Project EverGreen volunteers breathe new life into community garden

August 30, 2022 -  By
Project EverGreen Bradhurst Garden

Project EverGreen volunteers work on a community garden revitalization project in New York City . (Photo: Project EverGreen)

More than 25 green industry professionals and community volunteers  recently took part in Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Communities initiative to revitalize a beloved garden for New York City residents.

For more than 30 years, Harlem’s Bradhurst Garden stood on the site of a former concrete building. Despite the efforts of a community garden group and interested neighbors, the annual upkeep was a daunting task.

Project EverGreen volunteers worked in partnership with NYC Parks Green Thumb to renovate, improve and expand access to the garden. Improved accessibility was critical as it has been relying on plywood flooring to form its outdoor gathering space.

“A well-maintained green garden that brings cooling relief is vital to this highly populated neighborhood, but over the years it had fallen into disarray,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Bringing the community gardeners’ vision to life is possible only through collaboration of individuals, businesses, and community grants. Our professional volunteers love sharing their expertise and giving back to neighborhood parks and gardens.”

Project EverGreen’s initiative – valued at $30,000 – transformed the garden’s accessibility and was the first step to restoring the 5,000-square-foot space.

“I grew up here and I love the peace and serenity it brings me and my family,” said Leanne Williams, president of the Bradhurst Garden Group. “My uncle, Papa Joe, helped build this garden and created a place to bring people together in the community. It’s our pride and joy and now it’s better than ever.”

Renovation specifics include:

  • Installing pavers to create new, accessible patio and path from front to back of the garden
  • Pruning trees and bushes
  • Installing more than 150 native perennials and shrubs
  • Mulching updated planting beds
  • Removal of brush and debris
  • Building a new garden pergola

Lead donors for the project were ConEdison and Mt. Sinai Health System. The partner donor was the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Green Thumb Community Garden Initiative.

Industry volunteers and donors included representatives from Artisan Gardens, Cast Lighting, Mike Darling Construction, Plant Detectives, SRW Products, Totalscape Design and Turfs Up Radio. Their professional, donated volunteer time is estimated at $15,000.

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