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In the News
NYC Public Design Commission Names Excellence in Design Winners
The New York City Public Design Commission selected 14 park-focused projects for this year's awards.
In New York, Urban Gardens Offer an Escape from City Life
New York City is the densest metropolitan area in the United States, making the presence of green space ever more important.
Follow-Up Friday Celebrates Some Moms Who Need a Little Help This Mother’s Day
Thanks to Carmen Quionones, NYCHA, and New York Restoration Project, this development has a new community garden.
Meet New York Restoration Project
Hosts Fran Chismar and Tom Knezick talk with Jason Smith (Director of Northern Manhattan Parks) about native ecosystems in urban environments.
With Wetlands Project, New York Steps Back in Time
To save the marshes, a group of conservationists has embarked on an ambitious push to build an offshore reef—and return the shore to the way it once was.
7 Resources That’ll Make You Better at Urban Farming
Urban agriculture comes in many shapes and sizes: raised beds, a windowsill, stoops, and even rooftops are all possible venues. Improving each of these set-ups is site-specific though, and NYRP has some resources to help.
Can the Garden Save Us? How the Power of Nature Can Change Life as We Know It
Bette Midler’s grassroots effort blossomed into New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit conservancy that now works with local communities, public agencies, and the private sector to give nature back to New Yorkers in all five boroughs.
How Has the City Shored Up Against Future Superstorms? Oyster Castles.
New York Restoration Project's living shoreline in upper Manhattan is part of the ongoing effort to use “green” infrastructure to mitigate rising sea levels and increased flood risks.
The Election No One is Talking About (Yet)
With the 2021 Mayoral election around the corner, now is the time to ask: which candidates are going to stand up for environmental justice in NYC?
The Promise of Pawpaw
Issues like climate change, economic inequity and access to food have brought more attention to this creamy fruit and its resilient tree.
Climate Week NYC 2020: The Living Shoreline
Director of Northern Manhattan Parks Jason Smith presents on NYRP's living shoreline installation at Inwood's Sherman Creek Park.
"Make Farmers Black Again": African Americans Fight Discrimination to Own Farmland
Daryl Minton lived on a farm for part of his childhood and studied permaculture after retiring from the military. He got involved in urban agriculture through New York Restoration Project and grew his skills from there.
Community Gardens Can Produce Meaningful Amount of Food. Will They Survive Pandemic Budget Cuts?
During the warm months, on plots scattered across cities — in parks, on derelict lots, tucked between public housing apartment buildings — community gardeners of all ages and skill levels coax fresh food from sometimes minuscule parcels of soil.
Quick and Dirty: One Way to Install a Living Shoreline | Waterfront Alliance
Jason Smith, director of Northern Manhattan Parks for the New York Restoration Project, is wading into the Harlem River at low tide these days and starting to build oyster reefs. At Swindler Cove, near the Row New York boathouse, he and his small team—masks on, of course—are demonstrating one way to create a resilient shoreline.
Bette Midler and Sophie Von Haselberg Celebrate 25 Years of The New York Restoration Projec
If we’re talking true entertainment royalty, then Bette Midler surely holds the crown. The actress and activist has forged an impressive Hollywood career, but it’s her work off the stage and screen that’s quite literally blossomed.
How Bette Milder Went From Beaches to Gardens
The superstar talks trash as she works to green New York City.
City to Slash Millions in Budget From Parks Department Due to COVID-19
As temperatures are getting warmer and summer is approaching, many people citywide are looking forward to going to parks and spending time with family and friends. However, a recent joint report released by 25 park conservancies and nonprofits and the Department of Parks and Recreation reveals that the proposed budget includes a $37 million loss in revenue from shuttered park activities and $84 million axed from the city’s parks budget.
A Hidden Victim of the Coronavirus Pandemic? NYC's Parks
In an unsurprising turn of events, new research released today from a coalition of New York City parks nonprofits has revealed that the coronavirus pandemic is having a severe impact on the city’s green spaces.
Report on COVID-19 Impacts on Public Spaces
This report shares the results of a survey of 20 New York City parks advocacy groups to examine the loss of operating revenue on staff positions, maintenance, programming, as well as the overall condition and usability of New York City’s parks.
First-time Bakers and Gardeners Seek Guidance and Community Online
Somewhere amid the polarization that’s playing itself out on social media — a critical and impossible-to-ignore schism between those privileged to ride out the coronavirus pandemic...
Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project Nurtures a Multipurpose Bronx Community Garden
With the help of AD100 design and landscape firm Sawyer | Berson, Bette Midler has turned a forgotten plot of land into a blooming garden.
Preventing Crime, One Park at a Time
Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project, connects parks and open space to improved public safety.
Want to Fight Crime? Invest in Parks!
Jose Reyes is an unlikely community crime-fighter. The 65-year-old retired mechanic is the de facto mayor of the El Cataño Garden, an East Harlem community garden that is part of a growing network of green spaces maintained by New York Restoration Project. Jose sweeps the paths and shovels snow. He plays dominos with his brother Raul and neighborhood friends.
As Green Space Went Up, Crime Went Down in Poor Neighborhoods
Parks nonprofit says study makes case for more green infrastructure.
U.S. Cities Lose Tree Cover Just When They Need It Most
Scientific evidence that trees and green spaces are crucial to the well-being of people in urban areas has multiplied in recent decades. Conveniently, these findings have emerged just as Americans, already among the most urbanized people in the world, are increasingly choosing to live in cities. The problem—partly as a result of that choice—is that urban tree cover is now steadily declining across the U.S.
