In the South Bronx, High Line staff are working with the volunteer-led groups that manage 12 community gardens in the Melrose neighborhood to support their work stewarding and growing these shared green spaces. In collaboration with garden leaders and GreenThumb, a division of NYC Parks that provides support to more than 550 community gardens throughout NYC, we develop free workshops on gardening, grant writing, and coalition building in the Melrose community. Staff also share planning and design experience by developing infrastructure projects tailored to the needs of each garden, including greenhouses, shade canopies, solar power, and pollinator gardens.
In 2017, Friends of the High Line began working with a group of 11 industrial reuse projects across the five boroughs of New York City—more than half of which are located in CPI communities. We’ve organized multiple convenings with local project leaders, community advocates, and local government officials. The group is currently engaging in a learning program focused on environmental justice, equitable and sustainable land use, and fundraising. This program supports local project leaders in developing the organizational capacity and connections necessary to advance their projects.
Each year, the High Line employs a group of 14 local teen staff on the Green Council to work in community gardens in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, providing hands-on experience in horticulture, community gardening, and food justice. Since 2016, Green Council has expanded to include the Melrose community gardens, where teen participants work alongside garden members in cultivating food, public space, and community activities.
'' A closer look beyond the wisteria vines, tomato plants, and free-roaming chickens reveals what I believe to be the greatest impact of our community gardens: their role in uniting neighbors and creating community through the shared stewardship of open public spaces.'
Lead support for High Line Teens comes from Jamie and Jeffrey Harris. Major support is provided by Lynne Waxman Foundation—Jessica Davis and Sandy Klein. Program support comes from The Palette Fund, Sarah Min and Matt Pincus, and Merck Family Fund. Program support for Green Council is provided by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. High Line Teens is also supported with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council—with special thanks to Speaker Corey Johnson and the Greener NYC Initiative.
The High Line Network is made possible by the founding support of The JPB Foundation.