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

•Reserve space today! Limit 40.

Contact Carol Zakaluk

Home: 718-292-8217

surge422  AT verizon DOT net

Flier here.NewGamesEFlyer

Protect our Air IN THE SOUTH BRONX

Please share widely and submit your comments today. It takes under 30 seconds.


Around 15 years ago the community organized to stop four New York Power Authority power plants from being sited on our waterfront by then Governor Pataki. These methane gas facilities that poison our air and block our waterfront were allowed to proceed as “temporary.” We now have a chance to stop two of the four power plants (those at Harlem River Yards) from being re-permitted! We have 10 days to submit 100 emails against the re-permitting of these power plants and in favor of a public hearing (which will only take place if we submit enough comments.)

(draft language in body of email)

If link doesn’t work, cut and paste the below into an email.



SUBJECT: Application ID: 2-6007-00726/00003

To Whom It May Concern:

I urge you to reject the re-permitting of the two Harlem River Yards power plants located at E. 132nd Street & Robert F. Kennedy Bridge 688 E 132nd Street.  These plants were supposed to be temporary; they have a capacity of over 80 MW (not the 79.9 MW reported); and they significantly pollute the air of an environmentally overburdened community.  Further, these power plants stand in conflict with the volume of pedestrians that will use the soon-to-be-opened Randall’s Island “Connector,” and they also stand in conflict with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 2014 Draft Open Space Plan, which has prioritized the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan to provide community access to the waterfront and mitigate climate change storm surges in a flood zone. Finally, I respectfully request that you hold a public hearing on this matter to enable the broader community to provide comments.




See video here for background on the issue.

We Can Shut Down 2 Fossil Fuel Power Plants in South Bronx

Want Cleaner Air?

Email Action


We have a chance to finally stop half of the 4 power plants on our waterfront that Governor Pataki forced on us. We marched, we sued, we sat-in, but the GE methane gas facilities that poison our air and block our waterfront were built.

We can stop two of them from being re-permitted!


Re:Application ID: 2-6007-00726/00003


Shut down the 2 Harlem River Yards Plants trying to be re-permitted.  They pollute the air, were supposed to be temporary and have a capacity of OVER 80 MW.  Have a public hearing and do not re-permit them. And they conflict with the NYSDEC Open Space Plan.

Video here.


2nd Annual Indigenous Festival

The 2nd Annual Brook Park

Indigenous Festival provides

 a unique opportunity to

connect local Bronx residents

to visiting delegates of

Indigenous Peoples from

around the

world in a full day, free.


See the Schedule here:

2nd BP Indigenous Festival 2015

2nd Annual Brook Park Indigenous Peoples Festival

2015 Program: 12noon – 6pm

12noon: Opening welcome Chief Dwaine Perry of the Ramapough Lenape Nation and Chief Robert Hawk Storm Birch of the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe/Schaghticoke First Nations, and introductions of honored guests

12:30 Honoring song; Inter-Tribal song by George Stonefish (Delaware)

1pm: Danza Mexica / Aztec Dancers: Kalpulli Huehuetlahtolli

2pm: Australian Aboriginal Cultural presentation by Cameron McCarthy-Yalanji Man

2:30: North American Inter-Tribal Pow Wow Songs – George Stonefish

3pm: Intikana (Native Hip Hop) and spoken word presentations

3:30: Andean Music by Geo Suquillo (Quechua)

4pm: Kasibahagua Taino Cultural Society

5pm: North American Inter-TribaL Pow Wow Songs – George Stonefish

6pm: Closing Circle led by members of the Bohio Atabei Caribbean Indigenous Women’s Circle


Art Show August 8th

Come see what grows in the South Bronx- support local artists and local activism with a full afternoon of visual art, poetry, music and film. We look forward to seeing you there. Bring those who you love and bring snacks! For more information contact (347-513-6095)

Photos by Lisa Harris, unveiling of sculpture by Lisa Cunningham, music, poetry and more!

lisa art


NYC Department of Probation Anti-Violence Event in Brook Park




NYC Department of Probation Bronx Week

Community Connections for Youth and

Friends of Brook Park


July 14, 2015

“GUN are NOT the Solution Conversation is the RESOLUTION”

Join us for a day of clean up and giving back to our community.

A day full of fun activities, great conversation, guest speakers, and entertainment

For more information please contact:

Stacye Spear-Desamours 718 590-3180

Joanne Palmer 718 590-3200

Katrina Powell 718 590-3191

Jeannette Bocanegra 917 736-4286



We are honored to be part of this and have one of our team lead it.  JULY 11th

Youth Tour

Our Youth Tour will feature the inspiring work of young people who are gardening in The Bronx. First, pay a visit to the chickens and bees at Brook Park, a community garden serving countless youth each year in activities ranging from gardening, environmental, and waterfront activism, to arts and cultural events. Next, enjoy lunch while visiting the children’s garden at historic Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. Finally, we will close at the recently renovated New York Restoration Project’s Willis Avenue Community Garden.   More, click here.

Contact: bronxgreenup  AT  nybg   DOT  org

TOUR GUIDE: Ray Figueroa, Friends of Brook Park



United Playaz Family Resource/Cookout Day at Brook Park

United Playaz of New York and Young, Fresh and Conscious are local organizations in the community dedicated to empowering youth, supporting families and cultivating leadership. We invite you to join us for Food, Games, Arts and Crafts, and to pick up or share community resources. Everyone is welcome!!!