Community Restoration Project Comes to the South Bronx
The New York Restoration Project along with City Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced the allocation of $2 million for the new Haven Project Friday.
Community's Vision for a Revitalized Waterfront in the South Bronx Gets $2 Million in Capital Funding
Last year, after working with community residents, including local children, leaders and stakeholders, New York Restoration Project (founded by the amazing Bette Midler) released the collaborative vision of one of the most derelict waterfronts in our borough, The Haven Project. Now thanks to the leadership of New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the project can begin work on the first phase renovating the 132nd Street Pier as $2 million in Council funds have been allocated.
Haven Project Looks to Revitalize South Bronx Waterfront
Stunning views of the East River can be seen from the southern tip of 132nd Street in the Bronx. But for more than three decades, people had to crawl under barbed wire, slip through holes in chain-linked fences and walk precariously over this derelict pier to enjoy it. "It shouldn't be that hard to have access to the waters that surrounds this neighborhood," said Mychal Johnson, co-founder of South Bronx Unite. "Just because this community may be on the lower end of the economic scale doesn't mean that it should be denied access to the waterfront," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Protected Bike Lanes Will Connect South Bronx to Randall's Island
Last fall, the city opened a direct car-free connection between the South Bronx and Randall’s Island. The Randall’s Island Connector provides convenient access to acres of parks and ballfields and — via the 103rd Street footbridge — Manhattan. But the truck-heavy industrial streets that lead to it still leave a lot to be desired. A new NYC DOT project would create bicycle links between the Connector and 138th Street [PDF]. The DOT project calls for protected bike lanes linking the Connector to streets on each side of the Bruckner Expressway, which divides Mott Haven to the west from the more industrial Port Morris to the east. The plan draws heavily from ideas put forward last summer by The Haven Project [PDF], an initiative of the New York Restoration Project. Bronx Community Board 1’s municipal services committee voted unanimously for it on Monday.
El Catano Community Gardens: Where Gamers Come to Play
Fame is fleeting. Fortune—and fortunes—come and go. But one thing you can always count on is that socializing with old friends is its own reward. That seems the guiding ethos at El Catano Community Garden on East 110th Street in East Harlem, where four gentlemen sat around a card table last week under a white canopy and played dominoes. They included Gilberto Mantilla, who’d moved back to Puerto Rico but was paying his annual visit to the city. “I come every year. Spend some time with my family,” Mr. Mantilla said as he carefully placed a domino on the table.
Students at Brooklyn's P.S. 146 Given Award for Transforming Lot Into Green Space
The Sanitation Department presented P.S. 146 students with this year's Golden Apple Award. With it comes a 10-thousand dollar prize to schools that complete projects focused on recycling, waste reduction, composting and neighborhood beautification. Students helped transform the school's parking lot into a green space with farm beds, plants, a rainwater catchment system and an outdoor classroom. Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia was effusive in her praise of the young conservationists: "We really want to make sure that we're committed to these awards and to making sure that we recognize the great things that are happening in our communities.”
East Harlem Holds Its Own
Data can be deceiving, or at the very least hard to parse. But for the residents of East Harlem, the numbers spoke loudly. On average, the community was losing nearly 300 affordable housing units per year, based on eight years of data collected by WXY Architecture + Urban Design. If real estate development continued at the current rate, more than 4,000 affordable housing units would be lost over the next 15 years. “People began to realize that a ‘do-nothing’ option was not going to result in the same old thing,” says Adam Lubinsky, a planner and managing principal at WXY. “A ‘do-nothing’ option would mean 300 homes lost per year to development.” East Harlem, a largely Latino community where one in three residents lives below the poverty line, was also named as one of eight neighborhoods out of 15 that have been identified for rezoning by the city. Rather than wait to respond to a zoning proposal by the city’s Department of City Planning (DCP), local organizations began working vigorously with elected officials to develop recommendations for how to use zoning to preserve affordable housing stock, open space, and the community’s cultural heritage. The result was the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, and according to people involved, it marked the first time a community in New York has developed such a plan ahead of a DCP proposal.
Free Shuttle Bus to Randall's Island Connector Coming Soon
Rosa Vanutrecht, 54, sits outside Patterson Houses on Third Avenue chitchatting with her neighbors as she watches her two young grandchildren chasing each other in the small courtyard. She prefers that they play close to her where she can keep a watchful eye on them instead of going to the nearby parks which she says are not in good shape and where violence breaks out every now and then. “When you sit here, you see stuff, you hear people fighting. So I keep me and my grandkids out of there,” said Vanutrecht, who has lived in Patterson Houses for the past 13 years. Every now and then, she takes the children on an hour-long trip to her mother’s neighborhood all the way to Red Hook, Brooklyn to play in the parks. “There aren’t enough parks and facilities here for kids. There’s one up on 143rd and one a block away, but they’re not so good,” she said.
Free Shuttle Bus to Randall's Island Connector to Start May 14
PORT MORRIS — Free shuttle bus service from the South Bronx to the Randall's Island Connector is set to kick off in less than two weeks. The long-awaited connector from The Bronx to Randall's Island finally opened in November after almost a decade of work, and the New York Restoration Project—a non-profit founded by Bette Midler—and the health care company Healthfirst have now teamed up to make it easier for Bronxites to get to the connector itself.
