoods need these trees in the ground.
  • keep trees properly watered and maintained.
  • plant your tree in the ground of your yard and NOT along streets, in city parks, in containers, terraces, balconies or on roofs.


click to register online and reserve your free tree!

Registration allows you to reserve one tree per address. If registration is closed, a limited quantity of trees will be available on a first come, first served basis. This event is made possible by the NYRP – New York Restoration Project.

Online registration allows to you reserve a tree ahead of time. You must pick up your tree within the first hour of the giveaway event. Click here for more details. 

Saturday, October 3rd

Plus a Free Pruning Workshop is happening earlier at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Free Tree Giveaway: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

There’s still time to reserve a tree to pick up at 12:00 PM. Just register to make sure you’ll get a tree and we’ll hold it for you to pick up at 12:00 PM.

If you miss online registration, you have a chance to pick up a free tree in person at 1:00 PM

Don’t miss the tree care Workshop earlier at 10:00 AM too. It’s going to be a lot of fun! See you there!




Children’s Fair and Volunteer Day

Children’s Fair


11-12:30 PM

Bring your children for a fun time of face painting, planting, making

paper flowers, butterflies and coloring!


AND Autumn Volunteer Day

Saturday September 26

9am to 1pm

Join us to harvest, pull weeds, plant in the hoophouse spread compost

and arrange for the new season, snacks, water, gloves and you can

pick vegetables.

Come for an hour or more. With our friends from buildOn.


Teacher Orientation. No Child Left Inside.

Teachers & Parents


Get your students OUTDOORS

Free Environmental Education Opportunities

ALL GRADE LEVELS Pre-k to College

No Student Left Inside








Autumn Orientation:   Wednesday:

September 23, 2015     3-5:30PM anytime

Where: East 140th and 141st Street and Brook Avenue

Don’t wait!    Teachers can get a key, and a bunch of free kaleJ.

Use the garden for ANY SUBJECT!!


Or contact us for a group tour or orientation anytime.


See our website for more: www.friendsofbrookpark.org


CONTACT: information@friendsofbrookpark.org 646.648.4362

A Victory! State Extends Comment period for Re-Permitting 2 Polluting Power Plants

City Council Leadership Calls into Question Air Pollution Permit of New York Power Authority Facility in South Bronx Asthma Alley

More than 200 Residents and Environmental Leaders Call for Closure of the Two Turbine Facility

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilmember Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Chair of the Community Development Committee, penned a joint letter to the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) last Friday in regard to the application of New York Power Authority (NYPA) for the Title V re-permitting of its Harlem River Yards (HRY) fossil fuel power generation facility comprising two turbines, located at 688 East 132nd Street in the South Bronx.


As representatives of the environmentally overburdened community, where the deadly outbreak of Legionnaires was recently linked to the community’s chronic respiratory and other illnesses, the councilwomen asked for an extension to the public comment period and a public hearing on the re-permitting.

“…no evidence has been presented to our offices that the closure of this plant would have any impact on the price or availability of electricity in the City or have any other impact other than the elimination of a source of air pollution from a severely overburdened neighborhood,” the letter stated.

Located on State land privately leased by then Governor Mario Cuomo, the NYPA facility was pushed through as a temporary facility 15 years ago and bypassed environmental review at the time on the basis that it generated 79.9 MW, 0.1 MW shy of the trigger for a comprehensive impact analysis. The power plant sits within an approximate half mile of five other facilities also requiring air pollution permits and in close proximity to traffic-heavy highways and NYCHA and other residential buildings.

“This is the cycle in environmental justice communities of color,” said Mychal Johnson, co-founder of South Bronx Unite, a local environmental and economic justice organization, and board member of the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality. “How can we keep allowing projects to be sited and permitted without evaluating the harm? If we have a health crisis in the South Bronx because of such projects, why isn’t there a higher level of scrutiny?”

More than 200 residents and other environmental leaders wrote letters to DEC urging rejection of the permit.  

Concerns and questions raised include the necessity of the facility, the adequacy of the siting process, the lack of pre-construction environmental review and the risk of exceeding permitted emission limits, including during start up and shut down. Organizations have also asked to review compliance reports, mitigation plans and PM 2.5 measurements, among other requests.

“DEC has a policy mandating enhanced public participation in environmental justice communities,” said Harry Bubbins, Director of Friends of Brook Park. “We hope they will not close the door to engagement before giving us the information to formulate meaningful questions.”

While DEC originally closed the public comment period last Friday, September 4, they have now extended it to September 18.  South Bronx Unite is encouraging people to continue contacting DEC in regard to this matter.

Article from 2001 on this issue by John Tartelton.

Another Tree Giveaway in Fall for Bronx residents!

The Bronx needs trees! Do you have land in the Bronx or know someone who does? Another Tree Giveaway is happening at Brook Park this Fall. You can adopt a tree for free, plant it, water it and watch it grow through the years.

Maybe it’s that patch of land near your bus stop. Maybe it’s a little square of ground near your church. Spread the word. If you don’t have land, ask your landlord if you can plant a tree on the property. They must be in the ground. Help make the Bronx a healthier place to live, work, and play by finding places to plant trees in our Bronx ground.


Friends of Brook Park


When: Sunday, October 3rd, PM 12:00-2:00 PM
Location: East 141st St. & Brook Ave., Mott Haven, Bronx
Host: Friends of Brook Park
Pick up your free tree! In partnership with local community organizations, NYRP is giving away trees throughout NYC this spring.

To pick up your free tree, you must agree to:

plant in one of the five boroughs.
keep trees properly watered and maintained.
plant your tree in the ground of your yard and NOT along streets, in city parks, in containers, terraces, balconies or on roofs.

Registration will be posted no earlier than three weeks before a giveaway date. If registration is closed, a limited quantity of trees will be available on a first come, first served basis.


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SAVE THE DATES OCT. 1 & 2, 2015






Expert DALE LeFEVRE will be in Mott Haven, the Bronx, to teach local teachers & leaders how to facilitate NEW GAMES in their schools and local parks.

Two sequential workshops:

Oct. 1 (Thursday) 3pm to 6pm

Oct. 2 (Friday) 3pm to 7pm


• include everyone

• are less competitive

• don’t require special equipment

• can be played almost anywhere

• are appropriate for a wide range of ages

• enhance the effectiveness of recreation coordinators, teachers, phys. ed directors, social workers, and anyone who leads a group.

•DALE LeFEVRE has been leading NEW GAMES for over 30 years.  He’s taught in 33 countries, written books and produced instructional DVDs.  View his credentials, see videos of NEW GAMES in action, at inewgames.com.

•Reserve space today! Limit 40.

Contact Carol Zakaluk

Home: 718-292-8217

surge422  AT verizon DOT net

Flier here.NewGamesEFlyer