Donate to Our Fundraiser!

Maple Street Community Garden’s compost bins need to be rebuilt. We have received a grant from the Citizens Committee of New York to cover part of the funding but need to ask for donations from the community that uses the bins for help raising the other part of the cost. A professional carpenter is going to build the bins out of cedar (naturally rot resistant material) so they will be well crafted and we expect them to last about 6 years. If you use the compost bins on a regular basis please take the time to donate whatever amount you are able to give.

Here is the link to the campaign:

Click Here to Donate to Compost Bin Fundraiser

Thank you!

Maple Street Community Garden

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Write Councilman Eugene!

Dear gardeners,

On Wednesday Paula and I met with Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna and with Richard Bearak, Borough Hall’s Director of Land Use, to discuss the next steps for the garden. Also present was DW Gibson, whom you will remember as the author of the  article in The Nation last November that featured our garden’s situation. He is now putting together a series of podcasts on gentrification in Brooklyn. There Goes the Neighborhood, in which we will also feature. I think I heard this morning that it will air on Tuesdays during Morning Edition, but you can subscribe by following the link.
DW was at the meeting to get an on-the record statement from Deputy Reyna, which she gave unhesitatingly and which impressed me with its warmth and fullness of support. As I’ve reported before, Borough Hall and Parks are strongly committed to our survival. The plan is for Parks to acquire the lot either by purchase or through an eminent domain condemnation. Let me underline that the purchase price, the full market value of the lot, will we expect be paid to the Kirton heirs, not HUD LLC. William Diliberto, the heir locator we hired, is now working with Robert Godosky, the court-appointed guardian. They are waiting to be certain before filing an affidavit with the court certifying the heirs.
Colleen Alderson, the director of Parklands (division of Parks that acquires land) will initiate a Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) as soon as money has been placed in the Parks Dept. budget. So our next big push is to get that money.
Some of it will come from the Borough President’s FY2017 budget, as he promised. Deputy BP Reyna told DW on tape that that money has already been sealed.
Some of it will come from Albany, we hope. Since it now seems unlikely that the Hamilton/Richardson bills (which condemn the garden property by eminent domain) will make it though the legislature this year, Senator Hamilton’s Albany staff are working on getting an item into the state budget, an allocation to the city and specifically to Parks to help in the purchase of 237 Maple St.
The rest — a half million dollars — must come from the City Council budget, which means we have to make a strong appeal to Council Member Eugene to get an item in that budget on our behalf. The concerns he expressed at our last meeting had to do with following protocol, so Ms Alderson is working on a roadmap of the steps to be gone through, for his benefit. But nothing will move him far if he doesn’t hear from his constituents. Please take the time to contact his office and ask him to get a line in the budget for $500,000 to be allocated to the Parks Department for the acquisition of the Maple Street garden! We can also write letters and send emails, and the talking points are no different from what they’ve been. You can find them in the template letters posted below.
Any questions, please ask.
All best,
Tom

Write a Letter to Cultural Affairs Committee!

If you want to support the Maple Street Community Garden by writing letters to the state senators and assembly members who will be reviewing the bills introduced by Jesse Hamilton and Diana Richardson, here are some simple instructions, and you’ll find all the materials right here.

1) Personalize each of the two letters (one to assembly, one to senate) by adding your name and address and then, lower down, how you found out about the garden and how you use it (gardening, compost, relaxation, dog run, playground, etc.) and why you think the bill and the garden are important to the community. Sign your name for emails; leave the salutation blank

2) The bill has been referred to the Cultural Affairs committee.  The head of the Committee is Richard Funke (funke@nysenate.gov).  That’s the best person to email.  Or if you can find a committee member who represents your district, definitely email that person.  The committee lists give you the addresses of all the members of the Cultural Affairs committee. Their email addresses are live links that you can use by clicking on them. Copy your letter to that committee, add in the salutation for the senator or the assembly member you’re sending to, attach a copy of the appropriate bill and send.

3) If you can send your letter by USPS ,or prefer to do that, you’ll help us even more. After customizing the letter, print out enough copies of each and as many copies of the appropriate bill. Hand-write in the salutation and your signature. Stuff in an envelope with a copy of the appropriate bill, address the envelope, add a stamp, and mail

Thanks for your support!

LETTERS

State Assembly Support Letter Template

State Senate Support Letter Template

 

COMMITTEE LISTS

NYS Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee

 

BILLS

A8569

S6073

Lobby the Legislators on 11/22!

Sunday is going to be a great day for sending out letters to legislators, so if you haven’t gotten to this important task yet, please stop by Pels Pies (446 Rogers near Lincoln Rd.)  between 1-3. We’ll buy you a non-alcoholic drink.

Bring your laptop or device if you can, because here’s the drill: we’re going to concentrate on emails to the members of the Senate Rules Committee to lobby for Sen. Hamilton’s bill S 6073 and to members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee to lobby for Assembly Member Richardson’s A 8569. We want to send to everyone on both of those committees, a total of 40+ legislators.
We will share a template letter for you to modify and also the address-listings for those two committees and both pieces of legislation, since we should attach the appropriate bill to each letter. The list of committee members has active links to their email account, so it will just be a matter of pasting in the template and customizing. Not hard, but boring. Even though we’re sending basically the same letter to all of them, it does take a little while to get them all out, so it’ll be more fun to be in good company, with good food available. We’ll be on hand to answer questions.
If this isn’t happening for you tomorrow, please do get these letters off on your own. The more people they hear from, the more seriously they’ll take us. And if you can print letters out and send them by USPS, they’ll take us still more seriously. To obtain the materials mentioned above, please emailtomlafarge@gmail.com.
Otherwise, see you at Pels 1-3!