Greenpoint Citizens Club
|Project Lead:||61 Franklin Street Garden|
|Project Partners:||North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, formerly Open Space Alliance|
|Project Location:||61 Franklin Street|
In 2018, through a competitive process, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance (on behalf of the 61 Franklin St. Community Garden) was awarded $27,000 in additional GCEF funding to create the Greenpoint Citizens Club, an environmental education program to engage elementary students aged 5 to 9 years old in environmental classes, events, and field trips, and adults in educational workshops, a speaker and film series, and community service days.
February 2019: 61 Franklin Street Community Garden launched the Greenpoint Citizens Club by hiring a curriculum developer, two lead teachers, and one assistant teacher. This group collaborated to develop the key themes and content structure to be included in the program.
Outreach for program participation was conducted in the community via social media, local press, and parent networks and at the local public elementary schools. Two sections of the Greenpoint Citizens Club were created – one for children ages 5-7 and one for children ages 8-9. In total, 27 children enrolled in the program, which meets bi-monthly.
The first unit of the program is an introduction to the Greenpoint environment and the concepts of community, stewardship, and equity. Students discuss what it means to be a steward and to care for the people, animals, and plants that live in a community. As part of the program, the students were introduced to the 61 Franklin Street Community Garden and various systems of sustainability in the garden, including the compost, rainwater catchment system.
Each section of the Greenpoint Citizens Club has identified a long-term project. The older children will be creating a video log of their experiences and lessons learned to be shared with the public when complete. The younger group will be collaborating on a nature journal. Surveys have been developed for students and parents to provide feedback on their experience participating in the Club, to be distributed and collected at the conclusion of the first unit.
For the adult education portion of the grant, 61 Franklin Street Garden hosted several events open to the public including:
- A lead awareness and action day in collaboration with Eco-Schools and the P.S. 110 Parent-Teacher Association with free on-site lead soil testing by Brooklyn College and information about keeping outdoor play safe for small children. Over 30 Greenpoint residents attended this event.
- A tree care event with Greening Greenpoint to provide community member training to serve as stewards to their local street trees. In total 20 people attended and 20 trees were stewarded.
- A special workshop on a natural dyeing process called “bundle dyeing.” 15 participants used flowers and other botanicals from the garden to create unique garments in an ecologically friendly and sustainable process.