project leader
April G
4402 Avenue L
(Flatlands, Brooklyn, NYC)
latest update rss
We did it! So much accomplished

the project

The Brooklyn Queens Land Trust ( is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which owns and stewards over 30 community gardens in diverse neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, NYC. Our gardens are privately owned public places that are saved in perpetuity as open green space: they can never be sold or developed.

In late 2017, BQLT was fortunate to acquire its 35th garden—Serenity Garden in Flatlands, Brooklyn—through the generous donation of a community member. Serenity had fallen into disrepair before this acquisition, but in the past 18 months, a dedicated group of neighbors has come together to revitalize it by cleaning out trash, pulling up weeds, and planting new plots.

While we've come a long way, Serenity still needs some shoring up to make it safer and more accessible for senior citizens, small children, and differently abled community members. Specifically, Serenity needs: a new walkway, fence repair, tree maintenance, and a gazebo for shade and shelter.

BQLT has received a private grant to cover much of this infrastructure, but we still need to raise the last bit. So this spring, we are working to leverage ioby's Power Up Neighborhood Match to energize our volunteer board members, network of Flatlands gardeners, and green space supporters city-wide to give Serenity the love it needs to once again become a gorgeous green hub for outdoor recreation, urban agriculture, relaxation, and fellowship—for neighbors of ALL ages and abilities.

You can learn more about Serenity Garden...

- On their website:

- On BQLT's website:

the steps

Between spring 2019 and spring 2020, we will coordinate and pay for the following upgrades to be made in Serenity Garden. The order of tasks will depend on contractor/vendor and seasonal availability.

- New walkway: materials purchased and installed 

- Fence repair: materials purchased and contractor engaged

- Tree maintenance: contractor engaged

- Gazebo: purchased and installed

why we're doing it

Community gardens are green oases in the urban jungle of NYC. Many of these neighborhood-founded, neighborhood-managed spaces are decades old and serve as cultural anchors in their communities as well as hubs for outdoor recreation, urban agriculture, relaxation, and neighborly fellowship for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Because BQLT gardens are saved in perpetuity as open, green spaces, we do not have to worry about them being sold or developed. What we DO have to worry about is maintaining them to ensure that generations of city residents and visitors of all abilities can continue to enjoy them safely as the neighborhood treasures they were created to be.



New walkway: $2,000
Fence repair: $2,000
Tree maintenance: $2,000
Gazebo: $1,342.82
TOTAL: $7,342.82

TOTAL RAISED = $7,606.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $228.18




BQLT has received a private grant to cover much of the work Serenity needs, but we still need to raise the last bit.

We are hoping to raise $10,000 on ioby—through a combination of individual donations and the Power Up! Neighborhood Match—to meet our remaining budgetary needs: 

New walkway: $2,500
Fence repair: $2,500
Tree maintenance: $3,000
Gazebo: $2,000

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $310
TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,345


We did it! So much accomplished

Through this project, we hoped to make Serenity Garden into a safer and more welcoming space for all community members. We hoped to work with community volunteers to test the soil, build raised beds, install a walkway so the garden would be accessible to seniors and differently abled people, fix the fence and sidewalk surrounding the garden (including pruning or removing three trees growing through the fence), and install a tool shed and gazebo.

We are happy to report that--THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OF OUR IOBY CAMPAIGN DONORS!--we achieved almost everything we set out to do! This includes:

  • Conducting comprehensive testing of the soil at Serenity Garden

  • Making substantial repairs to the sidewalk and fence that surround the triangular garden on all sides

  • Removing and/or pruning the trees growing through the fence

  • Installing a cement walkway and cement foundation for the shed and gazebo

  • Installing a gazebo and shed

  • Building raised beds



Near-term impacts: complete transformation of the infrastructure of this garden, making it a safe, welcoming, and beautiful place for the community to gather and garden. The garden is now extremely active, has a functioning garden group and leadership, and has become a wonderful hub of community activity.

Long-term impacts: this garden will be conserved in perpetuity as BQLT’s 35th owned garden.

A selection of photos of Serenity garden before, during, and after project implementation are available here:


We made the front page! + 72% to our goal!

BQLT was delighted to learn we're being featured on ioby's homepage for our Serenity garden campaign!

You can see our name in lights by going to and scrolling down to "Check out what's happening in our communities." 

The other big news?

We're 72% of the way toward reaching our goal of $10,345 by June 1! That means we've already raised a whopping $7,451 (thank you, garden friends!), and now just need another $2,894 in the final push.

Now's the time to ask all the green space lovers in your life to chip in and help a great community garden to better serve everyone in the neighborhood.

Thank you!!!

Over halfway to our goal—thank you!

With three weeks left in our campaign, we are over halfway to our goal! Many thanks to all our friends and fellow garden-lovers for donating generously and bringing us to this point.


We still hope to reach our goal of $10,345 by June 1—and we're only $3,885 away. Please help us spread the word. Together, we can help Serenity Garden bloom this year and beyond!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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