Remarks from Aziz Dehkan (NYCCGC) on the Community Development Block Grant

image001New York City Community Garden Coalition
232 East 11th Street New York, NY 10003

MEDIA ADVISORY November 2nd, 2015
For Immediate Release from Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director,
New York City Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC)

What: Opening Remarks from Aziz Dehkan (NYCCGC) on the
award of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funding from the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR)

Where/When: La Plaza Cultural Community Garden 9th Street and Avenue C,
Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, 10 A.M.

Who: Speakers and attendees to include Mitchell J. Silver FAICP, Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation; Lisa Bova-Hyatt, Executive Director of NY State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and staff; New York City District 2 Council Member Rosie Mendez and staff; along with representatives from the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and members of New York City’s community gardens.

Contact Information: Aziz Dehkan, NYCCGC Executive Director
phone: 917.444.2191; email: aziz@nyccgc.org

Opening Remarks from Aziz Dehkan:

“Thank you all for coming to celebrate start of Gardens Rising. With our partners NYC Parks’ GreenThumb and LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) we are announcing that we are the recipient of a Community Development Block Grant. This is Disaster Recovery funding from the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery to undertake a feasibility study for stormwater capture best practices within the community gardens of the Lower East Side of Manhattan and to implement the study with an extensive green infrastructure. 

This is a momentous day for community gardeners in New York City. We believe it is the first time that State funding has come directly to nyc community gardens. This is a huge step forward for our community gardens, which are finally being recognized as a vital environmental asset. It puts community gardens at the center of the greening movement in New York City. It puts community gardens at the forefront of climate change mitigation, resiliency and sustainability. With this grant we intend to seek additional funding to build other sustainable systems throughout the five boroughs and become a Green Lab for the City. It will continue what the NYCCGC has been professing since 1996: that community gardens are crucial to the fabric of a livable equitable city.

There are many people you will hear from today, and I have many to thank for getting us here. First of all is CB3 Chair Gigi Li for bringing this project to our attention. And there is the core team that has worked with the Governor’s office: Charles Krezell LUNGS Executive Director and NYCCGC board member; Wendy Brawer, Founding Director of Green Map System; Bill LoSasso, past Executive Director of La Plaza Cultural garden and CB3. , Magali Regis NYCCGC board member, Rasheed Hislop from GT and Nancy Kohn, former GT Director, without whose diligent work Gardens Rising would never have come about.

But really I have to thank the thousands of community gardeners who year after year work their gardens, tilling, planting, pruning, raking and joining together to make neighborhoods vibrant. As a continuous process that involves all the stakeholders from garden members to City staff, Gardens Rising will use innovative techniques that help citizens and officials find common ground at each stage of the planning process. Community gardeners are the recipients of this grant and it is they who will decide how to make Gardens Rising a success.

We encourage all community gardeners throughout the City to contact us with your ideas and proposals.”

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