The Bag Bill
Jennie Romer moved from California to New York about four years ago to save the city from plastic bags. A practicing attorney, she is the country’s leading expert in plastic-bag law. Romer is thirty-eight years old, stands six feet tall, wears dark skirts with dark tights, and has copper-red hair, a pale complexion, and light-blue eyes. The bangs across her forehead sit as straight and level as the scales of blindfolded Justice. She served her apprenticeship in San Francisco, which in 2007 became the first city in America to place a ban on plastic grocery and retail-store bags. San Jose, where a similar law led to an eighty-nine-per-cent reduction of plastic-bag litter in the city’s storm drains, relied on her counsel. When Oakland moved to pass an anti-bag ordinance, it was defeated by the legal action of the plastics industry; from that setback, she learned how better to advise Los Angeles, which passed its own anti-bag ordinance, in 2012.
Restoring Green to a City's Concerte Hardscape
Americans’ personal connection to the environment, which the founders of Earth Day hoped to restore nearly 50 years ago, is all but lost. Today 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, the vast majority of which are densely populated and defined by concrete. There are no open vistas, unobstructed night skies or untouched forests. So when people celebrate Earth Day on April 22, they should not only reflect on how humans connect with the natural environment, but also with the built environment where many Americans actually live. Americans have favored cars and buildings over trees and pedestrian zones, and the health of U.S. communities is suffering as a result. Traffic congestion, polluted air, vacant lots, asphalt parks — this is the environment that confronts millions of people every day as they go to school or work. This landscape, devoid of nature, has been directly tied to high U.S. rates of asthma, diabetes, obesity and other serious health problems.
People Are Adopting New York City Gardens
Care to exercise your green thumb without physically lifting a finger? Adopt a Garden, a campaign by Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project, invites donors to name community gardens in all five boroughs. Of the 52 gardens NYRP owns and manages, 15 remain available for adoption—with the cost ranging from $50,000 to $1 million. The entertainer established the non-profit in 1995 to increase access to open, high-quality public space for all New Yorkers. This campaign has attracted such high-profile donors as The Walt Disney Company Foundation, Michael Kors and Jo Malone London. The cost of adoption ranges depending on the size and scale of the renovation.
Bette Midler & The New York Restoration Project: Bette's Bet on New York
When singer and actress Bette Midler moved to New York from Los Angeles in 1995, she was horrified by the littered landscape. As a result, she founded the successful, hands-on urban New York Restoration Project (NYRP) to revitalize neglected green spaces. Two decades later, NYRP has restored 52 community gardens in underserved communities across the five boroughs and redesigned nearly half of them, enlisting residents in all phases of the work—from design to ongoing maintenance. Its most recent success story: In fall 2015, NYRP reached its goal of planting one million trees in New York City, in a collaborative project with NYC Parks, two years ahead of schedule. As a result, Mayor Bill de Blasio committed to planting an additional 50,000 trees across the city over the next three years.
Thanks to Bette Midler, New York Plants a Tremendous Number of Trees
With a nickname like the Big Apple, is it any surprise that New York has pulled off this botanical feat? The MillionTreesNYC program, a partnership between the nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, has reached its goal of planting one million trees throughout the five boroughs. Founded in 1995 by entertainer Bette Midler, NYRP operates with a mission to improve open spaces within underserved communities. In 2007, Midler was standing with then-mayor Michael Bloomberg along the Harlem River, celebrating NYRP’s planting of 600 cherry and crabapple trees, when she exclaimed, “Why should we stop here? We should plant one million!”
How 1 Million Trees Can Change a City
A year after I moved away from Brooklyn, my former roommate sent a picture of our changing neighborhood. Not of the swank coffee shop that replaced the corner bodega, nor any of the dark bars creeping into Bushwick. Mallika sent a picture of a spindly young elm: a street tree the city had just planted at the base of our stoop. She was thrilled. The little elm was just one in a row of saplings stretching down the block, and the block just one of thousands in the city to receive new street trees in the last eight years through MillionTreesNYC. A collaboration between New York City’s parks department and conservation nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP), the initiative just succeeded in planting 1 million new trees in the city this decade. The final tree was planted last month, two years ahead of schedule. While cities like Los Angeles, Boston and Denver have all set the same goal, New York is the first to meet it.
WNYC: Coverage of Millionth Tree Planning
After completing the MillionTreesNYC initiative two years ahead of schedule Mayor de Blasio is committing to the planting of 50,000 more trees over the next 3 years. At a celebration event today he praised the millionth tree achievement, but said the city must continue the further beautify the city and protect the health of residents. “We intend to and we will achieve the goal of having the cleanest air of any big city in this country.” The program was launched by the city in partnership with the New York Restoration Project in 2007 under Mayor Bloomberg and continued under de Blasio.
De Blasio and Bloomberg Make Nice for Tree Planting Ceremony
hey may be far apart in politics and rhetoric, but when it comes to trees, Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg appeared almost friendly Friday. De Blasio, who spent much of his first year in office blaming his predecessor for various ills plaguing the city, was all smiles and compliments at an event with the former mayor in South Bronx marking the planting of one million trees over the past eight years in New York City — a Bloomberg administration initiative that was completed two years ahead of schedule. "The visionary stands to my right in a stylish yellow sweater," de Blasio said. "The visionary was Michael Bloomberg and I'm here to give him a lot of credit."
De Blasio, Bloomberg Share a Few Laughs at Tree Planting
It took eight years and more than one million trees to get them there, but as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg planted an American linden together Friday in the Bronx, they were all smiles. “The visionary stands to my right, in the stylish yellow sweater,” Mr. de Blasio said of Mr. Bloomberg. The pair celebrated an initiative to plant one million trees across the city, a project started by Mr. Bloomberg and singer-actress Bette Midler that has continued under Mr. de Blasio. The public-private initiative, which began in 2007 in conjunction with New York Restoration Project, has increased the number of trees in the city by 20%.
