Improving Sustainable Practices at Java Street Community Garden 2021-07-15T16:33:03+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’s GreenBridge; and In Our Backyards
2015 Project Lead: North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, formerly Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn
2015 Project Partners: GreenThumb NYC; Build It Green! NYC; Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s GreenBridge; MillionTreesNYC; New Yorkers for Parks; North Brooklyn Neighbors, formerly Neighbors Allied for Good Growth; Citizens Committee for NYC; and Solar Energy Systems
Project Location: 59 Java Street
Total GCEF Funding: $49,398
2014 GCEF Grant: $19,178 2015 GCEF Grant: $30,220
Total Matching Contributions: $10,620
2014 Matching Contribution: $10,620
2014 & 2015 Project Completed: June 2019

In 2014, through a competitive process, Java Street Community Garden (JSCG) received a $19,178 GCEF grant (and provided $10,620 in matching funds) to enhance the sustainability of the community garden. Once an empty lot and now covered with native plants and organic vegetable garden plots, JSCG is managed by a collective of 30 neighborhood volunteers. In this project, GCEF funding was used to add a rainwater collection and storage 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, JSCG received an additional $30,220 in GCEF funding to expand its sustainable gardening activities, including creating winter greenhouses, 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 fostering sustainable garden practices. The project also improved composting and garden waste management at the garden, and provided environmental stewardship and gardening education for garden visitors and members.

  • Installed 3 solar panels and an energy storage system, which creates up to 1,000 watts of electricity annually for garden activities
  • Created a rainwater collection system with 4 rain barrels, storing 600 gallons of water for use in the garden and diverting over 3,000 gallons of stormwater runoff per year
  • Expanded permeable paving area with reclaimed bricks and cobble stones, and constructed benches and a picnic table out of reclaimed wood, to improve gathering spaces
  • Purchased a variety of garden tools to maintain the garden and to lend to fellow citizen pruners in the neighborhood, and constructed a garden shed to house them
  • Created a native plant garden
  • Cultivated more than 600 square feet of organic vegetables from 2014 to 2019
  • Replaced the old raised beds with 24 longer-lasting, doubled-height, reclaimed-cedar-wood raised beds
  • Planted perennials and native plants in the sidewalk garden outside of the gated area
  • Created a garden library with 50 books on a variety of gardening topics
  • Hosted a variety of environmental education events with community partners
  • Purchased and installed 7 modular greenhouses for plant propagation and seed saving
  • Served as a community compost drop-off site for neighborhood residents
  • Developed a new website, sharing information about the garden’s sustainable practices

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