Wonderful news from iDig2Learn: Thanks to Partnerships Native Trees added to Roosevelt Island landscapes
Yesterday, April 24th, turned into a wonderful busy day.
RIOC Special Events invited Island Kids families, RI Youth Center teens and staff, and Girl Scouts to the gardens to join us in service. They all showed up fairly early in steady numbers to help place compost in former tree pits near the Octagon tennis courts, nearby Pony field and further south on Main Street, too. These tree spots will soon be filled with pollinator plantings to become butterfly beds/pocket meadows in June.
RIGC invited 12 high school students from UNIS who helped out all morning for service in the gardens. Four of these students along with Outreach Associate, Laura Laderman, completely handled the table for free seed planting on Meditation Lawn from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. They worked in between plogging/recycling with Christina Delfico of iDig2Learn and a book exchange with Nicole Izsak and daughter. RIGC also took some worms and decomposers to Haki compost for kids of all ages who came by with food scraps to explore.
Both our community gardens and other parts of our Island were buzzing with beautification, time outside in the sunshine, and some learning about nature.
As can often be the case, composting pulled people together. Anthony and the Compost Committee's work made a big difference along with compost from Big Reuse and RIOC. Some Island Kids families, Youth Center teens, and older Girl Scouts stayed all morning helping to sift compost and enjoying the worms.
Many RIGC gardeners came out to work on the rose garden beds, begin work on border replacement, clean paths and common areas, upgrade landscape areas, begin painting to upgrade, and to put out hoses. The UNIS students enjoyed learning, helping, and chatting with gardeners.
Collaborations and connections all around. This was RIGC's first community service day since the fall of 2019 and it turned into an important, lovely milestone for many on Roosevelt Island.
If you have more pictures and RIGC news from this day, please send them to email@example.com.
If you’ve wanted to master transparent watercolor and haven’t had the time or opportunity, my six-week immersion, The Interaction of Watercolor, starts tomorrow Monday online at *Sculptors Alliance!
This hands-on course is designed for artists who want to understand the interaction of color without the eye-numbing science of refracted and reflected light. If you’ve tried watercolor before and given up, this course is for you! Using just six tubes of paint, the rogue nature of this fluid medium will become your collaborator as you develop confidence and aptitude.
You don’t have to be a sculptor to enroll in this course—and it’s free for NYC residents thanks to the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
Information/registration for the course is here. More information about materials, and regular updates, here.
Please reach out if I can answer any questions you might have. If you have friends who might be interested, please help spread the word, thanks!
All the best,
*Sculptors Alliance, Inc. is committed to developing and encouraging community interest in the field of fine arts, with an emphasis on sculpture. The organization is devoted to fostering creativity through the promotion of sculpture as an art form in a way that makes a sustained and lasting impact on the public. It seeks to provide information and instruction on the techniques and methodologies of sculptural art in order to stimulate expression of the community’s cultural statues and heritage. Through exhibitions and presentation of works of sculpture in all mediums, Sculptors Alliance offers a means by which the cultural identity of the community may be expressed; it showcases established and unknown, but promising artists, for the cultural enrichment of the community.
A benign invasion is coming this May (or when the soil heats up to 64 degrees), the likes of which has not been seen since 2004, and will not repeated again until 2038. The large red-eyed cicadas
are coming to New York (Central Park, the Bronx and Staten Island at least) but I am not certain
that includes Roosevelt Island? We will know for sure when we hear their 100 decibels mating
call, which will make the FDR seem quiet by comparison. We will know for sure when we see
their shredded exoskeletons lining the tree branches as if they were frozen in time from some
ancient lost world. They will be with us for about a month before they go back into hibernation. And our local birds will be able to eat up to their hearts content. Some have asked why the 17 year cycle? It could be a clever defense mechanism to avoid predators, or a way that helped them cope with the last ice age, but I think they are doing it just to remind us that nature has its own way of doing things that go beyond our understanding. go beyond our understanding. I hope to see them again in 2038. By Neal Weissman
For more scientific information check out this KidsPost Article from the Washington Post.
On Saturday March 27th we had our first group of UN International School student volunteers come to help with maintenance and landscape work. At the same time our local Eagle Scout candidate and garden member Brendan was actively helping all day with Compost work. We are so glad that we can gather again in 2021 with each other and with volunteers as long as we stay masked and physcially distant.
Celebrate community service!
This powerpoint will give a fairly complete review of key agenda items covered at the meeting. Unfortunately, we were not able to record this time. Minutes of this Spring General Meeting will be provided at the Fall General meeting.
Carole Kennedy, Vice President of the Manhattan Rose Society, led anyone and everyone interested in helping out for a workshop to prune the roses and get them ready for this season. March 20th, Saturday from 11-2. We had at least 15 and perhaps 20 people who showed up.
Carole had marked the roses to the right height and we filled more than two large bags with clippings. The paths and beds were prepared as well. It turned out to be a beautiful day and we were all thinking of Marjorie Marcallino. We hope for a memorial moment in her honor on one of the first two weekends in June.
Thanks to Jenna Longo for the pictures
Online registration forms and all checks are due on February 28th.
Then our Spring General Membership Meeting is scheduled on March 21st.
The 2021 garden season is around the corner!