Friends of Brook Park in the NY Times


Ray Figueroa, a program director for Friends of Brook Park, said peppers are grown by teenagers working there as an alternative to incarceration.CreditByron Smith for The New York Times

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

The resulting product, Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce, has become a staple at the city’s farmers’ markets, and in the shops and restaurants on Arthur Avenue, including at the Bronx Beer Hall, which serves it with crispy-battered dill pickles, French fries and burgers. Since May, the olive-green sauce has been added to the shelves of the Whole Foods stores in Union Square and TriBeCa, with more locations in the works; a five-ounce bottle sells there for $6.99.


Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce is nearly sold out. CreditByron Smith for The New York Times

The initial yield of 5,000 bottles, made in October in Kingston, N.Y., has nearly sold out.

The for-profit maker of the sauce, Small Axe Peppers, plans to produce 30,000 more bottles later this year in Long Island City, and is calling on community gardens in the Bronx to provide 5,000 pounds of the key ingredient.

The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce is the result of an unusual collaboration between a group of friends and the city’s farmers’ markets. Small Axe Peppers was started last year with $70,000 by John A. Crotty and John Fitzgerald, affordable-housing developers in the Bronx, and others, including Todd R. Snyder, an investment banker. Mr. Crotty, 47, said they wanted to find a way to support community gardens, which often struggle to stay open on tiny budgets.

King Phojanakong, the chef and owner of Kuma Inn in Manhattan and Umi Nom in Brooklyn, was enlisted to create the hot sauce. Mr. Phojanakong, 46, was a childhood friend of Mr. Crotty’s, and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science.

But while Mr. Phojanakong served fresh hot sauces nightly at his restaurants, he had never bottled any of them. So he and Mr. Crotty took a road trip to Geneva, N.Y, to consult with agriculture experts. A pepper specialist there said the serranos were suited to the Bronx climate, and relatively easy to grow and harvest.

Mr. Crotty described the serranos as hotter than poblanos, but milder than habaneros. Or as he put it, “They’re the Goldilocks of peppers.”

Back in the city, there were some setbacks. Mr. Phojanakong tested more than a dozen recipes before he was satisfied with one, only to have its taste and texture altered by the pasteurization process. He started over. The final recipe was created in two months, and had just five ingredients: serrano peppers, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion and salt.

Small Axe Peppers partnered with GrowNYC, a nonprofit group currently running 50 greenmarkets across the city, to find community gardens and farmers to grow the peppers, providing them with starter plants paid for by Small Axe. The group also connected the company to marketing and distribution experts and buyers. GrowNYC gets a share of the hot-sauce profits, which it plans to use for programming.


New Roots Community Farm, a half-acre garden on the Grand Concourse, stands to raise $600 from the peppers. CreditByron Smith for The New York Times

Elly Truesdell, who holds the title “local forager” for Whole Foods in the Northeast, said that the goal of the hot sauce to support local growers made it a good fit for Whole Foods. Ms. Truesdell, a fan of serrano peppers, was also won over by the flavor. “It brings a nice balance of heat, and is different from a lot of other hot sauces we carry that rely on habaneros, and in some cases, ghost peppers, for intense spice,” she said.

Last year, only a handful of community gardens produced the serrano peppers, forcing the company to turn to farmers to supply the rest. But this summer, 22 community gardens have signed on.

New Roots Community Farm, a half-acre garden on the Grand Concourse, stands to raise $600 from the peppers — double its profit from selling greens, tomatoes and herbs at a local farmers’ market last summer. The money will be used to supplement the garden’s $4,000 budget for seeds, tools and building materials, said Kathleen McTigue, who oversees the garden.

“This is a very clear lesson on how to partner with other groups to make money,” said Ms. McTigue, a program manager for the International Rescue Committee.

The prized plants receive special care; their roots are soaked in an organic fish emulsion to give them an extra fertilizer boost before being placed in four communal beds. Carmen Tirado, 68, a retired special education teacher, said she does not even like spicy foods, but planted a few of the pepper plants in her own plot to support the effort.

At Brook Park, 100 pepper plants have taken root in a corner of the garden known as the “youth farm.” Their primary caretakers are teenagers with criminal records who were sent to work in the garden through a court order as an alternative to incarceration, said Ray Figueroa, a program director for Friends of Brook Park, which runs the garden. A few of them have completed their requirements but continue to come.

Mr. Figueroa, who had not heard of serrano peppers until he tried the hot sauce, said that he agreed to grow them not only because they offered financial rewards, but also because they supported the environmental and social benefits of the garden, or what he called a “triple bottom line.”

The peppers may be easy to grow, and the benefits of the project easy to see, but the real test will be the sales. The hot sauce market is crowded. When Mr. Crotty talks about his company’s hot sauce, he gets responses like “yours is nothing compared to mine.”

“It’s uber-competitive,” he said.

Correction: June 19, 2015
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated who attended the Bronx High School of Science. King Phojanakong graduated from there; John A. Crotty did not.

UpBeat NYC 2015 Spring Concert

Saturday, June 13th, 4pm

East 141st @ Brook Ave.

Bronx, NY


RAIN DATE: Sunday, June 14th, 4pm



UpBeat NYC’s June outdoor neighborhood concert will feature performances by UpBeat’s Youth Orchestra, Children’s Violin Ensemble, Youth Wind Band and PreOrchestra Children’s Choir. Please join us in the beautiful community garden, Brook Park, for great music, food and family fun!

Kids of all ages welcome!
Free admission



Join the event on Facebook


In case of rain, the event will take place the following day on Sunday, June 14th, 4pm.