project leader
Sylvia P
West 125th Street
(Morningside Heights/West Harlem)
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the project

Neighbors for a Greener Harlem cultivates collaboration between the residents of Morningside Gardens and Grant Houses to implement sustainable practices to improve our quality of life and foster a more inclusive neighborhood. 

Leaders from the Grant Houses Tenant Association are working with residents of Morningside Gardens Cooperative to improve our two neighborhood community gardens on the Grant Houses campus. Our local Girl Scout Troop #3406, which is based in the Grant Houses, has two garden boxes in one of the community garden spaces. To support their learning and expand the reach of the existing gardens, we are looking to partner with local organizations to engage and empower more neighbors to learn how to grow their own vegetables and create access to an affordable source of healthy food.  We want to raise funds for tools for the gardens as well as programs to bring neighbors to the garden. Our long term goal is to revitalize and reimagine the underutilized green spaces in our Harlem neighborhood to increase access to healthy food as well as safe, well maintained, outdoor areas where neighbors can congregate and socialize as a method to reduce violence and improve overall well being. 


the steps

  • Identify local organizations that we could partner with to help us plan for how to improve and/or expand our community garden green spaces. 
  • Host planning sessions with local partner organization(s), Neighbors for a Greener Harlem and Grant Houses Tenants Association to develop a plan to improve or increase our community garden green space and engage additional residents in garden activities.
  • Provide current volunteer garden managers with a modest stipend and recruit an assistant manager to provide administrative support.
  • Host educational sessions and cooking demonstrations in the garden to recruit participants including Girl Scout families and other community residents to:
    • learn best practices for growing healthy food in an urban garden environment 
    • learn about how to take care of the garden
  • Host an October garden party to celebrate our harvest and growing community

why we're doing it

The poverty rate among families with children in our neighborhood is significant – at least 50% of families with children under five live in poverty.  Families have a hard time making ends meet, and buying and cooking vegetables is expensive. Like many NYCHA developments, the Grant Houses has suffered from years of underinvestment. As a result, some buildings have been without gas lines and cannot use their kitchens, which has made it even more difficult and expensive to cook at home.  

Increasing residents’ knowledge about healthy food and how to grow vegetables will not only improve health; it will help build and strengthen our community.  Research has shown that improving and maintaining community green spaces can improve overall well being and reduce violence. We have heard a number of innovative ideas from the community on ways that existing green spaces could be used to increase the gardening spaces and opportunities for our neighbors.  We are raising funds to help make our neighborhood a more healthy and cooperative space.   



$500 for gardening supplies

$2000 for educational programming on garden maintenance and best practices and healthy eating and nutrition

$500 for outreach, promotion and communication about gardening and community building opportunities

$2000 for stipends for volunteer community garden managers

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee 8% N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee 4% $102.04
TOTAL TO RAISE $5,102.04


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