project leader
Cesar Y
165 Saint Anns Avenue
(Mott Haven)
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Mott Haven Herald-Mill Brook Garden

the project

“Urban Nature, when provided as parks and walkways and incorporated into building design, provides calming and inspiring environments and encourages learning, inquisitiveness, and alertness.” This is one of the facts revealed from research done by an environmental psychologist and research being done at the University of Washington (Mental Health & Function from the University of Washington Urban Forestry/Urban Greening Research Department). Green spaces also provide educational opportunities, community unity, and economic benefits. The vision goes beyond the renovation of green spaces at Mill Brook Houses.

The South Bronx is a food desert and due to covid19 more people are in need of access to healthy food options and for them to learn new skills to find available jobs.

Mill Brook Garden was started because of the above studies stating that open spaces and growing food can help people improve their mental health. Open spaces provide multiple benefits for people, from building community unity, promoting healthy food options, reducing air pollution. reducing water contamination, and community empowerment. 

Mill Brook Garden achieved its first campaign goal to accumulate funds to start the first phase of the project. The Project has three phases: 

1. Constructing Major Structures and identifying what skills are needed and what it will take to have a sustainable project. 

2. Programming and Beautification of the space. To use the space for educational programs, gardening, and artistic expression. Have guidelines and have someone to maintain the space. 

3. Skills development and more gardening. 


Mill Brook Garden completed its first phase of the process. We have constructed the main structures and now want to beautify the space and develop educational programs for residents of the neighborhood. The garden is multi-purpose: a communal space and gardening space. The garden space is for growing vegetables and food, and the other space is for relaxing and cultural activities. 

The garden first phase was completed with the support of residents, the Bronx Institute for Urban Systems, Tenant Association president, NYCHA staff, The Open Space Institute, Project Petals, and Citizens Committee. This all started with the donations of individuals. Without their support this won't have started: Thank you. This campaign is to move to the next phase and start using the space for educational, artistic expression, and cultural activities.

The Guardians of the Garden was formed to oversee the project and to assist in maintaining the space. The Guardians are Mill Brook Houses residents and they have helped in many forms. From planting, to removing gardbage, painting benches, and other garden activities. 







The garden has a fence that has covered the exits because of NYCHA construction. When the construction is done we will open the garden two or three days per week. We want to include more raise beds for residents to plant and use shrubs to create a natural barrier. The funds will be used to have composting workshops and other educational uses. Looking to construct an educational poster board to have information about activities of the garden and some historical information about the community.










the steps

These are the actions will be taken with your support.

The Guardian of the Gardens will

1. Assist in planting shrubs and flowers to beautify the space (March or growing season)

2. Lay the raise beds and filled them with compost and soil (April)

3. Educational programs start in May and end in September

4. Composting workshops (June, July, August)

5. Garden event with food for residents of the development (July and August)

6. Movie nights (when is warmer and less restrictions due to covid19)

why we're doing it

We've started the project to show the creativity of the residents of Mill Brook Houses, to show how we can work together to improve our surroudings, and to have programming and activities for advocating healthy habits.

Many residents in Public Housing are creative and this is overlook by some people that live outside of Public Housing.  The garden promotes artistic creativity. To show some of these creativity the toolshed was used to paint two murals. The murals are the testament of artistic creativity in the Mill Brook Houses development. The garden has a painting that was done by a resident of the development. Another painting was completed by an artist in the community.

Green spaces in Public Housing are not used for the benefit of its residents. By constructing this garden we are showing how residents can work together to improve the gated green spaces. We are doing it to show the many outside of Public Housing that stereotype us and don't see how people work together to improve their surroundings.  Public Housing residients area a resilient people and we are showing this resiliency through this project. However, we cannot continue the construction of the garden and to develop educational programs without your support.

The South Bronx has a high obesity population due to many factors, mainly that we don't access to healthy food options. Many of us as well are not taught how important is to take care of the natural environment and how it provides many benefits for us.

We are also provided opportunities that don't pay well and we lack economic resources to improve out community lives. So the garden vision is to develop methods to educate ourselves to find better paying jobs while not destroying our house, the natural environment. 





Materials Units Price Total
Weather Shield wood 10 13.27 132.7
Shrubs-online orchards 5 32 160
Garden Soil 11 9.97 109.67
Tax     39.24
Total     441.61
Total Budget     443.25

TOTAL RAISED = $450.00 $450.00
ioby Platform Fee waived waived
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) waived $22.50
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $6.75 $6.75
TOTAL TO DISBURSE= $443.25 $420.75


ioby Platform Fee waived
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) waived
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
TOTAL TO RAISE = $12,371
Please note: ioby fees are estimated and will be calculated based on totals at the end of the campaign.  




This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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