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 GCEF funding to create the Greenpoint Citizens Club, an environmental education program to engage two groups: 1) elementary students aged 5 to 9 years-old in environmental classes, events, and field trips; and 2) 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. Based on the results of this outreach, the Garden decided to divide the Greenpoint Citizens Club’s student group into two sections: one for children ages 5-7 and another for children ages 8-9. In total, 27 children enrolled in the program, which meets bi-monthly.
The first unit of the program introduces students 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 are introduced to the 61 Franklin Street Community Garden’s sustainability features, including the compost and rainwater catchment system.
Each section of the student Greenpoint Citizens Club has identified a long-term project. The older students 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 which will include drawings and thoughts about the environment. Surveys have been developed for students and parents to provide feedback on their experience participating in the Club – to be distributed at the conclusion of the first unit.
The Greenpoint Citizen Club’s adult group has hosted several public events, 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 members with training to serve as stewards to their local street trees. In total 20 people attended and 20 trees were attended to, including weeding, mulching.
- 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.