June 28, 2019 By Christian Murray
Work has begun on two new community gardens on 69th Street, part of a partnership between the City and an international refugee group.
The gardens, which are being planted on both sides of 69th Street near the intersection with Woodside Avenue, will include vegetable beds, flowers, a greenhouse and seating areas when completed.
The gardens are part of a Department of Transportation initiative with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the NYC Parks Dept. Green Thumb Initiative. The gardens are located on greenspace above the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
The aim is to provide a community space for newly-arrived refugees and other immigrants, as well provide a place where people can get fresh, affordable, healthy food.
The IRC, which has worked with nearly 30,000 refugees in New York, will oversee the space. It will work with refugees, immigrants and community groups to cultivate the sites.
Nicole Garcia, the DOT Queens Borough Commissioner, said this is a new concept for the agency. “This innovative garden project experiment.. will add a new dimension to the City’s ongoing effort to create public space around our transportation infrastructure.”
The IRC plans to host educational workshops and activities at the sites. It will also develop a curriculum for local students to learn about the greenspace.
The design, labor and gardening supplies, including the raised plant beds, topsoil and tools are being funded by the IRC and United Way’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program.