South Bronx Project Stirs Ire, Then a Common Goal Residents engage with developer, try to make the project work for the community
By PATRICE O’SHAUGHNESSY Jan. 3, 2016
“[Mr. Rubenstein] can try to create Dumbo,” said Harry Bubbins, a resident of Mott Haven and a founder of Friends of Brook Park, but the area is very different than the popular Brooklyn neighborhood due to nearby rail yards and brownfield.” ((Or he can work with the community to achieve common goals in affordability, local hiring, anti-displacement and open space arenas.))
A major goal is supporting struggling communities in the Bronx and the often overlooked people who live there like Leiva, who’s growing peppers at Brook Park as part of a program for teenagers who got in trouble with the law. “They can have a sense of the possibilities for them as a result of learning the really fine art of urban agriculture and now having an opportunity to take it up to a level where they could earn income,” said Ray Figueroa, Program Director at Friends of Brook Park.
“The land the plants are on is very lucrative waterfront real estate owned by the state and yet we seem to have no input in its use,” said Harry Bubbins, director of Friends of Brook Park, a community-based environmental group affiliated with South Bronx Unite. “Instead we have a hodgepodge of polluting industries.”
Some of the most successful models that prioritize community leaders as experts include groups like Urban Tilth, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network’s D-Town Farm, and Friends of Brook Park. These groups are testaments to how the new economy of urban agriculture can drive a future that prioritizes racial justice and creates opportunities for all.
By SALLY GOLDENBERG and LAURA NAHMIAS Nov. 10, 2015
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito attended a private meeting with a vocal Bronx community group that opposes plans already underway for a FreshDirect in the borough and has long demanded an audience with the mayor….but more than half of FreshDirect’s workforce remains below living wage,” Harry Bubbins, member of the group, said in the press release. The organization has a laundry list of gripes with FreshDirect, the online grocer whose 500,000-square-foot building has been under construction for nearly a year. The group wants the company to comply with the city’s “living wage” law that mandates those receiving at least $1 million in subsidies pay their workers $13.13 an hour, a rate that will increase with inflation.
Eddie Small | September 9, 2015
Harry Bubbins, a founder of the environmental group Friends of Brook Park, agreed that it was good to have the support of elected officials, but he was less satisfied with the response he said advocates had received so far from the NYPA. “Rather than address our concerns in an open manner, it seems they are just trying to duck their heads and ram this through without any community involvement,” he said.
Eddie Small | August 27, 2015 @eddie_small
People must get their comments to the DEC by Sept. 4, but advocates have already achieved their goal of sending the agency 100 comments, according to Harry Bubbins, a founder of the environmental group Friends of Brook Park. “We’re happy to announce that after just one day of launching the campaign, we’ve already gotten over 100 comments to them,” he said, “so I think they’re going to be compelled to do the right legal thing and hold a public hearing.”
BY SARINA TRANGLE | AUGUST 28, 2015
“In the Bronx, those who are tuned in to the living wage rollout maintain an allegiance to de Blasio, despite a sense of being jilted. “The candidate Bill de Blasio spoke wonderfully and committed to a variety of progressive things,” said Harry Bubbins, director of Friends of Brook Park, one of several groups affiliated with South Bronx Unite. “He’s alienated almost all of the people who got him elected in the first place. … But it is far from too late for him to live up to the commitments he made and reinvigorate the populace that got him elected.””
Jul 16, 2015 Constanza Gallardo
WINNIE HU JUNE 19, 2015
The bright-green stalks and leaves are tended by a dozen teenage boys who water, lay mulch, pull weeds and wait. If all goes well, more than 300 pounds of serrano peppers will be harvested in August from the Brook Park community garden in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Then they will be sold to a New York City-based hot sauce maker for $4 a pound, the proceeds of which will fund small stipends for the teenagers. “You already feel good taking care of plants, and for you to get paid for it is even better,” Donnell Matthews, 18, said.
A Collaboration Thrives in the South Bronxby Ursula Chanse, June 22, 2015
In appreciation, Harry Bubbins, Director of Friends of Brook Park, had this to say: “Thanks to the expertise and incredible support from the staff at Bronx Green-Up of The New York Botanical Garden and GrowNYC, along with the In Good Company consortium and all their company members and employees, we have entirely transformed our almost one-acre site here in the South Bronx. We are honored to continue to receive the support of Bronx Green-Up and the partnerships and resources they are able to leverage for community gardens like ours. Without them The Bronx would be a lot less green.
