Annual Report | March 28, 2024

Annual Report 2023: Stewarding Gardens

Back-to-school supply giveaways are some of our most popular events every season. People lined up down the block for this past year’s event at Essex Street Community Garden in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.

The following blog post is an excerpt from our 2023 annual report.

More than 1.6 million New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of a NYRP green space. This includes the 52 community gardens we own and operate throughout all five boroughs, with larger clusters of spaces concentrated in the South Bronx, Northern Manhattan, and Central Brooklyn.

We leverage our resources to provide regular, year-round maintenance and seasonal program support, ensuring our portfolio gardens are consistently clean, safe, accessible, and activated with events tailored to their communities. “NYRP’s garden support is comprehensive,” says Public Programming Coordinator Mike Horwitz.

Concretely, this means that NYRP’s Operations crew makes weekly rounds to all our gardens to clean up litter, care for street trees, and maintain essential infrastructure. Beyond this basic maintenance, our Engagement & Programming team works directly with our more than 700 gardeners to offer community engagement support; provide equipment as needed; and help organize meaningful public events.

“We engage with groups to collaboratively conceive and help execute programming to fit the needs of the garden and the wider community,” adds Mike.

From April through October, NYRP supported more than 245 public programs and events for 7,000 community members. This included providing funding, equipment, promotion, and/or planning support for everything from free back-to-school giveaways and fitness events to art classes and movie nights.

“It was a really successful season for many community garden groups,” says Senior Engagement Manager Jessica North. “There were more events in our spaces this past year than any other since the beginning of the pandemic.”

One of the greatest achievements of the season was completing the renovation of Clinton Avenue Community Garden in The Bronx to rebuild garden beds, build a shade structure, install an in-ground water system, and mount a high tunnel to extend the growing season. The garden has functioned more like an urban farm for years, producing hundreds of pounds of fresh produce for the gardeners and greater community.

“I save money and my food has better flavor,” says longtime garden coordinator Elvia Campos. “And I simply just love how beautiful it is.”


At the end of every season, NYRP’s Engagement & Programming team acknowledges the groups that went above and beyond to serve their communities. We were proud to recognize the following gardens this past year:


El Cataño Community Garden, 171 E. 110th St., Manhattan (East Harlem)
Essex Street Community Garden, 3030 Fulton St., Brooklyn (Cypress Hills)


Aberdeen Community Garden, 91 Aberdeen St., Brooklyn (Bushwick)


211th Street Block Association Community Garden, 735 East 211th St., The Bronx (Williamsbridge)


The Home Depot Children’s Garden, 421 E. 117th St., Manhattan (East Harlem)


Rodale Pleasant Park Community Garden, 437 East 114th St., Manhattan (East Harlem)

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