However, it is never too late to reach out and sign up to work with other gardeners and to share or learn some new skills. On the registration form, you have the opportunity to sign up to participate in garden committees. But what do each of these committees do? What does it mean to be part of a committee?
Committees are groups of garden volunteers who work together in an ongoing capacity to help run and maintain our community garden space. Any member or associate may join a committee. If you would like to join a committee you can sign up on your registration form, at the spring general meeting, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a Further Description of RIGC's Committees:
Ad Hoc Compost
The Compost Committee returns all types of organic matter to the Earth. We have varied tasks and a relaxed schedule. Outreach is a big part of what we do, so it’s not all bugs and banana peels. No experience necessary. New associates and gardeners are especially welcome. Mother nature does most of the work. We just need to learn, then teach each other how to get out of the way.
Ad Hoc COVID Team
This team helps to place signs, formulate the alcohol cleaning solution, and to regularly clean common surfaces such as the gates and locks. Members work individually on an agreed upon schedule. This team also helps advise the Board and communicates any needs arising due to COVID precautions. Join this team if you want to help keep our garden community healthy!
Landscape & Common Areas
The Landscape & Common Areas Committee is responsible for planting and maintaining the garden’s borders, exterior perimeters and common areas. The committee meets for about two planning meetings per year, and members plant and maintain the landscape areas in small groups on their own time or on agreed upon work days. Join this committee if you want to learn or share skills with the aesthetics of landscape design, pruning, soil and plant care.
The Maintenance Committee manages and oversees maintenance projects and is responsible for the upkeep of tools and equipment. Maintenance projects are planned and executed as they arise. Members work in supervised small groups on planned work days. Past projects have included: upgrading pathways, upgrading the wooden borders surrounding each plot, water line repair, hose maintenance, cleaning and repairing tools, and others. Join this committee if you want to learn or share skills related to carpentry, using tools, and building the physical infrastructure of the garden.
Outreach & Publicity
The Outreach & Publicity Committee works with education and community-building activities and engages with the broader Roosevelt Island community. There are one-off and ongoing ways to participate. Signing up means you will receive requests to assist with varied outreach events if interested or you can work on garden signage or the website. Past projects have included: hosting groups for garden visits; offering free classes for older kids; participating in Roosevelt Island Day and Fall for Arts; helping with gardening workshops for members; and more. Join this committee if you like writing, graphic design, or education/arts activities.
The Rose Garden Committee is responsible for planting and maintaining the Rose Garden. The Committee has a community education and pruning day in April and meets monthly together or in small groups to maintain the rose garden. Join this committee if you want to learn or share skills on growing roses and clematis.
The Standards Committee is responsible for ensuring that community members maintain their gardens and pathways to our collective standards so that RIGC is a source of natural beauty on Roosevelt Island. The committee meets monthly to assess all the gardens in the club according to the Rules and Regulations. This committee also communicates with members and the Board about any needs that may arise regarding the proper maintenance of individual gardens. Join this committee if you are committed to beautifying our garden or want to learn more about small garden design.
Treasurer or Secretary Support
This team supports the Board’s Treasurer or Secretary with certain parts of their duties. Members may help with tasks including: sign in at meetings, managing voting, double checking registration lists, assisting with bookkeeping, and other administrative tasks. Join this team if you are interested in learning or sharing skills related to communications, budgeting, and group administration.
Have other ideas for a short or long-term project? Let us know by emailing email@example.com!
It is with a very sad heart that RIGC
shares news of her passing.
Marjorie Marcallino passed away on Thursday, February 4th after a tenacious fight with a long illness. As one of the founding members of Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Marjorie has served with wit and grace as chair and curator of our Rose Garden for at least four decades. She was active with gardening and oversaw the health and beauty of the roses well into November of last year. Marjorie also served as the Vice President of the American Rose Society where she will be greatly missed. She was a wise presence at our Board meetings, and we will likely hear her voice in our minds ongoing as she would strategically bring discussions back to the main point if ever folks got side-tracked. RIGC will send news of any plans to honor her life in a memorial service. You may read a few past Rose Garden stories here at our blog.
In the meantime, please send your memories, tributes, condolences, and photos to firstname.lastname@example.orgWe are gathering these for another blog/website post and possible memorial time.
Take Action to Protect Our Queensbridge Compost Site -
Roosevelt Island depends upon this Big Reuse Site for composting and give backs! They have been so generous with us since 2015. The information below is all from BigReuse.org and the #saveourcompost coalition posts. The slides were created by NRDC.org.
Please sign the petitions
You may also want to write a short written testimony before Monday, Dec. 20th.
NYC Parks plans to replace our Queensbridge Compost Processing Site on December 31, 2020 with a parking lot. Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and Mayor Bill de Blasio both have the power to put a stop to this. Here are some actions you can take to demand that NYC Parks renew our lease.
Composting is an environmental justice issue too. When food waste is not composted, it is often sent to incinerators located primarily in low-income communities and communities of color and burned with trash and fossil fuels. This releases particulates and toxic chemicals into local communities.
Finally, sustainably disposing of organics is critical to achieving New York City’s ambitious climate and zero waste goals. Dumping food waste into landfills or incinerators instead of composting them adds to air pollution, accelerates the climate crisis, and will mean that the people who provide these critical composting services will lose their jobs.