project leader
Jennifer B
location
1125 Grand Concourse
(Our projects take place in a wide range of Bronx parks and neighborhoods, including Claremont, Crotona, St. Mary’s, Franz Sigel, Joyce Kilmer, Mullaly and Mosholu Parkway.)
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the project

The Bronx is Blooming (BiB) leverages the resources of the Bronx to build community while revitalizing urban parkland, restoring local habitat, and enhancing environmental quality. Our mission is to grow and support a culture of environmental stewardship in the Bronx, helping residents become drivers of change and protectors of the borough’s natural resources. We accomplish this primarily through two programs, the Program for Leaders Advancing their Community’s Environment (PLACE) and Grow, Revitalize, Engage, Educate, Nurture (GREEN). PLACE employs local youth to lead restoration projects and engage communities in the care of their parks while training them in leadership and horticultural skills. GREEN provides civic groups, schools, and volunteer groups with hands-on workshops during which participants restore Bronx park ecosystems to support their communities' environmental and public health. Ultimately, our programs are designed to address the root causes of environmental injustices by providing leadership development and employment opportunities for Bronx youth and making civic participation accessible for residents of all ages while creating healthier, more attractive parks.

Since our founding in 2011, we have coordinated 18,500 volunteers and provided seasonal leadership training jobs to more than 280 Bronx high school and college students. Together our student leaders, staff, and volunteers have contributed more than 126,000 volunteer hours in 20 Bronx community parks and green spaces, caring for Bronx trees and gardens: the equivalent of more than 6 full-time staff working each year. We have cared for more than 14,500 trees, planted 16,000 native plants to revitalize local gardens, and removed more than 8,000 bags of debris and invasive species in our ongoing restoration and care for 104 acres of parkland. 

the steps

Creating a school year program will also advance our youth development goals by enabling summer program participants to continue to work with us after the summer, partake in more extensive training, have greater exposure to partner organizations, and further their leadership skills by helping to train new PLACE participants the following season. We will establish an alumni group for past PLACE students to post relevant news, jobs, internships, scholarship and loan opportunities, and college tours. Alumni will be invited to all tree planting and giveaway events, helping us to reconnect with our network of nearly 300 participants. 

We will also expand our geographic reach to broaden our impact and engage more community members. Currently, we have PLACE teams based in six parks and plan to add one park per year over the next three years.  

We will expand our horticultural training to include additional lessons on tree maintenance and invasive species. We are partnering with local universities, professors, and botanical gardens to identify opportunities for students to assist with research projects. 

Earlier this year, we hired a full-time Environmental Program Manager to help expand our educational curriculum and deepen our educational programming. Hiring a PLACE Program Coordinator will allow our Environmental Program Manager to focus on developing our curriculum, providing on-the-ground training in tree planting and care, developing educational materials focused on the value of trees and shrubs, and creating Bronx-focused guidelines for tree planting and care. The Environmental Assistant will also help train PLACE participants and support environmental education efforts.

 

 

why we're doing it

The Bronx is Blooming uses quantitative and qualitative metrics to measure and track the impact and successes in achieving our environmental restoration, youth development, and community building goals. We track the number of trees stewarded, native species planted, bags of trash and debris removed, volunteers participating, and volunteer hours committed for each site at which we work. This data allows us to track the increased impact our programs have had as they have grown over time and enables us to estimate future impacts with further expansion. 

Using data on the benefits of healthy trees we are able to quantify the environmental benefits of our tree stewardship efforts. For example, research has shown that a mature healthy tree can absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide (ArborDay) and as much as 100 gallons of water per day (NC State University). Based on these figures, we estimate that by stewarding 1,000 trees each year our PLACE teams help to absorb 48,000 pounds of carbon monoxide and 36,500,000 gallons of rainfall and runoff each year. 

Arguably, the most significant impact of our work is the change we see in the people who participate in our programs. The mentors, students, and volunteers who work with us gain new skills and experiences that help them see their own potential to improve their neighborhood parks, enable them to connect with the natural areas in their city, and prepare them to succeed in future endeavors. We conduct surveys and interviews with PLACE students and mentors at the start and end of the program, giving us the opportunity to see how they have grown throughout their time working with us. Through these surveys and interviews, they report increased environmental and horticultural knowledge and immense growth in leadership and interpersonal skills. Participants share that exposure to our work, higher education, and the myriad of jobs in the green-collar workforce has opened their eyes to new opportunities and inspired them to take on new challenges. These interviews provide qualitative information that we use to document our impact on the neighborhoods we serve. For example, nearly 90% of our participants reported having a substantial increase in their knowledge of Bronx environmental issues and leadership skills.

budget

$5000 - support an environmental assistant to help us have two events in two separate parks and communities each week 

$2000 - seasonal college interns/mentors to support PLACE students and help run school year projects 

$3000 - program / executive director to help build community partnerships and foster relationships for the programs.

 



TOTAL PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED $10,000
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
$152
TOTAL TO RAISE= $10,152

Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.

updates

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photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • kimberly rancourt
  • Tali for Roberta
  • Braelin Pantel
  • Vanessa L.
  • In memory of Daniel
  • Christine W.
  • As a gift Roberta Todras
  • Linda & Ari
  • Mona Todras
  • FERN S.
  • Anonymous
  • Tara, Jack and Orion
  • Anonymous
  • sarah and john dearie
  • Kathleen P.
  • Scott W.
  • Fordham University Campus Ministry