The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Q Gardens Coming! Meeting Tomorrow, Thursday the 15th

In my rush to split town, I forgot to trumpet the emerging project at the Church Ave stop on the Q (and it's quick weekday baby brother, the B). A number of neighbors are involved, and they've got some pictures to boot. Tomorrow night there's a meeting for those interested. A note from an organizer:

We are an ever-expanding group of neighbors dedicated to turning this over-grown lot into a welcoming, public green space and edible community garden.  The MTA has given the project the go-ahead and that we are in the final stages of entering into a contractual agreement with them/gaining access to the lot -- we want people to be aware of this exciting project in the making!  And to join us in our efforts.  The next meeting is August 15th.  People can email to find out the location. 

Check out the key points to know, neatly collected here:

Community Garden Proposal
Site: Brooklyn; Block: 5078 Lot: 32 (behind the subway stop at Church Avenue and East 18th Street)
  • Ali Jacobs (; 413-636-8042)
  • Anne Schoeneborn (; 503-866-7195)
Goal: To convert this unused, overgrown lot into a productive community garden

In the fall of 2012, Anne Schoeneborn, a new resident to the Prospect Park South neighborhood, engaged to add this lot to their online map of NYC public, unused land. She subsequently engaged MTA, the owner of the lot, to request authorization to convert the lot into a community garden. Prescott Vann, MTA’s Deputy Director of Leasing & Acquisitions, assigned Arturo Espinoza to help seek approval from New York City Transit. Through 596 acres, Ali Jacobs, a resident of neighboring Lefferts Gardens, has also joined the project. Together, Anne and Ali have reached out to community stakeholders, gotten the official support of Community Board 14 and local businesses, residents and organizations, built a community of 30 neighbors and gardeners who are interested in actively participating in the garden as well as a core group of organizers leading the legal and financial resources of the group. On May 23rd Arturo Espinoza informed the group that the application has progressed to the next stage and the land is approved for our use. Currently the core organizers are seeking fiscal sponsorship and insurance to meet the MTA’s requirements to procure the leasing agreement to the lot.

Although the lot is small, we hope to turn this into a very productive urban garden. In the first year, we envision developing a shared, communal garden (without any individual plots), with a series of raised beds, rain barrels, and a composting bin. We believe the communal garden model will allow us to make the most of the space, and hope to grow a range of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. We hope to engage the local community, particularly children, as much as possible—and believe this high-traffic corner is an ideal location. Currently, the lot is abandoned, over-grown, and trash-strewn. Our goal is to see this corner transformed into a beautiful, green community space that provides:
  • A space for children and adults to learn about gardening
  • A space for children and adults to participate in the process of planning and carrying out garden-related activities, including: sowing, weeding, watering, and harvesting
  • A local source of fresh, organically grown vegetables and herbs
  • A place for children and adults to experience and enjoy a safe, green space in their community
Community supporters to date:
  • Community Board 14
  • Sustainable Flatbush
  • DSJ Management, which owns the two large apartment buildings closest to the lot
  • More than Sevenlocal business owners
  • Flatbush Community Garden
  • Flatbush Farm Share CSA
  • Church Ave BID
Resources needed:
  • Fiscal sponsorship for 501(c)(3) status
  • Insurance

Materials needed:
  • Tools and storage space
  • Materials for raised beds (wood, tools, topsoil, compost)
  • Materials for compost bin
  • Rain barrels
Potential sources of materials/technical assistance/ funding:
  • Green Thumb
  • GrowNYC
  • NYC Compost Project
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Sustainable Flatbush
  • Citizen’s Committee for New York
  • Brooklyn Community Foundation - Brooklyn Community Garden Fund
  • Merk Family Fund
  • Phillip J Hahn Foundation
  • Brooklyn Food Coalition
  • Compost for Brooklyn
Alls I can say is WOW. This is one heckuva good start folks! More power to you.

Some nifty drawings below:


MargaretBKelly said...

The Google Group email does not seem to be working, but perhaps it's just me. I forwarded my email requesting the location along to the organizers you mentioned. Thank you for spreading the word, Q!

Anonymous said...

Love this!

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

The email above in the post does not work unless already a Q Gardens member.

Please contact Ali Jacobs or
Anne Schoeneborn to get information on the meeting tonight at 8pm that will be held at 45 Martense Street. We'd love to see some new faces!