Improving Sustainable Practices at Java Street Community Garden 2018-03-28T11:28:06+00:00

Project Description

Improving Sustainable Practices at Java St. Community Garden

2014 Project Lead: Java Street Community Garden
2014 Project Partners: GreenThumb NYC; Build It Green NYC; GrowNYC; Brooklyn Botanical Garden GreenBridge; and In Our Backyards
2015 Project Lead: Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn
2015 Project Partners: GreenThumb NYC; Build It Green NYC; Brooklyn Botanical Garden GreenBridge Community Garden Alliance; MillionTrees NYC; New Yorkers for Parks; Neighbors Allied for Good Growth; Citizens Committee for New York City; and Solar Energy Systems
Project Location: 59 Java Street
2014 GCEF Grant: $19,178
2014 Matching Contribution: $10,620
2015 GCEF Grant: $30,220
2015 Matching Contribution: $0
Fact Sheet: Java Street Garden PDF
Project Status: Ongoing

In 2014, Java Street Community Garden received a $19,178 GCEF grant (and provided $10,620 in matching funds) to enhance the sustainability of the community garden. This New York City GreenThumb garden, once an empty lot and now covered with vegetable garden plots, is managed by a collective of 30 neighborhood volunteers. GCEF funding is being used to add a rainwater garden and stormwater collection system, a perennial sidewalk garden, sheltered community gathering space, native plants, and solar panels to serve as a renewable energy source for the garden.

In 2015, Java Street Community Garden received an additional $30,220 in GCEF funding to expand sustainable gardening activities throughout the year. Major activities funded by this additional grant include:

  • Creating a winter greenhouse
  • Improving existing pollinator, woodland, rainwater, and other garden beds within the larger garden
  • Improving compost management
  • Labeling plants in beds with information about pollinators, birds, noxious weeds, and sustainable garden practices
  • Improving composting and garden waste management
  • Providing environmental stewardship and gardening education for garden visitors and members

August 2015: 2 solar panels and an energy storage system have been installed at the garden, and a maintenance shed completed by adding siding, a door with a lock, plexiglass panels, and interior organization. In addition, 3 raised beds for organic vegetables have been built, benches and a picnic table for garden events have been constructed using reclaimed wood, and 64 cubic feet of compost has been produced. Outside the garden, perennials and native plants have been planted in the sidewalk garden, along with signage to educate passersby about perennials and native plant types, and benches have been added to allow community members to enjoy the garden when it is closed. The garden’s solar energy system is close to completion. Additional future project activities include completing the rainwater collection system.

August 2016: In the spring, the garden continued to improve sustainable practices through partnership development, responsible resource management, and community engagement. The garden hosted a street tree care workshop in conjunction with Trees NY, and 3 demonstrations of how to brew compost tea with the Greenpoint Bioremediation Project. Garden volunteers completed the rainwater collection system, rain barrels that will store 600 gallons of water for use in the garden. Volunteers also created compost, grew 600 square feet of organic vegetables, started a garden library with 25 books, and hosted their second annual ‘Spring into Summer’ party which drew 75 attendees. Previously installed solar panels continuously generated solar energy to power garden activities.

February 2018: In 2017, through a competitive process, the New York City Audubon Society was awarded $162,902 in additional funding to extend horticultural maintenance of the green roof and continue further programming, including the annual fall festival, lectures and presentations in the community space, school and camp visits to the roof, Newtown Creek canoe/kayak and public tours, a spring conference, and printed interpretive materials to complement this programming. Additionally, the project website and social media platforms will be enhanced and a strategic plan for the project’s continuation beyond the grant period will be developed.


Java Street Community Garden to Ring in Summer (Greenpoint Gazette, June 11, 2015)