Celebrate Brooklyn’s Spectacular Community Gardens This Saturday

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At a community garden tour last year. (Photo via BQLT).

Often, you need a key to get in. Some, have waiting lists for new members. But this weekend you have a chance to visit a dozen of them thanks to the Brooklyn Queens Lands Trust (BQLT), a non-profit that works to help and protect community gardens.

It’s eighth annual Community Garden Tour is this Saturday and takes neighbors to various community gardens in Southern Brooklyn via walking/taking the subway or bikes. It’s a time for people to see what’s growing in their neighborhood gardens, connect with other neighbors, and learn more about the green spaces.

“[It’s an] annual tour of various gardens to spotlight each site’s natural beauty, distinctive history, and impact in a particular neighborhood,” Steven Thomson, BQLT Board member, told Bklyner, saying that it’s vital to host a tour every year.

Last years tour. (Photo via BQLT)

The tour will take people to five/six community gardens in four neighborhoods: Flatbush, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Fort Greene, and Crown Heights. The gardens on the tour include the following:

Walking Tour Route:
1. Rogers / Tilden / Veronica Place Garden: 2601 Tilden Ave
2. Q Gardens: 58 E 18th St
— Walking to Prospect Park Station to take S train to Franklin Ave (end of the line)
3. United Herkimer Garden Club: 97 Herkimer St.
4. Westbrook Memorial Garden: 1233 Pacific Street
5. 1100 Block Bergen Association Garden: 1107 Bergen Street

Bike Tour Route:
1. Rogers / Tilden / Veronica Place Garden: 2601 Tilden Ave
2. Q Gardens: 58 E 18th St
3. Greene Garden: 2 S Portland Ave
4. United Herkimer Garden Club: 97 Herkimer St.
5. Westbrook Memorial Garden: 1233 Pacific Street
6. 1100 Block Bergen Association Garden: 1107 Bergen Street

“Representatives from the gardens and BQLT will tell stories of the gardens’ past and current role in their communities,” Thomson said. “Guests can hear how the gardens were founded and evolved across decades, and observe vegetable patches and blossoming plants up-close.”

At last year’s tour. (Photo via BQLT)

At the final garden in Crown Heights, neighbors will relax to a performance by Haiti Cultural Exchange and some food by local family-owned businesses. While the tour is free, they do ask for at least a $10 donation at the post-tour food celebration.

People are encouraged to register in advance online, but all are welcome the day of the event. Check-in begins at 1:30 p.m. at Rogers/Tilden/Veronica Place Garden at 2601-2603 Tilden Avenue, where attendees can grab a free BQLT water bottle and seed packets (while supplies last), purchase a tote, and explore the garden.

Both the bike and walking tours depart at 2 p.m. The two tour groups will reconvene at 5 p.m. for a post-tour celebration at 1100 Block Bergen Street Community Garden.

“BQLT is currently celebrating its fifteenth year as a grassroots nonprofit protecting community gardens as permanently open spaces, so this year’s event is especially meaningful,” Thomson said. “At a time when Brooklyn is changing so rapidly, these gardens are crucial spaces for diverse groups of people to come together.”

And if you are in North Brooklyn, check out these free events every weekend in September at a different community garden – The Motor Company’s 9th annual outdoor theater fest called Communal Spaces offers 5 unique shows, influenced by the communities the gardens are in.

The festival is expected to take place over the last three weekends in September:

Sat/Sun, September 14-15, 2019
Sat/Sun, September 21-22, 2019
Sat/Sun, September 28-29, 2019

Below will be the schedule for all six days:

I’m Gonna Keep You Alive
Lead artist: Dina Vovsi
In collaboration with Amanda Marikar
Northside Community Garden | 1:00 pm
599 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Our Contented Heart
Lead artist: Lindsey Hope Pearlman
Contented Hart Garden | 2:30 pm
1475 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11207

Oracular Recall
Lead artist: Ben Holbrook
Woodbine Street Block Association Garden | 3:30 pm
146 Woodbine St, Brooklyn, NY 11221

Brooklyn Apples (no performance 9/28)
Lead artist: David M. de León
In partnership with El Puente
Concerned Citizens of Grove Street Community Garden | 4:30 pm
72 Grove St, Brooklyn, NY 11221

A Puerto Rican Love Story
Lead artist: Gineiris Garcia
Featuring Work by: Nick E. Finn, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Elisabet Velasquez
The People’s Garden | 5:30 pm
1237 – 1241 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11221

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