project leader
Cesar Y
165 Saint Anns Avenue
(Mott Haven)
latest update rss
Updates for Mill Brook Garden, Garden Celebration and latest updates

the project

The Millbrook Gardens Project's goal is to transform unused green gated spaces in the Millbrook Houses Development.  We have tried to build a community garden in this space in the past but have lost momentum due to trouble with leadership and commitment.  

We are organizing a group of like minded individuals willing to invest in time to build community and who believe in the potential for a space that can be enjoyed by residents of the NYCHA development.  We want to bring residents opportunitites to learn ecology, sustainable design, and systems thinking while also providing a social component where people can gather for recreation and entertainment.  These are things that are currently lacking in the community. 

the steps

This fundraiser will help build our initial phase laying the foundation to drive interest from more MIllbrook residents to engage with the space.

We are also speaking with community based organizations to develop programmatic partnerships.  

Current Objectives:

1. Establish a core group of 5 Millbrook Residents to serve in our Millbrook Houses Garden Club.

2. Design a smart green space that residents on the NYCHA property can be proud of.

3. Lay the foundation of the garden space including building barriers and planters to protect plants.

4. Work with organizations in the South Bronx to bring resources to Millbrook Houses,


why we're doing it

I, Cesar Yoc, was raised in Millbrook Houses and have seen the economic and cultural changes in the neighborhood. I have heard of shootings and young people being recruited to get involved in illegal businesses. I have also seen the effects of air pollution on the health of residents in the Mott Haven neighborhood. My personal loved ones have had asthma and other respiratory chronic illnesses.  This community garden project has the potential to introduce the youth and seniors to the importance of green infrastructure and can lead to more parks and gardens stewardship in the neighborhood.

People in the South Bronx struggle economically due to lack of access to jobs and job training.  With Millbrook Gardens we will provide a place where residents can learn environmental sciences, history of the neighborhood, and have a place to relax.

Residents can learn about the heat island effect and how the use of salt to remove snow can harm aquatic ecosystems by understanding why installing pervious pavers and thermal pavers is a better solution. Also, they can learn how to identify trees and flowers by learning about what’s planted. The historical signage can also teach residents about their neighborhood and build neighborhood pride. 



Met an architect to discuss designs. We decided on doing a survey to learn what residents of the development want or would like to see.
Working to find partners and develop youth and senior programs.


Third Disbursement 2.11.19:
$2,000 contractor pay for gazebo construction
$1,800 for stage materials
$400 artist consultant workshop
$186 wood and materials for checkers, chess, and domino tables

RAISED = $4,515
less ioby Platform Fee  waived
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $131.50
Second Disbursement 9.7.18
Raised = $10,601.00
less ioby Platform Fee $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $307.75
Total to Disburse = $10,258.25
First Disbursement 7.3.18
Raised = $992.00
less ioby Platform Fee waived
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $28.89
Total to Disburse = $963.11

Updated Budget 4.26.18
Shrubs or perennial trees (for example, White dogwood, douglas fir) 25 @ $50 each = $1,250 - Use this to create a natural barrier around the gated green space
Perennial Flowers and plants 250 @$20 each = $5,000 - Flowers to beautify the space
Wood (cedar) blocks 20 @$200 = $4,000 - Wood to construct benches and chairs, durable for all seasons (about 20 benches)
Subtotal = $10,250
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $308
Total to raise = $10,593
Original Budget
Millbrook Gardens is a pilot project to display the potential these fenced green spaces have on improving the Millbrook Community. Millbrook Gardens is designed to be used by senior citizens, youth, and adults. It has communal spaces, organic farming, and educational components. The purpose of the educational components is to teach residents about energy, stormwater reduction, air pollution, and for them to learn the history of the South Bronx Community. 
My method is to locate sites for either communal, organic farming, or civic spaces. From this information, work with community members and artist for them to redesign these spaces and for an artist to display their work. I will work with stakeholders to seek resources to implement design ideas. 

Item or Service Cost per item* Est.
# of Items
Total What is used for?