Bett Milder and Michael Kors Help Celebrate Hulaween
Bette Midler shared the stage with Nile Rodgers and Jerry Barns during her annual Hulaween Party on Friday night. The party benefited the New York Restoration Project, which celebrated its 20th year of helping plant community gardens and other green spaces.
Greening The Big Apple: New Yorker Plants Millionth Tree Ahead of Schedule
A million trees As we’ve discussed before, urban trees have a number of environmental, social, health – and even economic – benefits. So it’s positive to hear, from Fast Co Exist, that the goal of New York’s MillionTreesNYC campaign, to plant a million new trees in a decade, has been achieved two years ahead of schedule. As Adele Peters writes: “While the city planted the majority of the trees (750,000) in parks and along streets, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) filled in the gaps on other public land – places like housing projects, libraries, airports, churches and synagogues, and hospitals. They also gave away trees to anyone with a yard who wanted one.” Impressive stuff – though as usual looks like London is trying to go one (million) better than New York, with mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan promising to plant 2m trees should he be elected.
Moving along. Last Thursday, Andrew and Ann Tisch hosted a special reception for Bette Midler’s Restoration Project to celebrate the culmination of MillionTreesNYC, a public-private partnership between New York City Parks and Ms. Midler’s New York Restoration Project which one 1 million trees have been planted and cared for throughout the five boroughs.
Bette Midler on Her Star-studded Halloween Party
ll bow down to the Queen of Halloween, Bette Midler. Not only did Midler bring the wickedly funny Winifred to life in 1993's Hocus Pocus, but she's also been at the helm of her own star-studded Halloween party for 20 years now. This year, she's bringing a "Hell Night of Hulaween Island" theme to New York City's famed Waldorf Astoria – and you're invited. "It's going to be weird," Midler, 69, tells PEOPLE of the famed bash, which will include performances by Nile Rodgers and Chic. "I don't know what's going to happen this year."
Million-tree Program's Unheralded Partner
Most of the credit for the city’s million-trees project has rightly gone to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who introduced it and budgeted much of its funding. But when Bloomberg, Mayor Bill de Blasio and actress Bette Midler plant the program’s millionth tree in the Bronx, alongside them will be Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project, the program’s nonprofit partner. (The event, scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed because of the fatal shooting of a police officer Tuesday night.) While the city’s Parks Department was responsible for planting 750,000 trees, Marton’s group (founded by Midler) was tasked with the remaining 250,000. In some ways, its job was harder, because it didn’t have vast expanses of city-owned land in places such as Staten Island to install huge numbers of trees, as Parks did, or a $60 billion-plus city budget at its disposal.
New York City is About to Plant Its 1 Millionth New Tree, Two Years Ahead of Schedule
When New York City first set a goal to plant a million new trees in a decade, it was more ambitious than any city tree planting project that had ever been attempted before. Now they've finished two years ahead of schedule. The MillionTreesNYC campaign—dreamed up by former Mayor Bloomberg and Bette Midler, who runs the nonprofit New York Restoration Project, while they were on a walk in a park—became part of PlaNYC, a massive strategy to make the city more sustainable. The long list of benefits of city trees, from sucking pollution out of the air to filtering stormwater, keeps getting longer. "There's been an avalanche of new research," says Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project (NYRP). Trees can make city dwellers happier and smarter, and reduce diseases like obesity and diabetes. More trees on a city block can even make us feel younger and richer.
Bette Midler to be Honored for Environmental Work at Annual Hulaween Party
Bette Midler's annual Hawaii-themed Halloween masquerade benefiting the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) will not only be celebrating its 20th anniversary, but will also bestow the "Green Goddess" Award upon the gala's founder. Hell Night on Hulaween Island: A Night to Dismember will take place on Friday, October 30th at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. "I am so proud of our part in changing the face of the city, in cleaning parks, highways, and vacant lots, in saving and supporting community gardens and in pointing out that the citizens of the greatest city in the world deserve a healthy, clean, sustainable environment," Midler said in a statement. The "Green Goddess" Award will celebrate the actress, singer and NYRP founder's environmental efforts.
Bronx Planting Caps Off a Drive to Add a Million Trees
In a park named for the poet who wrote the poem “Trees,” New York is planting its one millionth tree on Wednesday, capping a campaign that reflected the city’s determination to be in the vanguard of fighting climate change. The tree, a lacebark elm that is eight years old, 25 feet tall and 6,500 pounds, was installed on Tuesday at Joyce Kilmer Park in the South Bronx. Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in a rare joint appearance, will be there on Wednesday to finish the planting. The final planting in the campaign begun by Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent, in 2007 punctuates a broad environmental initiative by him in which he worked to create new parkland, make the city more resilient and gird against climate change. Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, built on those efforts with his pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 80 percent by 2050.
Green Space and Health Linked in Vision for South Bronx
Near the East 132nd Street pier in the South Bronx, where passersby see a trash-strewn, chain-link fence, Casey Peterson envisions a waterfront trail. If the initiative she is working on comes to fruition, the pier and surrounding neighborhoods will house not just industry, but green spaces and recreational paths—and make residents measurably healthier in the process. “I kind of joke that hospital systems will prescribe access to the parks,” said Ms. Peterson, a project manager at the nonprofit organization New York Restoration Project. Dubbed the Haven Project, the initiative is part public space and part public-health experiment: a network of parks, pedestrian paths and streetscapes planned for a 1.3-square-mile area in the Mott Haven and Port Morris neighborhoods of the South Bronx. It would link up with the Randall’s Island Connector, a pedestrian bridge between the South Bronx and Randall’s Island, whose $6 million rehabilitation is being led by the city’s Economic Development Corp.
