Breaking New Ground

January 25, 2013





Urban Farm Corps members at Red Hook Community Farm.
Image courtesy of NonaBrooklyn

Foundation Wins National Award to Seed Healthy Communities

This week, we’re thrilled to announce that the Foundation is one of just 13 in the country to receive a 2012 National Innovation Fund grant

The $150,000 award from the Convergence Partnership, a collaboration of eight of the nation’s leading funders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, supports our work to build a network of healthy food and healthy living strategies in public housing communities in Brooklyn, specifically in Red Hook, Fort Greene, and Brownsville.


“This award is a breakthrough for our Green Communities Fund programs and recognition of the effectiveness of the work we’ve helped nurture over the years with our community-based grantee partners,” says Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber, adding:  

“There’s been no shortage of ink written about Brooklyn’s foodie scene, co-ops, and locally made products. But we all know there’s another side to our borough, in which many residents feel they have few choices when it comes to the health of the food they eat and the place they live. We hope to spark a change in their lives, and empower all Brooklynites to be a part of the healthy communities movement.”


The funds will support a new three-year initiative in partnership with Added Value in Red Hook, Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project in Fort Greene, Brownsville Partnership, Brooklyn Food Coalition, New York City Housing Authority, and the New York City Department of Health.


With our partners, we will target these goals:

  • Fully integrate community voices into the design and implementation of new urban agriculture ventures in public housing complexes
  • Provide young adults of color in public housing with opportunities to participate in the green economy through the Urban Farm Corps
  • Implement new exercise, walking, and biking initiatives
  • Expand the Healthy Schools Campaign

In addition, the initiative will promote leadership development within the communities and provide mini-grants to resident-led projects.

“The New York City Housing Authority welcomes and supports the work of the Brooklyn Community Foundation in its commitment to work with public housing residents to build healthier communities in our Brooklyn neighborhoods,” said Sharon Myrie, Executive Vice President of NYCHA’s Community Programs and Development Department. “By working in collaboration with partners like these, we can continue to improve the quality of life of our residents.”


We look forward to telling you more about this vital work over the coming months, and we welcome your ideas and feedback!


For more, view our official award announcement and a list of the other national winners.

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New Brooklyn Recovery Fund RFP
Help spread the word! The next round of grants will support physical improvements to homes and buildings located in Brooklyn’s coastal communities. Priority will be given to proposals from community development and non-profit housing corporations and other qualified organizations with deep knowledge of and experience with mold removal, mold remediation, and housing and building repair/maintenance. The deadline to apply is February 4, 2013. Application details and instructions

Brooklyn Bar Night at Prospect
Fort Greene's hottest new restaurant is making the most of Mondays with the launch of a new charity bar night. Stop by this Monday, January 28th in for drink specials, while all tips go to the Brooklyn Community Foundation! Details and directions

February 21st - Save the Date!
Next month, we're showing our love for Brooklyn with a new fundraiser, "Brooklyn Love". Join us at FiveMyles Gallery in Crown Heights for a one-of-a-kind party to benefit the Foundation's Arts for All Fund. Details to come! 

Podcast: WNYC's Annual MLK Celebration
If you missed last Sunday's program at the Brooklyn Museum, listen now to the recording of the dynamic discussion led by Brian Lehrer and journalist Farai Chidaya, inspired by A. Peter Bailey’s play, “Malcolm, Martin and Medgar”. Listen now