Presented and prepared by Vice President Jack Burkhalter
We deeply appreciated Rebecca’s willingness to share her learning: the principles, and the practices of her entire BBP Hort Staff where the “dynamic relationships” of both people and ecosystems are honored and where the lives of plants, caterpillars, butterflies, birds, and people fit together “seamlessly” in an urban setting.
Over 80 people from all five boroughs of NYC, from places across the U.S., and from Nova Scotia to New Zealand were able to join us for Rebecca McMackin's talk. It was so great to hear about the work that she and her team are doing at Brooklyn Bridge Park. With ecological horticulture, they have transformed parking lots into stunning green spaces for people and pollinators.
Thanks again to the iDig2Learn, Cornell Tech, and the RIOC Office of Community and Community Affairs for teaming up with Roosevelt Island Community Garden to host this lecture.
Click below to hear the recording available until June 15th, 2022:
Rebecca McMackin from Brooklyn Bridge Park: A case study for seeing Roosevelt Island as an ecosystem - 04/07/22
Some of the Links shared during the talk:
Brooklyn Bridge Park Horticulture
RebeccaMcmackin website and newsletter
Brooklyn Bridge Park Environmental Education Center
NYC Pollinators Working Group
NYC Pollinators Working Group Resources
The Lenape Center
Engaged Roosevelt Island
If you were unable to attend, take a few minutes to watch the meeting power point for news items and reminders.
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 2022 Committees:
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.
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.
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 can assist with events if interested or you can work on garden signage or the website. Past projects have included: hosting garden visits; offering free classes for youth; or participating in Roosevelt Island Day and Fall for Arts. Join this committee if you like writing, graphic design, or art activities.
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.
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 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 Pest Control – Mosquitoes
This team’s goal is to reduce mosquitoes in the garden by deploying traps, dunks, mosquitofish, and reporting standing water.
Ad Hoc Pest Control – Rats
This team’s goal is to reduce the rat population. Some members spray bleach onto paths to make them less welcome and other members add bait (ex: peanut butter) to the dozen traps that are scattered about the club for their extraction.
Ad Hoc Pest Control – Spotted Lanternflies
This new team will be on the hunt for the Spotted Lanternfly. Looking for members who might be skilled to help build traps and others who can patrol, capture, and destroy the insect as well as their eggs. Spotted Lanterflies have been seen in small numbers within the garden. The issue is small now but this team will meet to discuss future steps to help prevent this from becoming a problem.
Have other ideas for a short or long-term project? Let us know by emailing email@example.com!
The light and the air in mid-November have a special quality that is hard to put into any words, and our garden community of people also has a special quality of collaboration and kindness that is hard to put into words. Tanya Starace caught this in her photos of our work day on Sunday November 14th. We saw so many Members and Associates who were able to be out helping. Four new Members received their plots . We had volunteers from La Scuola d'Italia in Manhattan and also from Roosevelt Island working alongside so many of all ages. Take some time to enjoy these beautiful photos.
Roosevelt Island neighbors and other visitors often ask how they can help out and get exercise alongside us in the gardens. In October this year we reached out to some of those who have emailed or spoken up and they joined us alongside some teens out for service hours. We enjoyed a working morning of tool clean up, path repair, and compost materials prep. Thank you all!
The Standards Committee favorite job is to acknowledge the excellent work that gardeners do. Our review is conducted over time, in the course of the year, for plots in sun or shade, for flowers or vegetables.
Best May Garden: A02 Ali Schwayri
Best June Garden: A03 Aiesha Eleusizov
Best July Garden: A01 Beverly Shutes
Best August Garden: C28 Curtis Lowrey
Best Sept Garden: D05 Dorothy Skelin
Most Improved: D01 Jorg Meyer
The gardeners on the Standards committee work hard every year and this year they had to reboot our regular seasonal inspections. Standards motivates us all to take the time to slow down and to come out and garden! As a community garden, we take our responsibility to the earth and to our neighbors on the waitlist seriously. We promote active gardening in this space that we share with the visiting public and the standards committee works hard to help us do that. Join them!
Some plot holders keep vegetable gardens, others choose herbs, flowers, and berries. Some garden in sun and others in shade. Some gardeners prefer a natural style with native plants for birds and pollinators, others plant perennials and annuals into a formal rock garden or traditional style. Whatever gardeners choose, it is important to be active and to come out to enjoy your plot.
Thank you, RIGC Standards!
Despite the ongoing challenges of Covid 19, the Outreach Team who were interested in offering free garden classes was able to make a come back this spring and fall 2021. Laura Laderman and Julia Ferguson both enjoy "teaching" these gardening classes and they were glad to be able to start again this year. We offered 6 weeks of free classes in May and June and then again another 6 weeks of free classes in September and October.
Plot D12 is super shady with many tree roots, but we persist. We also were able to use some sunny spots in C-38 and C-39 in the summer for corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Plot D12 has produced lots of kale, purple beans, a few radishes, and now Swiss chard, lettuce, and garlic for winter crops. We have some native pollinator plantings ,one hydrangea, and a few impatiens. Most of all Plot D12 gives youth ages 9-13 a place to learn with a cycle of activities that we repeat in some way each week:
This fall at our final class we had two boys and two girls and a guest scientist. (Thank you, Alexander Dvorak.) We also had three children of member gardeners - now a "tradition" since 2014 when one high schooler, the daughter of a member in the B section, got it all started. Click here for the article
Stay tuned for more. The last thing these young people said was:
" When is our next class?"
NYC Pollinator Group Visits Wonderful Roosevelt Island Community Garden To Learn And Share Best Practices On Bees, Native Plants, Composting & More!
Please read and watch this post by The Roosevelt Islander for much more information. We could not have been more excited to host passionate professionals from all around NYC for a visit and seed swap at the gardens on Friday afternoon October 15th: Parks professionals, Landscapers, National Wildlife educators, Native plant enthusiasts, Arborists, Entomologists and more! Thank you so much Christina Delfico @iDig2Learn for organizing this social gathering for nature!
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