Shrubs or perennial trees
(for example, White dogwood, douglas fir)

$50 25  $1,250 - Use this to create a natural barrier around the gated green space
Perennial Flowers and plants $20 250  $5,000 - Flowers to beautify the space
Wood (cedar) blocks $200 20  $4,000 - Wood to construct benches and chairs, durable for all seasons (about 20 benches)
Cement Cinder Blocks $30 20  $600 - For construction of some benches and flower beds
Pervious Pavers or interlocking stones $70 100  $7,000 - Use to create pathways for people to reach destinations
Planning Services      $1,075 - Institute will do survey and design meetings
Architecture      $1,075 - Use ideas from community members and institute to design both a communal and private space for residents of Millbrook Houses
Phase One lays the foundation for the garden, making sure there are barriers that keep the place safe and people don't destroy the items.
Phase two will add to the foundation of the space.      
* Cost per item estimated according to Amazon prices

SUBTOTAL = $20,000
ioby Platform Fee $35
Donation Processing Fee of 3%  $600
TOTAL TO RAISE = $20,635



Updates for Mill Brook Garden, Garden Celebration and latest updates

Good afternoon, covid has changed everything and we are doing our best to keep going with the vision of the garden.  We had an event to invite people into the garden and to learn more about the vision of the garden. We had food and Cesar, the Project Manager, played old school records or music. We ill need further support to beautify the garden and also have programming there.





Path and newsletter

Some good news. The contractor constructed the wheelchair path in September. We still need to construct a pergola, gazebo, and an entrance. We are working on having the gazebo and pergola done by February and having a grand opening in late February.

Also, the garden is feature in the Open Space Institute's news letter. I thank all of you for your donations and support. We are slowly completing the garden. 



Banner and Gazebo design

Good afternoon to all of you.


I am providing some updates. The volunteering architect is almost done with the design of the gazebo. Kelly Lopez, a Bronx artist, is helping with the design of the main entrance of the garden. We also have a banner that was designed by Jessica Matos. 


We will restart construction once the weather gets better.



Cesar Yoc

How the money was used?

Hello everyone. Here is a list of purchases that were used for the construction of a toolshed, benches, and the future construction of a path for wheelchair users.





 $        37.29

saw blade

have receipts

 $          4.90


have receipts

 $          6.53

key cut

have receipts

 $        75.00

gift cards

have receipts

 $        53.89

extension cord

have receipts

 $        65.81

hammer and shovel

have receipts

 $        27.20

deer block

have receipts

 $          6.00


have receipts

 $        74.92

tamper and two garden hoes

have receipts

 $  1,714.32

materials for toolshed, benches, and two tables

have receipts

 $        39.53

Brushes and weatherizer

have receipts

 $        11.41


have receipts

 $        69.39


have receipts

 $     184.00

canopy temporary

have receipts

 $     769.36

materials, gloves, and painting materials

have receipts

 $     817.11

solar panels and other tools

have receipts

 $        79.73

uhaul to get materials and after order messed up

have receipts

 $  4,036.39

receipts for

have receipts

 $        49.12

for sand

have receipts

 $     750.00

consulting Mike

have receipts

 $  4,835.51







for walking path


 $  1,937.00

Concrete Pavers

have receipts

 $     580.00


have receipts

 $     292.00

Mesh-for flower garden design

have receipts

 $     249.43


have receipts

 $     250.00


have receipts

 $     278.00

paint and weed protector

have receipts

 $  3,586.43

for walking path


 $     221.00



 $     260.17

Sign and flowers


 $     345.00

mulch and gravel


 $  2,000.00



 $  2,826.17

money left over for the gazebo and other 



Thank you again for all your support. We are preparing a grand open on June 15, 2019. We will keep you posted when we start the other construction next year.

Benches-Justice Community

Hello to all supporters of this project. Every donation has contributed to making Mill Brook Garden a reality. A toolshed was constructed using the funds and we have bought materials for the construction of the walkway for wheelchair accessibility. Next is the Gazebo construction (March of next year), more benches, tables, and gardening material. 