Building a Better Bronx
According to prominent news outlets, the Bronx is back. One piece this year declared, "The Bronx burns no more," and noted that the South Bronx has been rebranded "SoBro," replete with "sushi bars, lofts and boutique hotels attracting European tourists." Investors are scrambling to snatch up a piece of the red-hot real estate market.No doubt the borough's brawny tenacity has finally produced today's upswing. But there's more to revitalizing the South Bronx than upscale dining. To truly transform the borough, we need to get beyond the headlines and improve the quality of life and the health of families who live there.
The Simple Idea That Could Make America's Poorest Neighborhoods Healthier
This week, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a nonprofit that transforms open space in communities throughout the Big Apple, announced plans to revitalize the Mott Haven and Port Morris neighborhoods of the South Bronx as part of its “Haven Project.” Changes include visible street crossings, new bike and pedestrian routes, improved access to the waterfront, the planting of 800 trees, and the installment of public art in a network of trails.
Here's The Healthy Twist Bette Midler's Foundation Has in Mind For The South Bronx Waterfront
A nonprofit founded by Bette Midler has released plans to build out public spaces along the South Bronx waterfront. The New York Restoration Project is not new to such projects, Curbed NY said, pointing out that the organization has a track record of creating green spaces in low-income neighborhoods. For this specific pair of projects, in Port Morris, Curbed NY said the organization will build parks at 134th Street and 132nd Street, the latter expected to cost as much as $10 million with work likely to start in fiscal year 2017.
Dilapidated South Bronx Pier to be Restored Under New York Restoration Project Plan
A decrepit South Bronx pier will be transformed into a slice of waterfront bliss, under a plan unveiled Wednesday by the New York Restoration Project. The overhaul - which is slated to begin in 2017, promises to reshape the space between 132nd and 134th Sts., with developers saying it will serve 100,000 Mott Haven and Port Morris residents. "Instead of a desolate street leading to a dilapidated pier, imagine bike paths and tree lined piers," said Deborah Marton, the head of the group spearheading the overhaul. Planners hope the revamp will promote physical activity and improve pedestrian safety. It will also provide a pathway to the Randall's Island Connector, a new bridge expected to open later this summer. The project is backed by Montefiore Medical Center in an effort to help reduce the high rate of asthma in the neighborhood.
A High Bridge Reopens, A Neglected Park Remains in Its Shadows
Earlier this June, after a lengthy $61.8 million renovation process, the High Bridge reopened to the public for the first time in over 40 years, finally leaving the list of abandoned New York City Landmarks. Since its unveiling, thousands of visitors have walked across this refurbished span, enjoying views of the Harlem River and visiting the Bronx and Manhattan halves of Highbridge Park, now reunited after a long separation. The "glorious" restoration of the High Bridge has rightfully been hailed as a major step forward in the ongoing rebirth of the Harlem River and is one of the largest projects to be completed along this shoreline, which now hosts a jigsaw puzzle of unconnected new parkland, green spaces, and playgrounds. While the ribbon-cutting at the High Bridge has brought public attention to this lesser-known corner of the city, it remains to be seen what lasting impact the bridge will have on its immediate surroundings.
NYRP, Bam Team Up to Bring Annual, Free Arts in the Gardens to Brooklyn Communities
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) are partnering for the second year to present a season of free arts programming in four NYRP community gardens in Bed-Stuy and Gowanus. With the goal of raising awareness and further activating NYRP’s wider network of public green spaces, the Arts in the Gardens series will bring communities together to enjoy performing arts in a natural, outdoor setting.
Surveying How Their Gardens Grow
Deborah Marton spends her workdays toiling over places where others spend their days of rest. Ms. Marton, 52, is the executive director of the New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit group that Bette Midler started in 1995 to reclaim decaying green spaces in the city’s low-income neighborhoods. This means that Ms. Marton sometimes spends her weekends hearing from Ms. Midler. “Right now she’s in L.A., preparing for a tour,” Ms. Marton said. “But she does think about work on the weekends.” After the past winter, and with Earth Day approaching on April 22, the staff, which tends to two parks and 52 community gardens, has had a lot of planting and spiffing up to do. When not overseeing the spiffing, Ms. Marton decamps to her loft in the Flatiron district, which she shares on alternating weeks with her son, Henry, 16, and full time with Lex, a small rescue mutt.
Poor and Forgotten, A South Bronx Park Gets A Small Boost
On Wednesday, the parks department is holding a “scoping session,” or design workshop, for the community in which it will solicit ideas to improve not only the playground, but also the park as a whole. And the New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit group founded by Bette Midler that has transformed struggling parks in poor Manhattan neighborhoods, is now in talks with the parks department about helping St. Mary’s. For parks advocates, the tattered appearance of many parks in low-income areas carries a profound social cost. “If you are a child growing up in a community where everything around you is in disarray, with trash and broken things, it sends a message that you don’t count,” said Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project. “If you walk through a well-maintained open space, even in a low-income community, you feel like your city is investing in you.” Ms. Marton’s group adopted Sherman Creek, a former illegal dump site on the banks of the Harlem River in Upper Manhattan. In the past 10 years, it has created an oasis there, building and maintaining a children’s garden, a boathouse and paths that wend through native plants. In the past year, the New York Restoration Project has worked in Mott Haven on a plan to foster connections between the neighborhood and nearby Randalls Island, with its major athletic complex. In a phone interview, Ms. Marton said it would be premature to describe her discussions with parks officials.
