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December 16, 2018

‘Brooklyn Greens’ Effort Launched to Guide 3 Brooklyn Neighborhoods
by Linda Collins (), published online 08-31-2011
Bed-Stuy, Cypress Hills, South Williamsburg Targeted

By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG — Several events are planned in the next two months as part of the new “Brooklyn Greens” program, launched in August by the Brooklyn Community Foundation (BCF).

The three-year, $750,000 action plan is designed to guide three distinct Brooklyn communities in their efforts to implement sustainable practices toward broad environmental improvement.

The launching took place at a “Cool Roofs” painting event on the roof of a building at 106 Gerry St. in South Williamsburg — one of the three communities included in the program along with Bedford-Stuyvesant and Cypress Hills.

Working collaboratively with the Pratt Center for Community Development, three long-established community organizations in those three communities — El Puente, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation — will go forward to create a “green roadmap” of replicable strategies and tools to be used across all of Brooklyn, and will include the development of green spaces, jobs and neighborhoods.

Of all five boroughs, Brooklyn has the highest number of public housing units, the lowest percentage of land devoted to parks, and an unemployment rate above 11 percent, according to Marilyn Gelber, president of the BCF.

She added that Bed-Stuy, Cypress Hills and South Williamsburg have the borough’s highest rates of children’s emergency room visits for asthma, and Williamsburg’s childhood lead poisoning rates rank among the highest in the city.

“The world looks to Brooklyn to set trends, and there’s no trend more worthy of becoming a tradition than the push to make our communities greener and healthier, and to lessen our impact on the environment,” Gelber said. “By promoting collective action and shared resources through this initiative, we ensure that the successful efforts of these three communities will benefit the entirety of Brooklyn, to make it a model of urban environmental improvement in years to come.”

The initiative, which will use customized approaches in each neighborhood, will be engaging young people and adults as well as community institutions.

The following are among the upcoming events:
• Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation’s “Homeowner Fair” on Saturday, Sept. 24 (contact Nuala Gallagher,

• El Puente’s community meetings on Monday Sept. 29 (contact Brenda Torres-Barreto,

• Bed-Stuy Restoration’s “Restoration Rocks” Saturday, Sept. 8 (contact Tracey L. Capers

• Cypress Hills’ “Verde Summit” on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22 (contact Nuala Gallagher

In addition to developing a long term action plan, Brooklyn Greens calls for the production of 480 energy efficient retrofitted homes, apartment buildings, facilities and small businesses; the construction of 130 units of new green residential housing; the training of 140 community residents in green collar jobs, with a minimum 50% placement rate; and the planting of 750 street trees and improvement of 12 neighborhood green spaces.

As part of the initiative, with the help of organizations like Community Environmental Center working under the city’s “CoolRoofs” program, community residents and volunteers across the three neighborhoods will be painting their buildings’ roofs white.

“Brooklyn Greens will improve the quality of life and wellbeing for thousands of Brooklyn residents, many of whom suffer every day from community-wide environmental degradation and neglect,” added Gelber. “We anticipate significant systemic change toward a greener, more beautiful Brooklyn.”

* * *

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© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2011 All materials posted on are protected by United States copyright law. Just a reminder, though -- It’s not considered polite to paste the entire story on your blog. Most blogs post a summary or the first paragraph,( 40 words) then post a link to the rest of the story. That helps increase click-throughs for everyone, and minimizes copyright issues. So please keep posting, but not the entire article. arturcatt




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