NINETEEN community groups have been awarded grants as part of Change by Us NYC (, a website that enables New Yorkers to connect with each other and with city government to create projects for improving their neighborhoods and our city.

Change by Us NYC, launched by the city in July, is currently focused on projects that answer the question “How can we make our city a greener, greater place to live?”

Grants were awarded to projects on the website in three categories: community gardening and agriculture, composting, and tree and park stewardship — some of the focus areas outlined in PlaNYC, the city’s roadmap for creating its sustainable future.

Change by Us NYC has given the city a way to interact with and support many community groups and civic-minded New Yorkers in all five boroughs.

From planting new gardens to growing sustainable food, these projects will help make New York City greener and greater.

The following groups and projects are receiving grants:

* Brook Park Chickens: will engage volunteers to build the first chicken coop in Brook Park, providing residents with access to humanely raised chickens and eggs. “Chicken Deputies” will be appointed from local schools to monitor chicken and egg production. ($700)

* Bushwick City Farms: will transform a vacant lot located at the NYCHA developments on Stagg Street in Bushwick into a community farm that will serve neighborhood residents, providing a open green space and free organic food. ($900)  

* Butterfly Project NYC: will educate and engage local 8th graders at Emolior Academy to renovate and maintain a pollinator garden area in Drew Gardens, on the Bronx River. ($800)

* CURES & Glendale Civic Association: will bring together a coalition of those interested in  transforming a neglected property along the railroad corridor at Edsall Avenue into a new community garden. ($1,000)

* DeWitt Clinton HS Compost: will turn school cafeteria waste into compost for use in the school garden, by having students volunteer to help cafeteria staff to sort food waste and teaching the students how to build a three-bin composting system. ($850)

* East New York 4 Gardens: will provide materials and tools to support the capacity of four local gardens to work together:  Gregory’s Garden, Floral Vineyard, Elton St. Block Association, and Cypress Hills Community Garden (NYCHA). ($600)

* Friends of Westerleigh Park: will expand local park stewardship program to include composting by providing students of P.S. 30 with hands-on experience in Westerleigh Park. ($600)

* Friends of Wingate Park: will engage youth and community members to clean up Wingate Park and to plant flowers. ($500)

* Mama Dee’s Community Garden: will expand their compost drop off site and increase the amount and quality collected by creating educational signs to explain the process of composting and what can be put in the compost bins. ($600)

* Olive Street Community Garden: will expand by having its current community gardeners teach students from an after-school program how to build three new beds. ($1,000)

* Pelham Organics: will expand an existing garden program with the help of local residents to and distribute free produce in the Pelham Parkway Houses. ($900)

* PLG Neighborhood Association: will create two composting fellowships for young adults in the neighborhood, teaching them everything from outreach to collection to construction and providing them valuable green jobs skills. ($1,000)

* Powell Street Community Garden: engage public housing and local residents to interact and revitalize the garden to increase its growing potential and provide fresh produce to the community. ($600)  

* Prospect Heights Street Tree Task Force: will support hands-on efforts to clean, compost, and mulch in Prospect Heights, working collaboration with the Park Slope Tree Pit Enlargement Project to help neighborhood residents expand and protect their tree pits. ($550)

* Rockaway Resource Recovery: will create a composting facility in a community garden on Beach 97th Street, in partnership with Rockaway Taco, Veggie Island, and Rockaway Beach Club LLC. ($750)

* Roots of Peace Community Garden: will expand the options for North Shore residents to get involved with the Roots of Peace Community Garden’s, including increased composting, guest lectures, and volunteer opportunities. ($800)

* Sprout Rooftop Farms: will work with eight to 10 interns from the Green School in Williamsburg to design and build a composting box, as part of a year-long collaboration to develop vegetable gardens on the school grounds. ($1,000)

* Sustainable Flatbush: will form a compost coalition to collect and process food waste at the Cortelyou Greenmarket to be transported for use at three local community gardens. In partnership with GrowNYC, Compost for Brooklyn, and the Flatbush CommUNITY Garden. ($1,000)

* 300 West Street Block Association: will engage community in street tree care, leaf collection, composting, and spring bulb planting, including a post-Halloween pumpkin collection to be composted into mulch for street tree beds. ($900)

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