Planting For An Edible City
Lucky for us and our dreams of apple pie, food and trees go hand in hand. This fall marked a special event in New York when, for the first time in its history, the semi-annual MillionTreesNYC free tree giveaway exclusively featured edible fruit trees. Species included Indian Blood peach (Prunus persica), Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia), Chicago Hardy fig (Ficus carica), Prima almond (Prunus dulcis), and Pristine apple (Malus domestica). Giveaways ran through October, and 4,500 delicious new trees found happy homes in all five boroughs.
Michael Kors, Bette Midler, Scott Lips And Alexa Chung Go All Out For Halloween
Friday night, Bette Midler transformed The Waldorf Astoria ballroom for a Halloween blowout paying homage to the work of Federico Fellini. The resulting “Fellini Hulaweeni” festival did not disappoint, and raised over $500,000 for The New York Restoration Project. Midler was joined by Tony Danza, dressed as Elvis, and Michael Kors. Kors took the stage dressed as Fellini himself, toting a camera and sporting a ghastly orange tan, to award the best dressed party goers – one of which included fellow designer Narciso Rodriguez with husband Thomas Tolan dressed as Venetian clowns. “He totally messed with my brain, I had no idea it was Narciso,” Kors told the crowd, “We’ve known each other for a thousand years and I had no idea who the chic, chic clowns were!”
Setting The Stage For New Growth
Geraldine Stutz, best known for transforming department store Henri Bendel into a chic shopping mecca, posthumously left her mark on the La Casita Community Garden, located on 119th Street, near Third Avenue. A $250,000 gift from the Geraldine Stutz Trust has given La Casita, founded in 1990, a face-lift that included new plantings, barbecue grills and a small outdoor stage. The project was implemented through a partnership with the New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit that supports the creation and maintenance of green spaces around New York City. Some $80,000 of the $250,000 will be allocated to long-term maintenance.
NYRP, Queens Library Team Up For Free Tree Giveaway
One hundred Queens residents were given the chance to expand their urban gardens and enjoy a fruitful spring, as the New York Restoration Project teamed up with the Queens Library for a free tree giveaway.
De Blasio And Parks Commissioner Silver Launched Initiative to Build...
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP today launched the Community Parks Initiative—a multi-faceted program to invest in under-resourced public parks located in New York City’s densely populated and growing neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. CPI’s first phase will target 35 community parks through a $130 million capital investment that promotes the full re-creation of these parks, $7.2 million in expense funding for Fiscal Year 2015, and $36.3 million in capital funding from the Department of Environmental Protection for green infrastructure improvements at these sites. CPI’s first phase will target 55 neighborhoods across the five boroughs, reaching approximately 220,000 New Yorkers living within a 10-minute walk of the targeted parks. In its entirety, the initiative’s first phase represents over $173 million in capital and expense funding. “We are thrilled with the Mayor’s thoughtful and well-conceived plan to bring more resources to our city’s public spaces,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director of New York Restoration Project. “For nearly 20 years, New York Restoration Project has been building and caring for parks and community gardens in our city’s least green, highest-need communities. The Community Parks Initiative increases the impact of this work, and we look forward to partnering with the Mayor and Commissioner Silver to achieve its important goal of creating thriving public spaces for all New Yorkers.”
Trees Planted Along Grand Concourse As Part of TD Tree Day
Bronx volunteers spent the day Tuesday planting trees along the Grand Concourse as part of TD Tree Day. The financial institution and the New York Restoration Project teamed up to beautify part of the concrete business strip. The trees will replace older trees damaged by animals and the environment.
Organization Gives Away Trees to Beautify New York Neighborhoods
The New York Restoration Project is giving away fruit trees as part of an effort to help New Yorkers plant and care for one million trees by 2015. "Part of it is to take—to allow residents to take ownership of their community by planting a tree in their front or their backyard, or wherever they have property where they can plant a tree at. This is also an initiative to help beautify the neighborhood as well. By having trees in front yards or around the community, it makes people more inclined to walk around, safely in their community. And to feel like they have a safe and attractive community to walk through," says Robert Jones of the Bed-Stuy Restoration Corporation.
Bette In The Bronx
She recorded the song “The Rose” for the film of the same name; the movie was her motion picture debut. Now, she is helping to ensure that they, and all manner of flowers and produce, keep blooming in the Bronx. Academy Award-nominated, Grammy Award-winning actress, singer and New York Restoration Project (NYRP) founder Bette Midler attended the special ribbon-cutting held at the Willis Avenue Community Garden in Mott Haven this past Thurs., Sept. 18th. The event marked the completed renovation of the garden.
Power To The People
Enjoying a cultural event or relaxing with neighbors in an urban garden can be a welcome way of recharging one’s batteries. A new prototype for a community-garden pavilion by TEN Arquitectos, with Buro Happold, takes the idea literally. In case of a neighborhood power outage, the structure will offer solar electricity and Wi-Fi so people can charge their phones and access the Internet. Design work began in 2013, not long after Hurricane Sandy left large swaths of the city without power. Emergency preparedness was on everyone’s mind. The New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a nonprofit organization that owns and maintains 52 community gardens in high-need neighborhoods throughout the city, and the eco-conscious Urban Air Foundation recruited TEN Arquitectos to design a new garden-shelter prototype.
Renovations Complete at Community Garden in East Harlem
The La Casita Community Garden on 119th Street underwent a two-month renovation. The space now features all new trees, plants and seating areas. Upgrades also include an elevated stage and projection screen for public performances and events.
