Today I want to share a resource that every urban gardener in New York City ought to know about: GreenThumb. GreenThumb started as a solution to the enormous number of vacant lots in NYC during the 1970s – properties that had been abandoned often as a result of the poor economic climate. GreenThumb now manages more than 500 urban gardens across the city, and this is mostly thanks to the hard work of neighborhood volunteers.
GreenThumb provides information, materials, workshops, and other support to these green spaces, and their website details numerous ways that you can get involved or find a garden community to become a part of yourself. They offer an interactive map to aid you in finding a gardening group near your home, but their advice (which I agree with) is to just get out and walk the streets of your neighborhood until you discover a site that speaks to you.
If you’re part of a garden that’s hosting an event, or you’re looking for an event to attend, GreenThumb’s website accepts and posts information about festivals, potlucks, concerts, farmers markets, learning opportunities, and more on their Events page. This Saturday, June 23rd, for instance, is the First Annual Community Garden Domino Tournament at The Little Green Garden in the Bronx, which offers a great chance for kids and adults alike to relax in the sun among some beautiful trees and flowers while playing dominoes and meeting their neighbors.
The most unique section of the GreenThumb website is the Problem Solving page, which I think is invaluable for anyone who considers themselves a steward of an urban garden. This page offers answers on everything from how to deal with drug and alcohol use in your garden space to succeeding in getting the community to use the garden and participate in its upkeep.
Visit the GreenThumb website for a wealth of information and resources on how to manage, improve, and love your own urban garden.