Thanks to Laura, a new RIGC Associate, we were able to offer free gardening experiences for 4th to 8th graders almost every Sunday afternoon from June through mid-November. The older elementary and middle school students live on Roosevelt Island and have parents on the RIGC waitlist. They are interested in being outdoors and learning by doing. We started with 4-6 students regularly until it became colder and numbers changed. Pretty much rain or shine, we listened and watched for eco-systems in the garden, made scavenger hunts, planted seeds, observed the changing seasons, harvested vegetables, raked, dug, watered, swept, sifted compost and created games. In the end we built a raised bed for the 2020 season. Watch for class announcements and sign up in the new gardening season!
by Christina Delfico of iDig2Learn
Partners rallied for the best Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Smash ever! Nearly 300 attendees came through to enjoy the day.
Manhattan Park's lower lawn was perfect. And this year Anthony Longo and his son AJ added a Pumpkin roll for the littlest smashers and a tumbler too, both huge hits. Julia Ferguson from the RI Garden club was on hand with the popular compost process and decomposer demonstration table. We also added delicious homemade layer cakes created by local Andrea Jackson of Your Favorite Cake.
So much gratitude for all the new and returning volunteers that went above and beyond including Aiesha Eleusizov, Akylbai Eleusizov for his photos as well as the Girl Scouts and the UN International School 9th and 10th grade volunteers. Thanks to returning help from Levka Starkova, Kim Massey, Karen Lee, Max, Niti Parikh, Danika, and all the attending smashers. It was wonderful to see Ms. Lauraine from PS 217 and her whole family, Mr. Barnes from Coler, Jeff Escobar and his family, Jennilie and Rob from Open Doors, and many more friends from the neighborhood.
If you want to smile, check out the photos below by Akylbai Eleusizov.
Thanks to all our generous partners Susan Rosenthal, Jessica Cerone, Erica Spencer-EL, Mary Cunneen, Fernando Vargas, Michelle Edwards, and the entire RIOC team, Gil Lopez and Bella Rabinovich, Devin Reitsma, Alvin Ulloa, Shakara Petteway and all the Big Reuse folks, Gina from DSNY, Brian Weisberg and the team from Manhattan Park, Sherene Steer-Ojelabi of NYC Ferry, Julia Ferguson of the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Anthony Longo of GRIN, NYPL Ms. Jen & the Roosevelt Island branch, Angel and Lauren of Gristedes, Israel and David from Wengerd Farms, Chief Brown, Officer Wong and Arce and the PSD team, Kareen and team from Motorgate, and island news outlets including Rick O'Conor from The Roosevelt Islander, David Stone from The Roosevelt Island Daily and Briana Warsing from The Main Street WIRE plus island and Upper East Side groups who spread the word to make a great day.
And a big thank you to all the building managers shared the event with their residents in an effort to support sustainability and remove wet waste from their buildings and return food scraps back into the soil!
And to all the teams from the offices of the elected officials Senator Serrano, Assembly Member Seawright, Comptroller Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Brewer and City Council Member Kallos.
This annual Pumpkin Smash event is a fun way to convey that food scraps are not trash and keep our island clean and green. NYC Compost Hosted by Big Reuse will process the pumpkin bits into compost just like they do with islander food scraps every Sat from 9am to 2:30pm at the Food Scrap Drop Off green bins next to the farmers market. To date Big Reuse has helped Roosevelt Island divert over 100,000 pounds of food scraps from landfill. Congratulations! We will share weight totals diverted from landfill when we have them.