Geraldine Stutz To Be Honored With Community Garden
Decades after she helped leagues of designers become well-known names, Geraldine Stutz will be honored posthumously Tuesday, when a renovated Harlem garden is celebrated in her honor. In addition to having lilies, rhododendrons and many of her favorite plants that are meant to accent the river birches that line both sides of the La Casita Community Garden, the community space will have a stage for performances and a projection screen for educational purposes among other features.
Mott Haven Community Garden Reopens
The site was transformed with the help of the New York Restoration Project.
What A Rose! Bette Milder to Unveil Bronx Community Garden Renovated by Her Nonprofit
Divinity has arrived in the Bronx — with a huge pair of scissors. Bette Midler will be in Mott Haven on Thursday to help unwrap the recently renovated Willis Avenue Community Garden, one of dozens of sites that the New York Restoration Project — the nonprofit founded by the Divine Miss M — maintains across the city.
Executive Moves: Deborah Marton
As Executive Director, Deborah will manage NYRP’s work, overseeing all organizational activities, from park restoration and operations in Northern Manhattan, renovation and maintenance 52 community gardens, and implementation of MillionTreesNYC with NYC Parks. She will continue to lead the vision for a waterfront site in Northern Manhattan to be developed as a center for recreational boating and environmental education.
Willis Avenue Community Garden Gets Facelift
he Willis Avenue Community Garden just got a facelift. The greenspace, at 378 Willis Ave., and one of the New York Restoration Project's gardens, is now home to a new steel picket fence, rebuilt garden beds and a rebuilt shelter, the centerpiece of the renovations.
Bronx Artists Honor Hip-hop With Performance At The Willis Avenue Community Garden
Some Bronx artists are turning community gardens into their personal hip-hop arenas. MCs, dancers and poets used the Willis Avenue Community Garden to put on a live performance honoring hip-hop. Performers of all ages took to the stage to share experiences about city life and what it's like to be a Bronx native. Many say that green spaces should be used more often for similar events that bring community members together.
How Doth The Garden Grow: Radical Rehabs, Before And After
Upon moving to New York City in 1995, actress, singer, activist, and fabulous penthouse owner Bette Midler founded the New York Restoration Project, which has since acquired over 50 community gardens in underserved communities and rehabbed nearly half of them. Pictured above is Bed-Stuy's Garden of Hope, which was adopted in 2006 by interior designer Ellie Cullman and reopened in May 2008 after a redesign that brought in travertine pavers, hedges of espaliered Euonymus, and a gazebo surrounded by sculptural concrete globes.
NYRP, BAM Presents Arts in the Gardens Series in Brooklyn Community Gardens
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) have partnered to present a season of free arts programming in select NYRP community gardens in Brooklyn. NYRP gardens are available for anyone to volunteer in, grow produce and host their own events. With the goal of raising awareness and further activating NYRP’s wider network of public green spaces, the Arts in the Gardens series will bring communities together to enjoy performing arts in an outdoor setting. The event series will feature a mixed line-up of family-friendly events, including a music festival; movement, dance and rhythm workshops; a performance art installation; dance performances and a dance-themed film series. The events will take place in four Bedford-Stuyvesant and Gowanus gardens from June through September.
Spare Times for Children For July 4–10
‘Hip Hop for Everyone’ (Saturday) It’s easy to be intimidated by someone’s intricate moves, but as this workshop’s title explains, hip-hop is really for everyone. A program for children 9 and older, conducted by Cora Dance, this session to develop a personal dance style kicks off Youth Moves, a series created by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the New York Restoration Project. The project, an organization dedicated to redeeming the city’s neglected public spaces, administers a variety of community gardens, and all this joyous movement on Saturday will take place in one of them: the Jane Bailey Memorial Garden. At noon, 327-329 Greene Avenue, near Franklin Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, 212-333-2552, nyrp.org; free.
Strike A Chord: A Greener New York City
New York is often referred to as the concrete jungle. The paved and developed landscape offers plenty of advantages to its residents. But, there’s a lot to be said for having access to green spaces as well. Not only are trees, flowers, and other plantlife easy on the eyes, they’re important components of a healthy and balanced ecosystem. We'll hear from: Steve Frillman of the Green Guerillas Deborah Marton is the Executive Director of the New York Restoration Project Shalini Beath is the deputy director of Million Trees NYC Nancy Kohn, Director of Green Thumb in NYC Ursula Chance, Director of Bronx Green-up, the New York Botanical Garden's community outreach program Jason Alosio, a PhD candidate of biology, and urban ecologist. He's the founder of St. Rose's Garden at Fordham Lisa Fabish of Pleasant Village community garden in East Harlem
Summer Festival Turns Brooklyn Community Gardens Into Art Venues
he Arts in the Gardens series, which kicks off on June 14 in Bed-Stuy, is a summer-long festival designed to showcase gardens and arts programming in underserved areas. By featuring art in the gardens, organizers said they hope to show that community green spaces can also be used as public gathering spots. "Yes, 'community garden' sounds very specific," said Jordan Dyniewski, public events director at the New York Restoration Project, which operates the gardens. "But they're actually much more than that."
Volunteers With New York Restoration Project Build 'Garden Casita' At Willis Avenue Community Garden
Dozens of volunteers are spending their weekend constructing a small, but worthwhile building in a Mott Haven garden. The effort is part of the New York Restoration Project at the Willis Avenue Community Garden. The volunteers are building what they call a “Garden Casita,” or little house in Spanish.
The Divine Miss M. Graces Grant's Tomb
Last year, Bette Midler and her New York Restoration Project hosted the annual Spring Picnic fundraiser at Gracie Mansion. This year, it moved to a tent decorated with strings of lights at the General Grant National Memorial on Riverside Drive and 122nd Street, known more colloquially as Grant's Tomb.
