Help Rebuild Urban Garden Center

$15,454 of $50k goal

Raised by 182 people in 29 months
Dimitri Gatanas   NEW YORK, NY

(photo above by Susan Cohan circa Spring 2013)


(photo above by the Associated Press via the Washington Post March 12, 2014)



(photo by Alexander Gatanas March 12, 2014)

On Wednesday March 12, 2014, we began our day like any other day under the MTA viaduct on East 116th St. and Park Avenue.  What we never expected to ever happen, became our reality.  An explosion blew up two neighboring buildings directly across from our retail shop.  We were directly in the 'line of fire' and suffered a lot of damage.  Luckily, none of our staff was hurt in the blast.  We did, however, lose friends and many are seriously hurt.  

While we are thankful for being spared, the timing of this disaster has made our ability to open in time for spring questionable.  We continue to  endure a long and blistery winter.  This made for slower than expected sales.  The need for resources are more important than ever.  We personally invested into the preparation of spring, which most of the work has been blown away from the explosion.  Spring is the most important season for our business and not opening in the next couple of weeks will seriously impact our ability to stay in business.

Please help us bring back the happiness that this unique space under the tracks brought to our community.  Other than being a resource of plants and garden supplies, we have a long list of community based programming.  We are a destination for many schools in the area where they do field trips and workshops.  We are a community compost facility, where we collect food scraps and along with our resident hens, we create FREE compost for our entire community.  We have many social based programs like the East Harlem Harvest Festival and Flea Marqueta.  Every spring and fall, we get together with New York Restoration Project and give away 100 Free trees.  We are also a local CSA pick up location for our friends at the Corbin Hill Farm Project.  Without Urban Garden Center, the area under the tracks will remain cold, dark and now a source of pain and sorrow.  We must be that "Rose" in Spanish Harlem and your support will make that possible.

We are totally aware that our losses do not compare in any way the loss that our neighbors are feeling due to their loss, pain and suffering.  Our existence will brighten up this devastated part of New York City.

For more information about Urban Garden Center, please visit our website at www.UrbanGardenNYC.com.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this today.

Your friends and neighbors,

The Urban Garden Center family 


(above Sara Gatanas with Zoe and Stevie - hens too)


(above photo taken by Bryan Ogden of Nicholas and Aspasia Gatanas)


(above photo taken by Bryan Ogden of Dimitri Gatanas)
(Alexander Gatanas will provide his picture soon)

Thank you all for all the outreach thus far, your offers of assistance are the reason why we are able to dust ourselves off and get back up.

Rebuilding Urban Garden Center is dedicated to those who lost their lives and who are injured as a result of the explosion on 116th and Park.  You will always be remembered!
To contribute to the relief fund for the people who were directly impacted, please visit the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.
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Update 18
27 months ago
Dear supporters,
Thank you all for supporting our ability to re-open.
Your help was instrumental in making our goal a reality.
While we suffered a terrible loss, we are excited to report that 116th and Park will be forever known as a place where community comes first.
It feels good to see smiles again and we owe that all to you.
Have an amazing rest of Spring.
Please visit our website at www.UrbanGardenNYC.com for future updates and information. We could also be followed on twitter, tumblr, pinterest, instagram and facebook.
Thank you again!
The Urban Garden Center family
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Update 17
28 months ago
Big day tomorrow!
Pig Roast presented by El Boar-rio called Harlem Seoul (a Korean inspired pig roast) Bon Chon and a beverage. Come see what you helped us do. You brought East Harlem's favorite cross street back to life!

We made it thanks to you.

How to build back a community 101
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Update 16
28 months ago
Hello all,

Tomorrow will be one month from the tragedy that brought us all together.

We are pleased, excited, elated, and psyched to announce that we are back in business.

There is just the greenhouse that needs to be finished. We hope that will be done within the week.

We are planning several events to have the opportunity to meet you all and thank you personally for what you did to support us.

Once we are fully on our feet, we will be creating a fund to support our community by donating supplies and services to schools, community based organizations and community gardens throughout the Harlem area. This effort could not have been made possible without your support.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you, the 1st responders, the volunteers, the elected officials, community leaders, our vendors and our amazing neighbors.

Thank you!

The Urban Garden Center family

Here is a wonderful article by Jeff Mays of DNA info:

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140411/east-harlem/garden-center-heavily-damaged-east-harlem-explosion-reopens

Here is an opportunity to vote for us to be on the cover of Edible Manhattan magazine:

http://www.ediblemanhattan.com/foodshed-2/vote-edible-manhattans-next-cover/

On March 9, 2014, the Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito invited us to speak on behalf of East Harlem to thank all the 1st Responders and Volunteers in the Chambers of City Hall. We had the distinct honor of being the only speaker besides the Speaker and the Mayor of NYC. Truly honored!
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Update 15
29 months ago
We are open for business! We hope to be fully operational by this coming week.

Thank you!



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Read a Previous Update
Help spread the word!
 643 total shares
Sonia Liskoski
29 months ago

Good morning Dimitri! Always glad to help a neighbor,

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Annika Savill
29 months ago

I'm glad to have contributed this morning to your work to rebuild. I hope many will join me. The Urban Garden Center has been a much-needed oasis of hope in our neighborhood and we need you back soon.

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$15,454 of $50k goal

Raised by 182 people in 29 months
Created March 17, 2014
$20
Robert Rogers
28 months ago

Thank you so much for your generous support of the school garden movement in NYC, and congratulations on the speedy re-opening! I am deeply sorry for your loss and that of your neighbors. Wishing you and the East Harlem community affected by this tragedy the best of luck.

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VT
$100
Vanessa Taveras
28 months ago

You are a true community builder and we appreciate you and need your presence to continue in East Harlem!

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FQ
$103
Free Range Quest.com
29 months ago

We held a small fundraiser from our booth at a festival in Louisville -- Everyone is so receptive to your mission and wishes you the best during your rebuild. Thank you for all you do UGC!

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$25
Panagiotis Lianos
29 months ago

Sorry about what happened. Hope this small amount can help.

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HG
$10
hope gamble
29 months ago
GH
$10
Gordon Heavern
29 months ago
$50
Anonymous
29 months ago
KL
$50
Keith Laskey
29 months ago

hope to see you all up and running by spring!

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MM
$25
Michael Moran
29 months ago
&C
$25
Ángel M Camareno
29 months ago

The first time I chanced upon your garden center I was impressed beyond words; when I heard about your loss I was crestfallen; when I heard of your rebuilding I felt Mother Nature sigh in relief. Godspeed to you and yours, long may your seed be ever sown!

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Sonia Liskoski
29 months ago

Good morning Dimitri! Always glad to help a neighbor,

+ Read More
Annika Savill
29 months ago

I'm glad to have contributed this morning to your work to rebuild. I hope many will join me. The Urban Garden Center has been a much-needed oasis of hope in our neighborhood and we need you back soon.

+ Read More
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