REBECCA FISHBEIN MAY 21, 2015
Green space is a precious in this urban jungle, where every pocket park and hidden garden offers a temporary respite from the scenic trash heaps and condo development sites dotting the town. Community gardens take that tiny dedication to nature a step further, giving area residents the chance to transform abandoned lots and other blighted spots into lush greenery, offering everything from composting lessons to fish ponds to simple spots of tree-lined shade. Here are our favorites in the city; BROOK PARK: This community garden, made up of a number of reclaimed lots, is a rare spot of green in the South Bronx, featuring an urban youth farm, chicken coops, garden beds, trees, and a grill area
With The Haven Project, NYRP is building upon years of work by South Bronx Unite, Friends of Brook Park, Sustainable South Bronx, and city agencies to improve the waterfront for residents.
By CBS NEWS April 8, 2015,
“Working in the garden – it was the best thing in my life,” said 18-year-old Mott Haven resident Junior Leiva, who has known Figueroa for almost three years. “Ray’s like a big brother to me.”… Leiva is in his final year of high school and says he would like to go to the University of California, Berkeley.”
April 14, 2015
“With The Haven Project, NYRP is building upon years of work by South Bronx Unite, Friends of Brook Park, Sustainable South Bronx, and city agencies to improve the waterfront for residents. NYRP hired consultant Paul Lipson of Barretto Bay Strategies, who founded THE POINT Community Development Corporation and served as chief of staff to Congressman Jose Serrano… “We’re working as a consultant with NYRP to make sure this is a community project, and not something that’s drawn up in some room by urban planners,” said Mychal Johnson of South Bronx Unite, “
Brook Park Only Park mentioned in Speaker Viverito’s State of the City Speech
February 11, 2015
To the north in the Bronx, we have the Pregones Theatre, the beautiful Mott Haven Historical District, Urban Farms, active community gardens like Brook Park and the soon to be built Bronx Children’s Museum. Also in the Bronx is Lincoln Hospital where mi mamá was born. I know she’s watching today on the livestream along with everyone else in Puerto Rico.
Rallies Held For, Against Planned Fresh Direct Facility In Bronx
WCBS News November 17, 2014
The Bronx has a notorious high rate of asthma with children… Harry Bubbins, the director of Friends of Brook Park, said the senator doesn’t actually represent the district and shouldn’t be satisfied with Fresh Direct’s promise of a hybrid truck fleet.
“Even hybrid trucks run mostly on diesel gas,” he said. “There’s no way that Fresh Direct, with their refrigerated needs, can run on any kind of green energy.”
Many Residents Now Can Shape How Money is Spent, But Will They?
by Theresa Avila October 26, 2014
More New Yorkers than ever before will take part in participatory budgeting this year. Can organizers engage enough residents in a process that relies on their engagement to succeed?… After hearing the presentation, many residents, like Ray Figueroa, jumped right in to the process with ideas. Figueroa had: … a compost toilet … for Friends of Brook Park, an environmental organization in the South Bronx.
FreshDirect move looks bad for the Bronx
BY HARRY BUBBINS NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Op Ed May 27, 2014
Note to de Blasio, Diaz: Scuttle the rotten FreshDirect deal and start fresh along the waterfront, with consideration for our health, environment and economy. Mayor de Blasio recently reiterated his campaign promise that his administration would not be offering tax breaks and subsidies to mercenary Machiavellian companies that threaten to leave our city. How will the mayor’s pledge apply to the Bloomberg-era proposal to relocate online grocer and trucking company FreshDirect to the South Bronx?
Bronxites vote for a greenhouse, laptops, security cameras to benefit Mott Haven in City Council District 8’s participatory budget
By KERRY WILLS Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Ray Figueroa Jr. of Friends of Brook Park said, “It was really gratifying to see the response…folks from the west side of Manhattan and El Barrio would say, ‘Hey, I like your project. I voted for it.’” His group won $300,000 to build a solar greenhouse in the Millbrook Houses. Last week Bronxites were among 1,770 District 8 constituents who chose up to five projects from among 21 possibilities. First place went to a plan to use $500,000 for installation of security cameras at the Millbrook Houses and three Manhattan complexes.
