OUR PARTNERS IN THE COMMUNITY
PS41 & THE GELL PROJECT
Public School 41, Greenwich Village School, is a public elementary K–5 neighborhood catchment school. Founded in 1867, P.S. 41 is located on West 11th Street in Greenwich Village. As a first-of-its-kind NYC Greenroof Environmental Literacy Laboratory, GELL will provide PS41 students empirical lessons designed to enhance science, math and aesthetic education in an outdoor observational learning space.
GELL has been made possible through the generous support and leadership of the Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, NY City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, NY State Senator Thomas K. Duane and others. Once complete, GELL will serve as a prototype for raising public school students’ awareness of urban sustainability issues and farm-to-table agriculture.
GELL’s impact promises to benefit students throughout New York City. In fact, it already has. Officials and parents from other schools are now coming to PS41 for advice on where to begin, and how to replicate our success. Better yet, as a result of PS41’s efforts MBP Scott Stringer has funded a process within the SCA to initiate feasibility studies for public schools requesting greenroof learning centers.
THE JEFFERSON MARKET GARDEN
Jefferson Market Garden is a community garden at Sixth and Greenwich Avenues, New York City, open to the public afternoons, except Monday, weather permitting April to October.
The Jefferson Market was leveled in 1873 to make way for the Courthouse designed by Calvert Vaux, one of Central Park’s master planners, and Frederick Clarke Withers. In 1895, a panel of architects voted it the fifth most beautiful building in America. In 1931, the Women’s House of Detention was built; its eleven stories towered over the courthouse, casting the sidewalks in shadow. Neighbors recall around-the-clock noise as inmates shouted from their windows to friends and visitors on the streets below.
In the 1960s, Greenwich Village residents organized to save the courthouse from demolition. They persuaded the City to renovate it for use as a public library and successfully demanded that the prison be demolished. Energized by this accomplishment, the community created the garden as a public green space in place of the women’s prison. In 1974 the land was transferred to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. A newly formed committee of local residents became its stewards. In the spring of 1975, Jefferson Market Garden’s first flowers bloomed.
Brooklyn Grange is an urban rooftop farm company in New York City. Currently located atop the Standard Motors building in Queens, and Building 3 in The Brooklyn Navy Yard, they are the largest and second largest rooftop farms on the planet. With 45,000 square feet at Building 3, and 40,000 square feet at Standard Motors, we cultivate vegetables, herbs, wildflowers, bees, chickens, and mushrooms. In addition to our two rooftop farms, we also founded and operate New York City’s first and largest commercial apiary, with over 40 beehives located mostly within the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Brooklyn Grange is a founding partner in Hayseed’s Big City Farm Supply, and founded the New York City Honey Festival.
The farm is managed on the ground (or in air) by Ben Flanner and a team of four resourceful cohorts: Gwen Schantz, Anastasia Plakias, Chase Emmons, and Michael Meier. The co-founder and designer of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, this is Flanner’s second rooftop farm company.
In addition to several farm stands, Brooklyn Grange sells its vegetables to a variety of local restaurants and operates a limited CSA for local residents. We offer compost drop-off, cooking demos, event and private function space, lectures from visiting experts, and educational workshops.
Brooklyn Grange is a triple bottom line, fiscally sustainable private enterprise.