Green Is in the Air

February 24, 2012

Volunteers construct a greenhouse in Bed-Stuy as part of PS 3's Healthy Ambassador Afterschool Program / Image courtesy of BSRC

Greening from the Ground Up

As spring approaches, our thoughts immediately turn to gardens, parks, beaches, bike paths, and walking trails—the things that we love about Brooklyn’s “great outdoors.” We’re more excited than ever this year because we see real change in our community’s ecosystem as we help forge closer connections between community development and environmental protection. Our goal: to make Brooklyn a greener, healthier, and happier place to live, work, and play.
Last August, from a Williamsburg rooftop, we officially kicked off our largest environmental effort to date: Brooklyn Greens. Volunteers and elected officials, armed with paint rollers, paired up to coat a black roof with white paint, an illustration of one of the many carbon footprint-reducing activities that would take place over the next three years in three distinct and diverse Brooklyn neighborhoods under the new initiative.

Brooklyn Greens links together the communities of Bedford Stuyvesant, 
Plant the Seed for a Greener Brooklyn

If you care strongly about our urban environment, consider a gift to our Green Communities Fund.

Your support enables us to invest in more projects that will shape Brooklyn’s future.

Southside Williamsburg, and Cypress Hills/East New York to create a model of neighborhood-wide environmental improvement and sustainability. 

From retrofitting homes and businesses to be more energy efficient, to cultivating green spaces, promoting healthy lifestyles, and training a new workforce for the green economy, the three communities of Brooklyn Greens are working together to demonstrate how “green” can grow—and flourish—in our urban environment, and how other Brooklyn communities can effectively implement their strategies.

Our community partners in the initiative—Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, El Puente, and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation—are working together with the guidance of the Pratt Center for Community Development.

Here are a few highlights of their work as we enter our second year of collaboration:

  • Bed-Stuy Restoration: This past weekend, Restoration worked with Adopt-a-Farm Box, LISC NYC, and members of the PS 3 community to construct a greenhouse as part of PS 3's Healthy Ambassador Afterschool Program, which will officially launch this spring. The program will teach student participants about fruit and vegetable cultivation, environmental stewardship, and healthy eating.
  • Cypress Hills LDC: Last fall, over 200 Cypress Hills and East New York community members came together to re-envision the way their neighborhoods look, feel and work at CHLDC’s Verde Summit, an inclusive, bi-lingual community planning event held at the Cypress Hills Community School. Learn more
  • El Puente: With our support, the longstanding Williamsburg group has launched the Green Light District in the traditionally Latino Southside community, which has experienced dramatic development and an influx of new residents in recent years. The transformative effort will focus on the connection between quality of life and arts & culture, civic engagement, education, health and the environment.
Sharing Our Strategies for Sustainability

To bring the lessons of Brooklyn Greens to all of Brooklyn, we’re joining our Brooklyn Greens partners with support from LISC NYC and State Farm to present “Greening from the Ground Up,” a free one-day sustainability leadership conference on Friday, March 16th at Pratt Institute.

We invite all Brooklynites who are passionate about green communities and a sustainable future to join us.
Workshop List
Community-based organizations, local officials, and neighborhood residents will spend the day sharing resources, best practices, and useful tools for strengthening sustainability initiatives throughout Brooklyn—in communities of high rises, single family homes, row houses, and everything in between. Participants will hear from Judith Enck, administrator for EPA's Region 2 Office in New York, and partake in interactive workshops and lively discussion with some of the City’s top experts in sustainability.

Join us!

Friday, March 16, 2012
9:30AM to 4PM - Coffee, snacks, and lunch will be provided

Pratt Institute, Higgins Hall
61 St. James Place, Brooklyn, NY

Register at


What's Happening Across Brooklyn

Here are a few highlights of news and events we’ve shared with our followers this week. Don’t miss a thing! Like us at and follow us at

NonProfit HelpDesk Workshops & Webinars this Spring
The NonProfit HelpDesk, a division of our Caring Neighbors Fund grantee partner the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, Inc., helps community-based nonprofit organizations build capacity to better serve their clients. Their webinars are available to your nonprofit organization at no charge. Learn more.

Informing Our Communities
Earlier this week, we attended the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's annual Media Learning Seminar along with our partners at the Knight Community Information Challenge-winning Brooklyn Bureau. The two-day conference brought together community and place-based foundations, journalists, and media innovators to discuss challenges and opportunities in creating more informed and more empowered communities. Watch archived video and read blogs from presenters to help you get inspired and think creatively about solutions to Brooklyn's information needs. Learn more.

Build a Better Brooklyn
Please take a moment to cast your vote for Brooklyn Community Foundation in Bay Ridge Toyota's Build a Better Brooklyn Facebook contest. The dealership will give the winning charity a percentage of the proceeds from every car sold during the first quarter of this year. Vote here!