Harlem and Bronx Leaders Demand Fairer District 8 Lines February 1, 2013
By Jeff Mays, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer
Local leaders from East Harlem and the South Bronx are calling on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to help redraw District 8 council lines they believe will be fairer to both neighborhoods… Said Harry Bubbins, a Mott Haven resident and a co-founder of Friends of Brook Park. “We’re here to ask the speaker to intervene and send a message to the commission that the issues surrounding District 8 must be resolved before the final maps are voted on.”
Bronxites girding for yet another fight to save fire companies from Bloomberg budget cuts
February 1, 2013 Daily News, by Kerry Willis
Bronxites say it’s a frustrating, nearly annual exercise: Mayor Bloomberg threatens to close fire companies, and residents foil the plan by raising hell…“Obviously the South Bronx is subject to this kind of punishment from the mayor and the city budget,” said activist Harry Bubbins. “We are ready, as usual, to mobilize to stop the cuts.”
Randall’s Island redistricting deal is alleged
November 27, 2012 Crain’s by Chris Bragg
For years, community activists in the South Bronx and East Harlem have argued that the island should be the public backyard for their communities, where quality parkland is scarce…said Harry Bubbins of Friends of Brook Park, a South Bronx community group. “People in Queens are going to feel less connected to it and pay less attention to what’s happening [than Manhattan and Bronx groups].”
Common Cause New York released a statement arguing that the new lines likely violate the charter.
South Bronx Residents File New Claims To Fresh Direct Project
Carlos, September 12, 2013
In a case that is set to heat up within the next few weeks, residents of the South Bronx community took one more step against the irresponsibly planned move of Fresh Direct to the Harlem River waterfront….“It is outrageous and illegal that they are proposed to receive $19 million dollars of support reserved for manufacturing jobs when they are clearly a retail trucking operation. This proposal is packed in more garbage than a Fresh Direct delivery,” said Harry Bubbins, a long time Bronx resident and Executive Director of the Friends of Brook Park.
Urban oases are blooming across the boroughs in community gardens
NY Daily News August 4, 2013
The Friends of Brook Park take care of the space and keep canoes and kayaks on hand for weekend eco tours on the Harlem, Bronx Kill and East Rivers. Farmers grow squash, tomato, eggplant and other crops — sign up to get in on the bounty (fees are on a sliding scale based on income, and the garden accepts EBT). “Our community garden serves a common ground where people of all backgrounds can come together,” says program director Raymond Figueroa.
Bronx Residents Protest $130M Subsidies For Online Grocer
By Kaitlin Ugolik, September 8th, 2012
A group of South Bronx residents on Thursday challenged the legality of some of the nearly $130 million in subsidies made to online grocer FreshDirect LLC for its planned 500,000-square-foot shipping facility, as well as the constitutionality of its sublease at the site. In an amended complaint filed in New York state court, two community groups known as Friends of Brook Park and South Bronx Unite and a group of individual residents allege that the city and Empire State Development Corp. overstepped their authority in approving about $18 million for Fresh Direct under the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program.
Bronx Chickens Get on Twitter to Spread Healthy Food Message
September 5, 2012 7:28pm | By Jeanmarie Evelly, DNAinfo
The chickens that live in Brook Park, a community garden in the South Bronx, have a hectic daily schedule. They feed, nap, have a snack from the vegetable garden, lay eggs and take visits from neighbors and local school children.
And then they tweet about it.
The group of 15 hens, cared for a by a group of community volunteers, have their own blog and a Twitter account — using the handle @BronxChicks — to chronicle life in the coop.
The birds have been living at Brook Park since last September. Coop coordinator Lily Kesselman decided to boost their social media presence as a way to connect with other chicken farmers in the city, and to better publicize the health benefits that come with urban farming.
Group discusses future of waterfront
by Fausto Giovanny Pinto on August 2, 2012
“We have our 100 acres of waterfront and we want our plans to be considered,” said Harry Bubbins, executive director of Friends of Brook Park. “It’s our money and we should have a say.” Some said they wanted to see public access to the 96-acre Harlem River Yards, and a reduction of industrial use at the site, where waste transfer stations and other polluting industries now operate. Food delivery company FreshDirect plans to move its operations there, but has been halted by a lawsuit filed by a public interest group representing area residents opposed to the truck traffic they say the company would bring.