Amy Poehler Spoke at the New York Restorations Project Picnic
Amy Poehler showed up at Grant’s Tomb on Thursday to deliver the opening remarks at the New York Restoration Project’s spring picnic. Inside a tent by the Hudson River, in one of the parks that the organization has rehabilitated, N.Y.R.P. founder Bette Midler and guests including Cynthia Nixon, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray, Bernadette Peters, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Melissa Leo, Josh Charles, Tim Gunn, Liz Smith, and Michael Kors, took in Poehler’s wacky stream-of-consciousness routine, complete with a heckler smack-down and a shout-out to her trainer, Razu.
Bronx Gardens to Feature Hip-hop, Films and More This Summer
Gardens in the Bronx will be filled with hip-hop performances and films this summer thanks to a partnership between the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the New York Restoration Project, a conservancy in the city.
Bringing Arts to Brooklyn and Bronx Community Gardens
Spring is bringing more than new flowers to the community gardens operated by the New York Restoration Project. The nonprofit group, created by Bette Midler in 1995, is collaborating with the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Bronx Museum of the Arts on a new series, Arts in the Gardens, that will present music, performance art, poetry, dance and film at four gardens in the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Gowanus neighborhoods of Brooklyn and three gardens in the Tremont, Melrose and Highbridge neighborhoods of the South Bronx.
Campaign to Plant to More Trees in NYC Begins BY Tagging Everything That Isn't One 'Let's Change That'
OK, it's time to play "Tree, Not a Tree." New York City has so few trees that people there might have forgotten what a tree is, exactly. At least, that's the tongue-in-cheek idea behind the New York Restoration Project's new campaign from ad agency Tierney.
A Gathering Spot And Emergency Resource For New York's Community Gardens
What if a simple modular structure could serve not only as a neighborhood gathering spot in New York’s community gardens but also as a source of power, energy, and solace in an emergency? That’s the idea behind a project spearheaded by the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and TEN Arquitectos. The NYRP and TEN have teamed with the nonprofit Urban Air Foundation to develop a “kit of parts” for a modular outdoor shed that could be built in each of the 52 community gardens that the NYRP owns and maintains throughout New York City.
Video: Bette Midler on Her Passion for Rebuilding Community Gardens
The entertainer talks to AD about her nonprofit, the New York Restoration Project.
Bette Midler's Green Thumb Revitalizes Community Gardens
When Bette Midler moved to New York from Los Angeles in 1995, she was horrified by the litter strewn across the landscape. The singer and actress not only launched a one-woman pickup operation, but also founded the enormously successful New York Restoration Project (NYRP) to revitalize neglected green spaces.
Midland Beach Students Take Part in Million Trees Initiative
Community leaders came out to PS 52 this week to stress the importance of being environmentally conscious and were on hand to plant a tree in front of the school.
NYRP And JetBlue Bring NYC One Step to MillionTreesNYC Goal With "One Thing That's Green"
In honor of Earth Day, New York Restoration Project teamed up with JetBlue airlines to host the seventh annual “One Thing That’s Green,” a tree-planting event that’s moved New York City another step closer to its MillionTreesNYC goal. The event, held last Saturday, gathered over 250 volunteers to Woodside in Queens to plant over 100 trees. Since 2008, the airline’s “One Thing That’s Green” annual event has brought 3,000 volunteers together to plant over 3,500 trees and clean up nearly 3 tons of trash.
Rebounding From Hurrican Sandy, One Tree At A Time
As the houses and businesses come back to life, so are the neighborhood’s parks and gardens. On two Sundays this spring, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) helped Belle Harbor continue this process of recovery, not by giving out money, but by giving out free trees as part of their tree giveaway program. To the local residents, many of whom lost almost all their trees and shrubs as a result of the hurricane, these new trees were much more than something to plant in the ground. They were living symbols of hope and healing.
Branching Out: MillionTreesNYC on track to Reach Planting Goal by 2015
MillionTreesNYC is an initiative organized by the New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit founded by Bette Midler in 1995 out of desire to make the city more sustainable. It operates as a private-public partnership between the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which has pledged to plant 700,000 trees, and private organizations and individuals who will donate the rest.
Tree Giveaways Offered Sunday At Staten Island Home Depots
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- It's finally starting to feel like spring on Staten Island. Get into the gardening spirit and celebrate Sunday's sunny 70s weather by picking up a free tree at Home Depot Sunday morning. The tree giveaways, which are sponsored by sustainability-focused non-profit New York Restoration Project, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Home Depot locations in Graniteville (2501 Forest Ave.) and Concord (545 Targee St.).
Trees Find New Homes In Whitestone Yards
The Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association teamed up with Girl Scout Troop 4551 and the New York Restoration Project to give out 85 trees to Whitestone residents Sunday afternoon.
MillionTreesNYC Tree Giveaways 2014
NY1 brings you the story of 12,000 FREE trees through MillionTreesNYC, supported by TD Bank, Toyota and JetBlue! Did you know that our giveaways make up the largest municipal tree giveaway program in the country? Learn more about how to get your own tree for your own NYC property today, by visiting www.nyrp.org/treegiveaways.
A New Recreation And Education Facility Set to Revitalize Sherman Creek
Scarcely two decades ago, Sherman Creek, a tributary of the Harlem River in northern Manhattan, was choked by weeds and the wreckage of century-old boathouses. Now, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and Brooklyn-based firm Bade Stageberg Cox are on track to restore the area to the vibrant community hub it once was.