Public Housing Partnerships
In the summer of 2008, Groundwork Staff worked with residents of a Runyon Heights Public Housing complex to make improvements in their backyard. They had a green courtyard, but residents felt it was under-used and many expressed interest in building some vegetable beds. Over the course of three days, a group of committed Runyon Heights volunteers, from the age of 2 to 62, worked together to free flowering plants from invasive vines, build and seed three vegetable beds, and lay wood-chips in existing flower beds to prevent weeds from growing.
Cottage Gardens is a public-housing complex off Warburton Avenue in downtown Yonkers. In 2006, Groundwork Hudson Valley received funding from the NY Public Housing Authority and assemblyman at the time Lou Mosiello to work with Cottage residents on improving their home. Several meetings and charrette sessions were held where Groundwork staff asked Cottage residents the following questions:
- Is security at Cottage getting worse?
- What can be done about it?
- What do you want for your kids?
- Do you want a better playground, garden, or trees?
- How can we keep Cottage clean?
- What senior citizen programs are needed?
Once Groundwork gathered enough responses, a large group of people organized for the “Extreme Green Makeover.” Cottage Gardens children, teens, and older adults got together with Groundwork and an Americorps Team to plant trees, paint murals, build and plant raised bed gardens, and enjoy live entertainment and fresh-cooked lunch!
View photos of the Extreme Green Makeover.