More Gardens! Fund - Annual Programs
1- South Bronx children and their families are taken annually to the Hudson Valley and its wilderness parks to campsites surrounded by trees, stars, and all the wonders of nature. Activities often include rock climbing with world class climbing instructors and hiking in breathtaking NY State preserves while learning about their importance in local Native American history. There are daily swims in crystalline mountaintop lakes, planting indigenous three sister seeds with farmers in the Hudson Valley, as well as picking greens, wildcrafting and making medicine with local herbs and flowers with master herbalists. All this while eating Hudson Valley’s freshly cooked organic foods and ending each day by storytelling, singing and music around the campfire.
More Gardens and Children's Magical Garden also collaborate in an annual environmental arts day summer camp for children on the L.E.S. This community-responsive camp for children aged 8-12 teaches permaculture, urban farming, strategies for youth activism, collaborative arts in nature, herbal medicine, and most importantly support of each other's unique creativity and group dynamics. We take adventurous trips to citiwide community gardens and urban farms where campers learn learn from wise urban farmers such as JK Canepa of El Jardin Paraiso and farmer Yonette Flemming of Hattie Carthan Community Garden farm. We also have ongoing visitors to the camp such as indigenous teachers, artists, musicians and puppeteers. The inclusion of cooperative-style teaching deepens the playful education as campers teach each other through games and art. Parents and dedicated community garden members also contribute to the essential success of this camp, and build sustainable community.
3 - Art Collaborations & Earth-based Arts
Aresh Javadi, along with help from other artists such as George Hirose and Darren Borkel, are working on an egg-shaped chicken coop to be completed by the spring. The work of local artists such as Crystal Clarity's collaboration with More Gardens! was highlighted in the creative aspects of puppetry, parades and banners to help support the preservation of several other endangered community gardens.
4 - Environmental Education
More Gardens! continually liaisons with local schools to put school children in touch with community garden nature projects citiwide. We also train and work directly with interns from local high schools and colleges across the US in nature education.
Community Garden Parade - Honk NYC annual collaboration has brought out the best of pageantry and international marching bands to the Lower East Side. Our theme is community, art, preservation and self-governance for all community gardens.
6 - Solstice Celebrations with Make Music New York and RMO
More Gardens annually celebrates the Summer Solstice in collaboration with Make Music NYC and the Winter Solstice with Rude Mechanical Orchestra. They are held in community gardens blending art and musical celebrations.
More Gardens! celebrates the onset of Spring Equinox with a fire festival at a NYC community garden, bringing hundreds of Iranians and members of the Persian diaspora joined by community gardeners. A fiery revolution in the spirit of Emma Goldman, the element of fire is once again a part of the commons as music and song propell participants to dance and leap over the flames. Check out the video of this celebration here.
8- The art of peaceful Direct Action - Online Database
More Gardens! is creating video and pictorial footage to showcase the long history of the protection of community gardens to inspire the next generation of community gardeners and garden activists. More Gardens also mentors and supports new activists in the protection, enhancement, and proliferation of urban community gardens.
9- Upstate Land Project
Currently More Gardens is searching for land in the Southern Catskills and Hudson Valley to create a homebase for our Free Environmental Summer Camp, as well as a regenerative, low-impact environmental education center for community gardeners to come to share, learn, and deepen together for the benefit of nature and social justice.