Groceries for the Rich, Diesel Fumes for the 99%
BY ALINA MOGILYANSKAYA, The Indypendent
MAY 2, 2012, ISSUE #176
“It’s a bad deal on every level,” said Harry Bubbins, a South Bronx resident and founder of Friends of Brook Park. “Meanwhile, the South Bronx has had its own aspirations for the waterfront for many years, and the larger issue for the city and the region is the appropriate economic and environmental use of the Harlem River Yards.”
Local environmentalists launch live video stream of handsome red-tailed hawks nesting in South Bronx
Thursday, April 19, 2012
“By watching we learn how they live,” said Daniel Chervoni, head gardener at Friends of Brook Park, a South Bronx community group. “We need more gardens. We need more parks…so the hawks can live with us.”
PSC Watchdogs Give Out Second Annual Environmental Justice Award
March 24th 2012
On the sunny Saturday of March 24, PSCers along with Roberto Mukaro Borrero, Friends of Brook Park Board Member, gathered at Brook Park in the South Bronx to give out the second annual Environmental Justice Award. This year’s winner is Harry Bubbins, Director of Friends of Brook Park
Bloomberg and Diaz Jr. Write Op-Ed In Favor of Fresh Direct’s Move To The Bronx
Esther Zuckerman Sun., Feb. 26 2012
“The community has had waterfront access and mixed-uses aspirations for decades,” Harry Bubbins, director of Friends of Brook Park, told Runnin’ Scared about two weeks ago. “We want to entirely stop this — it’s a totally inappropriate use of taxpayer money.”
Bronx Residents Disapprove of Fresh Direct Deal
24 February 2012
BY ACACIA SQUIRES
“The entire waterfront, 100 acres of Port Morris, is owned by the public through the New York State Department of Transportation. And Mario Cuomo, the current Governor Cuomo’s father, signed off on the most absurd lease agreement ever.”
Bubbins is referring to a contract the state signed twenty-one years ago to change the site into a modern rail yard. A local real estate development company, the Galesi Group, was contracted to get the job done, but that never happened. People are angry that Fresh Direct is coming instead.”
Bronx residents to weigh in on new Fresh Direct HQ
by DANIEL BEEKMAN February 08, 2012
Fresh Direct will send polluting trucks through neighborhoods that suffer from sky-high asthma rates, said Mychal Johnson of Community Board 1, while Ed Garcia, who headed the defunct South Bronx Food Co-op, criticized the company for not delivering to the South Bronx. The proposed benefits include no written guarantees that Fresh Direct will hire a set number of Bronx residents, said Harry Bubbins of Friends of Brook Park, a local community group.
By Hunter Walker February 8, 2012
Harry Bubbins, the director of local “community-based environmental organization” Friends of Brook Park sent a letter to City Comptroller John Liu blasting the FreshDirect deal as an “egregious violation of the public trust.” Mr. Bubbins also criticized the potential environmental impact of the facility and the quality of jobs offered by FreshDirect.
Randalls Island Connector could become bridge to nowhere due to muddy South Bronx property deal
BY DANIEL BEEKMAN, January 24 2012
Harry Bubbins, executive director of Friends of Brook Park, a South Bronx group, called the Connector “an extremely important” project with widespread community support. But he blasted the easement negotiations.
“The site belongs to the state. It is unfathomable why we even have to pay to use it and Harlem River Railyards Venture should expedite the easement.”
Group Hopes to Transform Port Morris Gantries Into Riverfront Park
January 18, 2012 By Patrick Wall DNAInfo
The site could “serve as a lynchpin for a revitalized public space and a more robust public engagement with the waterfront,” said Harry Bubbins, a member of the community group, Friends of Brook Park, which has adopted the gantries site. The Historic Districts Council will name the Port Morris gantries as one of its 2012 “Six to Celebrate” sites. The designation entitles Friends of Brook Park to a year’s worth of the council’s technical support as it works to build local and official support for its revitalization vision.
Historic District Council names Port Morris Gantries and Van Cortlandt Village for preservation
BY DANIEL BEEKMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, January 13 2012
Friends of Brook Park, a South Bronx community group, asked HDC to recognize the Port Morris Gantries. The group is working on a proposal for the redevelopment of the abandoned ferry terminal as a waterfront recreation and education center, said Harry Bubbins, executive director. “We have no official public waterfront access along the coast of the South Bronx,” said Bubbins. “The gantries are an example of the rich nautical history of New York and could become a bridge to future community use.”
