Annual Report | March 28, 2024

Annual Report 2023: Urban Agriculture

NYRP Director of Urban Agriculture Corey Blant (left) assists with the endof- season ginger harvest at Union Settlement in East Harlem.

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

For three years and counting, NYRP’s Urban Agriculture program has helped our citywide gardener network grow to their greatest potential. This includes advising the more than 700 gardeners who are active in our 52 portfolio gardens, as well as growers affiliated with our 17 Gardens for the City partners, whose spaces we either built from scratch or renovated over the previous calendar year.

Director of Urban Agriculture Corey Blant believes we have achieved this goal by meeting gardeners where they are. “So many of the gardeners we work with have deep agricultural roots,” says Corey. “Whether someone is growing food for the first or hundredth time though, our NYRP Urban Agriculture team is here to help people make the most of their space.”

Thanks to generous grants from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and other supporters, NYRP taught 165 food production classes, skill shares, and hands-on technical consultations in 2023 alone. Our team also distributed thousands of plants and seedlings to growers in all five boroughs while providing instruction in multiple languages including Spanish, Bengali, and Cantonese as needed.

Helping install irrigation systems across six different spaces was a season highlight; many of the city’s gardens lack easy access to water and any assistance is in high demand. Most of the new systems have WiFi-enabled timers that can be activated from a phone app. This remote control can be a gamechanger in the hot summer months since someone doesn’t always have to physically be in the space to water.

“As with all our work, we want these systems to work for both people and plants,” says Corey.


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