Finally NYC is starting to use the inherent resources we already have, like the NYCCGC (New York City Community Garden Coalition), to propose solutions to potential future flooding. Since 1996, the NYCCGC has promoted the preservation, creation, and empowerment of community gardens through education, advocacy, and grassroots organizing.
NYCCGC just announced they are the recipient of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funding from the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) to undertake a feasibility study for stormwater capture best practices within the community gardens of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Gardens Rising, the name of the study, will focus on the forty-seven community gardens in Lower Manhattan and combine a green infrastructure study and Master Plan to increase the permeability and stormwater capture in the area.
According to NYCCGC “the Master Plan will examine the feasibility, costs, benefits and impacts of proposed stormwater capture locations and methods to increase permeability and green space in the neighborhood gardens to better absorb stormwater and runoff.” Important to note, the majority of the gardens reside within an area that was severely flooded and impacted during Superstorm Sandy.
This is a major step forward not only for community gardens, but also for a sustainable NYC as a whole. As NYCCGC notes, these garden are finally being recognized as a vital environmental asset. It puts community gardens at the center of the greening movement in New York City.
NYCCGC states that they “envision this as seed money to attract more greening programs and grants into our community. They want “Gardens Rising to be interwoven with permaculture, solar energy, rat abatement policies, composting practices, citizen science, and other ideas and practices that will evolve with this process.”
Wouldn’t it be great is to see NYC using all their resources, museums, parks, public buildings, etc to create a master city wide disaster plan! And this grant is a step in the right direction, I know I look forward to hearing more about Gardens Rising.