From the editor: Reclaim the Harlem River
21. Dec, 2011 by Bernard L. Stein
For years, organizations like Friends of Brook Park and the Bronx Council on Environmental Quality have looked at the Harlem and seen a necklace of green the length of the borough. A greenway would connect existing parks, like Mill Pond and Roberto Clemente, along with new parks built on unused land. Some of them would include fishing piers, places to launch kayaks and canoes, eco-classrooms and gardens.
Pie in the sky? Not really. To see the future, just look at the Bronx River. Not so long ago, it was an open sewer and garbage dump. Today, thanks to the hard work of volunteers whose efforts led to the formation of the Bronx River Alliance and the investment of millions of federal dollars, wildlife has returned, fish thrive, ospreys soar and egrets nest. People play in new parks, stroll and bicycle on the shore and canoe in the water.
Five years ago, Harry Bubbins of Friends of Brook Park urged the formation of a Harlem River Alliance, drawing on the experience of the Bronx River Alliance. Now the federal government has given advocates’ efforts a boost.
Fowl play: Bronx neighbors are staging a coop at urban chicken farms
BY NICOLE LYN PESCE, DAILY NEWS, September 29th 2011
“Raising chickens in New York City is not unusual,” says Taylor. “It’s legal, it’s sanitary, and if anything, we’re going back to normal, to the city’s agricultural roots, when everyone used to own their own chickens.”
Kesselman first hatched the idea for a backyard chicken run more than a year ago as she became more involved in the Brook Park community garden.
“I am very dedicated to my neighborhood,” she says, “and I started thinking that this could be a fun project for the garden.”
Public Comment on Fracking Opens
By Yi Yang. Sep 7, 2011
Environmental groups across the country are denouncing the SGEIS and continue to call for a complete ban on fracking.
“This so-called study is filled with lies to justify the devastation of our environment and economy,” said Harry Bubbins of the New York City-based environmental organization Friends of Brook Park (FoBP). “You can’t stop fracking fluids from seeping into the Catskills or into upstate wells.”
Another member of the FoBP, Jess Ramos, added, “Only a complete and total ban on this devastating practice and an immediate transition to renewable energies will allow life to continue.”
Farms Crop Up in the Bronx
By Sophia Hollander
Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2011
Though we are one of the long standing farms and have jump started a number of other sites in the area and haven’t just “cropped” up, see a map with Brook Park and our fellow gardens featured. Click here.
Bronx artist recreates freezing death of immigrant in Brook Park art piece
BY TANYANIKA SAMUELS
Thursday, June 9th 2011
In February 2007, a 20-year-old Honduran immigrant worker froze to death in a makeshift shelter in the woods within yards of a Long Island Rail Road Station. News reports of the death moved Alicia Grullón deeply. “There were people around but no one really noticed,” she said. “That anonymity was striking.” The Highbridge artist, who creates performance pieces dealing with race, class, gender and activism, felt compelled to act. “I wanted to make people more aware of what is happening in their own backyard without them realizing it,” she said. The result is Grullón’s performance piece “Illegal Death,” which reenacts the quiet demise of the worker. On Saturday, she will perform her piece in Brook Park.
Advocates say: Put the brook back in Brook Park
by Cheryl Chan, June 3, 2011
Brook Park takes its name from Mill Brook, whose waters once burbled through today’s Webster and Brook Avenues. Now the environmental organization that helps oversee the park wants to bring the brook back. “What we are trying to do here is make a green park, and a blue park,” says Aaron Petersohn, manager of the Friends of Brook Park’s Brook Daylighting Restorations Project. Petersohn is heading an effort to bring the buried stream that once ran through Mott Haven back to the park at Brook Avenue and East 141st Street.
NES Luncheon Composted at Brook Park in the Bronx
by Shawndel Fraser May 3, 2011 Nature, Ecology and Society Colloquium
Recycling committee members Maggie Ornstein and Christine Caruso took our food and paper waste to the South Bronx for composting. Our Friends at Brook Park graciously offered to compost it for us. With all of their fantastic initiatives, our compost will likely contribute to Community Gardens and other green thumb initiatives across the South Bronx.