Thank you and will upload next week the budget for all the expenses.


toolshed, benches, and pavers

It has been a while, but a lot has happened. A toolshed has been constructed and benches and tables are going to be constructed by youth from the Osborn Association's Justice Community Program with consultation support from Mike Young. Mike is from Padre Plaza. We have bought sand, pavers, and weed protector to start constructing the path. With the rest of the funds, we will construct a gazebo and buy flowers and mulch. We will post later a breakdown of how the donations are being spent. Thank you again for your support and I will post some pictures later on.

Phase 1 and other phases

Thank you to all of the people that have donated. Right now we are in phase 1 of the project. The first phase is to remove the wood that has termites and cutting them so the ground crews can dump them on the garbage trucks. We are in conversations with a Project Manager at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation to acquire soil to cover a large brick slab.  We are not buying any flowers or shrubs until next year. Winter is almost here and we don't need to plant anything until Spring of next year. 

I am doing research on where to buy permeable pavers. The Home Depot pavers cost over $5,000 to cover a path. 








Tiller Rental



Home Depot






Home Depot






Home Depot






Home Depot



Easy gardener deer block



Home Depot



Mesh Banner



Vista Print



Gasoline for Tiller



Gasoline Station



Industrial bags



Hardware Store






Hardware Store



Lenox 12" recipro saw blade-wood cutting



Greenhill Industrial Supply

to cut wood





Greenhill Industrial Supply

to lock the garden


extension cord



Greenhill Industrial Supply






Greenhill Industrial Supply



Round point shovel



Greenhill Industrial Supply



am key cut



Greenhill Industrial Supply



gift card



DGB Hardware

for hoses


gift card



DGB Hardware

for hoses


Dewalt Rec saw cord



Home Depot



milwaukee blades



Home Depot



Weed Wacker



Home Depot






Home Depot






Home Depot






Home Depot




Total spent so far on tools and other equipment equals 827.97


Buying tools and other

Hello to all of you.


Here is the breakdown of what has been spent so far. This is from the first batch of funds. We don't get the other funds until the end of August.

Rented a tiller for a couple of hours to move the dirt around, so we can remove the current vegetation. Cost: $57.20

MHOE $25.97

MortHoe $18.98

Stamper $29.97

Easy Gardner deer block $27.20

Mesh Banner $69.39

Gasoline fro tiller: $6 

Total Spent: $234.71

Need to get 24 grids of pervious paver

One wheelbarrow

We are working at a pace and will do most of the work by the end of August.


Thank you for all your support.



Cesar Yoc



Laying the framework

Hello everyone,

We took out the rotten wood from the garden and will dispose of it. NYCHA is helping us with throwing away that wood. We are going to work on tilling the garden, to remove all the weeds. After that, we are going to ask the city to deliver dirt to cover a cemented slab. Later on, we will work with some nonprofits to get compost, wood chips, and other.

We still have some more work to do, but it is going at the right pace.


Thank you to all of you who have helped in some form. Either through donations or helping with the garden.

Removal of wood blocks and the start of construction

First, I will like to thank Project Petals for donating some tools for our garden work and also residents for using their own tools to work on the garden. We have removed some old wooden blocks with termites and will slowly start removing the weed and other unneeded vegetation. Tomorrow, the 29th, we are participating in the activities of NYCHA Green Day II. Tomorrow we will remove trash and plant selected areas in Millbrook Houses including the garden.


Below is some information about Project Petals.

Project Petals Inc., was created to focus on the revitalization and development of communities in need. While bringing awareness to community and environmental justice problems, that can or may hinder a neighborhoods development.

Project Petals is working to solve community development and detrimental environmental conditions in under-served communities. The purpose of Project Petals is to alleviate the socio-economic divide and bring awareness to environmental and place-making issues that stunt development. We provide and help people to access resources that will help them prosper in their environment. Project Petals acts as an advocate, and push for progressive changes, by creating sustainability and service within communities. All while using service as a catalyst for changing detrimental conditions and landscapes.

We aim to connect advocates, designers, architects, artists, change makers and funding to under-served communities.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • Vlada Kenniff
  • Millbrook Resident
  • Millbrook Group
  • Freddy Perez
  • Anonymous
  • Jessica Matos
  • VK
  • Anonymous
  • Justin Garrett Moore
  • Edgar C.