My name is Kofi Thomas and I have been working to preserve and improve green spaces for the last few years. I am a neighbor that believes in the power of community and recognizes green spaces as a catalyst to unlocking that potential. Our gardens are a place of healing and growth.
If I see suffering in my neighborhood whether it be physical or social we are going to take action. People dealing with diabetes, hypertension, etc we are growing and distributing medicinal herbs and vegetables. People suffering at the hands of predatory landlords, we help them form tenants rights groups and connect them to housing advocates. Parents do not have a park close by, we provide a safe space for families to have fun together. We are raising money to improve green spaces as a vehicle to Educate and Empower communities in Brooklyn.
The money donated will go towards a number of impactful improvements:
- A drip irrigation system. A more efficient way of watering the farm which will increase how much produce we can give away as well as make us more environmentally responsible.
- A chicken coop, chickens are nature's farmers. They eat weeds and bad insects and their manure helps fertilize the earth. Plus they will be an attraction for the kids in the neighborhood.
- Allow us to provide free all ages festivals. Being able to pay local artists and bring culturally rich entertainment to a neighborhood sparse with outdoor activities.
- Offer enriching activities like Yoga classes, Salsa dancing, painting and writing workshops.
- Offer more tours and Outdoor classroom days to local schools.
We impact the community in a number of ways:
Youth Education and Empowerment
The Good Life Garden in Brooklyn, one of our gardens, is a green space that had fallen into the hands of vagrants and drug dealers over a decade ago. We cleaned it up and now use it as a space to uplift the community. We believe our future is in the youth. We have hosted the Girls Scouts who planted vegetables and learned how food grows. We also worked with teachers from Bushwick Ascend Middle School to design a garden centered 3 week curriculum focusing on Math, History of the neighborhood, and Art expression. Like many schools in this area, they lack open space for these programs.
Food Access and Healthy Living
Part of our ongoing programming is providing vegetables and sometimes full meals to the community. Many of our neighborhoods are food deserts with no affordable healthy options anywhere.
Here we cooked a free lunch played music and it became a block party! We gave away over 1,500 lbs of food this past summer and can do more with your help.
We reserve space in our garden for seniors and we listen to their guidance. Last year only 3 of them were gardening. Now we have over 30 senior gardeners growing their own produce and staying active in an area where they previously did not feel welcome.
Arts and Culture
These are from Arts Festivals we hosted this past summer. We welcome musicians, poets, painters and artists of all mediums to enrich our creativity and celebrate diversity.
Your contribution will allow us to continue the work of addressing the needs in our neighborhoods and expand our capacity to deliver on our mission. This is an incredibly crucial time for us as we are trying to repair gardens and get them open for the next growing season.
Your support means the world to us. It gives us the strength and courage to keep going. People doing what they can to help remind us that the beauty is in the process. It is about people collaborating and learning that we have strength as a community. We grow together.
- Cara Piazza
- Ivy Ebanks
- Reuben Washington
- Joanna Futral