Community Gardens Fear Wilting Under Massive Cuts in Federal Block-Grant Money
By Adrian Fussell, April 13, 2011, Village Voice
“We as a community need to figure out a way to communicate effectively with those in power,” says Ray Figueroa, program director of Friends of Brook Park. “We have to talk their language. Their language is numbers.” Figueroa’s project tries to bring healthy, locally grown food to people living in an area thick with fast-food restaurants and high rates of obesity and diabetes. (The Bronx as a whole is the state’s unhealthiest county, NY1 recently noted.)
At a Program on Audits, Listening Works Both Ways
by Elizabeth A. Harris
NY Times January 26, 2011
“It’s rare to see elected officials actually stay and listen,” said Harry Bubbins, a man in a rainbow-colored, knit hat who stepped up to the microphone to talk about parks and development in the South Bronx.
Tennis, anyone (rich)? It’s advantage wealthy at swanky Randalls Island club
By Daniel Beekman
DAILY NEWS January 25th 2011
“Rather than provide a public service, they are generating revenue from the rich on the backs of the poor,” said Harry Bubbins, of Friends of Brook Park, a South Bronx advocacy group. Matthew Washington, chairman of East Harlem’s Community Board 11, which includes Randalls Island, compared the facility to Chelsea Piers. “We want the public to have access and need ways to pay for our parks,” he said. “Finding the right balance can be challenging.”
The Future of Food in NYC
By Tara MacIsaac
Nov 23, 2010
“Opening up space to aspiring urban farmers is part of the plan. Quinn said the council will pass legislation to create a database of city-owned property farmers can use to grow crops. Harry J. Bubbins of Friends of Brook Park, a South Bronx-based environmental organization, said it is not enough. According to Bubbins, Quinn has concrete plans for supporting other aspects of local production, but needs to do more to support urban gardens.”
by NYC Parks Department
Oct 06, 2010
Thanks to them, the red tail hawk was rescued and a vital component of our diverse eco-system lives on,” Bubbins said. “Wildlife is able to thrive in our Parks and young people have the opportunity to learn and expand their imaginations and become the next generation of park stewards because of people like [Nieves and Chervoni].
Festival brings residents to Harlem River shore
Posted on 30. Sep, 2010 by Lisha Arino
The event was hosted by the Harlem River Working Group, “a coalition of about 40 community organizations around or working with the Harlem River,” said Chauncy Young, one of the event’s organizers. Members include: Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., the National Park Service, Partnerships for Parks, Bronx Council for Environmental Quality, Friends of Brook Park, Friends of the Woods and the Harlem River Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy.
Richard Serra Sculpture Rusts in Bronx Yard
By SAM DOLNICK
Published: September 24, 2010
“Harry Bubbins, an environmentalist who has fought to improve waterfront access in the South Bronx, is one of the few who knows about the Port Morris “installation.”…
He and the local advocacy group Friends of Brook Park seek to create a sculpture garden at the gantry site that would be modeled on the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens. The centerpiece, Mr. Bubbins dreams, could be the Serra sculpture. It would certainly reduce shipping costs.”
In New York’s urban core, pastoral dreams take root
By Tali Woodward, September/October 2010 Sierra Club Magazine
In this part of the Bronx, fast food dominates the landscape. You can smell something deep-fried and sweet from inside the nearby Brook Avenue subway station, and there’s a McDonald’s next to the exit. Around the corner, a produce market sells droopy celery, bruised eggplant, and tomatoes that are more pink than red….For Unique, the Brook Park garden offers a chance to experience food right off the vine. Today he’ll sample mint, strawberries, and kale.
Some of the other kids don’t care as much about the garden’s produce; they’re more interested in the beehive in the corner, the thrill of spending a summer day in the sun, the chance to do something for the community.
By Joe Hirsch
Harry Bubbins, director of the area’s largest community garden, Brook Park, is among the skeptics. “They want to put up condominiums, big boxes, you know the deal,” Bubbins warned a crowd of about a hundred at a festival honoring immigrants at the park in July.
New Rules Worry Community Garden Advocates
By COLIN MOYNIHAN July 6, 2010
“They’re greasing the wheels for development,” said Harry Bubbins, a Bronx gardener, who added that he and others had outlined legislation that they hoped would be sponsored by City Council members in order to designate gardens as parkland and forbid building on them.”
