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Green Council’s Green Thumb: Green All Around

Throughout the summer, Green Council has made many accomplishments at various community gardens. We worked at Cultivate HKNY's rooftop garden in Hell's Kitchen, Wanaqua Garden in the Bronx, and P.S 33 Chelsea Prep. What made this summer so special was that each of the gardens had its own unique identity.

P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep

We have been working at the garden in P.S 33 Chelsea Prep, a local elementary school, by doing regular maintenance that includes watering, weeding, and harvesting. One project we accomplished was assembling the irrigation system across the vegetable garden, which allowed the plants to grow and flourish. We were able to harvest all sorts of vegetables, including cucumbers, fennel, jalapenos, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, lemon basil, eggplants, bell peppers, and Swiss chard.

Green Council members Christine and Sarah fix the irrigation lines in the children's gardens at P.S. 33. Chelsea Prep.

"P.S. 33 provided us a brand-new experience by allowing us to work with a different style of gardening where we replaced the soil in a garden with water," said Green Council member Darnell Maxwell.

Hell's Kitchen Rooftop Garden

At the Hell's Kitchen rooftop garden, we helped harvest vegetables for the food pantry that gives food to local residents. The supervisors at the location allowed us to experiment with a crop. Our group chose radishes—and it turned out that radishes do well on the rooftop! Throughout our time there we harvested tomatoes, beans, sunflowers, basil, rosemary, sage, and lot of kale, lettuce, and Swiss chard.

Green Council's last day helping the Hell's Kitchen Farm Project harvesting and collecting sunflowers.

"The Hell's Kitchen rooftop project made Green Council really come together as a team to accomplish many tasks, even under the burning sun," said Kelly Elugardo, a Green Council member.

Wanaqua Garden

We recently started helping the Wanaqua Garden in the Bronx get ready for the fall. During our work at the garden, we helped weed and mulch. One of our leaders, D'en Vargas, made work lighter by singing "This Is Me" from the movie Camp Rock with our members. One of Wanaqua's gardeners, Don Carlos, taught some of our members a special technique to handle a hoe, which made our work easier.

Don Carlos teaches Green Council members how to properly use a hoe.

"The diverse activities, such as mulching, carpentry and more, provide a memorable experience for anyone," said Green Council member Wan Yi Ng.

Working with Green Council has allowed us to make connections between horticulture and our community, and has personally inspired my dream of becoming a landscape architect. As we conclude this summer, we want to thank our funders for making this program possible. We wish all the best to the new members that will be hired in the fall.

High Line Youth – part of High Line Community Engagement – is generously supported by Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Google Community Grants Fund of Tides Foundation. High Line Youth is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council – with special thanks to Council Member Corey Johnson and the Greener NYC Initiative.

TD Bank is a Supporting Sponsor of Green Council.

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