New Yorkers rescue baby hawk in South Bronx by canoe
July 1, 2010 by Leslie Koch
A baby hawk was rescued from a South Bronx street on Sunday by a quick-thinking resident, who enlisted the help of an expert falconer and a local environmental group.
Bronx Kill’s oyster cult: Eying bivalves to clean polluted water
BY DANIEL BEEKMAN, Tuesday, June 22nd 2010
“This would expose more people to the wonder of our waterways,” said Harry Bubbins, who runs the Mott Haven group.
The oysters won’t be fit for human consumption, but could help clean the narrow Bronx Kill, which has been devastated by dumping, sewage and landfill.
Group fights for water rights
BY VISHAL PERSAUD
NY Daily News, Tuesday, June 15,2010
WATER, water everywhere, and no place to put a paddle. That’s the gripe a Bronx group is raising over lack of public access to the Harlem River waterfront at the new Mill Pond Park in Mott Haven.
By Joe Hirsch May 27, 2010
The city should be moving people out of homeless shelters and into vacant apartments built during the real estate boom that now stand empty, advocates from the community organization Picture the Homeless said…
The bold new faces of urban farming
Salon.com, by BY SARA BRESELOR May 2010
The South Bronx is a textbook example of the urban “food desert”: lots of people, a dearth of grocery stores, an abundance of fast food and, unsurprisingly, staggering rates of diabetes and obesity. Ray Figueroa, program director at Friends of Brook Park, attacks these challenges — as well as the bleak vista of a neighborhood full of abandoned property — with literal vigor: High-school students in his ASPIRA program tear up pavement on deserted lots to cultivate healthy crops that supply local food pantries.
Rewiring the City
The New York Moon, by NICK JURAVICH with photographs by BLAINE DAVIS
When Petersohn speaks of “rewiring,” he refers specifically to the natural water cycle that the swale will facilitate, which will effectively treat and process over 1.5 million gallons of rainwater per year without the help of the city’s combined sewer system.
Friends of Brook Park says ‘Draw us in’
Mott Haven Herald By Bernard L. Stein, July 16, 2009
All that is required is moving the southern boundary “a mere 100 feet to the South along the Harlem River” Harry Bubbins, the director of the Friends of Brook Park, told the City Planning Commission at its April 1 hearing.
City Council approves Lower Concourse rezoning
by DANIEL BEEKMAN, Thursday, July 16, 2009
But the rezone approval rankled Bubbins for a handful of reasons. On July 10, he pushed a canoe down E. 141st, past the Mott Haven Houses and the Major Deegan Expressway to the Harlem River and launched a watery Lower Concourse tour. First, Bubbins fears gentrification. Although the rezone incentivizes the construction of affordable housing, that housing may be built off-site and, according to Bubbins, its affordability is based on regional median income levels, not median income levels in the poor south Bronx.
Bridge will link Bronx to Randall’s Island
by DANIEL BEEKMAN, Friday, April 10, 2009
“The bicycle/pedestrian path connecting the Bronx to Randall’s Island is a long-awaited resource that has been in the works for years and is much needed,” said Harry Bobbins of Friends of Brook Park, an environmental advocacy group…”
On the Water, a Tight Fit and Nervous Boaters
The New York Times, By KATHERINE BINDLEY, September 6, 2008
The boaters say that if Con Ed proceeds with this project, it might as well raise the relatively low height of the current conduits. “If they’re going to do a big investment here, let’s do it all,” said Harry Bubbins, the director of Friends of Brook Park, a community environmental group that frequently runs boats through the kill…
Fresh Food Cheap
How the Bronx is eating well.
New York Press, Wednesday, November 9,2005
The CSA in the South Bronx, sponsored by Friends of Brook Park, Just Food and For a Better Bronx, works to do just that. “Our members are mixed income and multi-ethnic,” says the young, bespectacled Molly Culver, the AmeriCorps/VISTA–sponsored coordinator of the CSA. Members of the CSA pay their fees on a sliding scale, she explains, and have the option of paying in installments or using food stamps…
Bronx Shoreline Accessible Mainly in Dreams
New York Times, By DAVID GONZALEZ, August 10, 2004
Mr. Bubbins is the director of the Friends of Brook Park, a community group that cares for a city park at 141st Street and Brook Avenue. A patch of asphalt there is cracked and sinking right about where the brook should be, he said. This is not too farfetched an idea, considering that a historian of the area has given him maps supporting his hunch…