Who are we?
Q Gardens Community Farm (“Q Gardens”) consists of a group of neighbors in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, NY, who have joined to convert an unused lot into a productive and welcoming community garden.
Where is Q Gardens located?
Q Gardens is located at 58 East 18th Street (between Church Ave and Caton Ave), behind the southernmost entrance of the Church Ave B/Q subway station.
What is Q Gardens’ mission?
Our mission is to convert a formerly unused lot into a beautiful, productive community garden that provides:
- A welcoming, public green space that is open at least 10 hours each week
- A local source of fresh, pesticide-free fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs
- A space for children and adults to learn about and actively participate in gardening, composting, and sustainability projects
- A community composting site for diverting food waste from landfills and producing nutrient-rich compost
- A space for building community, connecting with nature, and hosting arts and cultural events
How did this all begin?
In the fall of 2012, Anne Schoeneborn, a new resident to the Prospect Park South neighborhood, engaged 596acres.org to add this lot to their online map of NYC public, unused land. She then embarked on a long, circuitous journey to get permission from MTA, the owner of the lot, to open the space to the community. Initially, Prescott Vann, MTA’s Deputy Director of Leasing & Acquisitions, assigned Arturo Espinoza to help seek approval from New York City Transit. Through 596 acres, Ali Jacobs, a resident of neighboring Lefferts Gardens, also soon joined the project. Together, Anne and Ali visited a number of community gardens around Brooklyn to see how different urban gardens are organized; reached out to community stakeholders; got the official support of Community Board 14 and a range of local businesses, residents, and organizations; and built a community of 50+ neighbors interested in actively participating in the garden–as well as a core group of organizers leading the overall planning process. This group included master composter, Natalia Sucre, who has coordinated Q Gardens’ prolific community composting initiative ever since.
As planning progressed, we decided that our best strategy for long-term stewardship of the lot would be to join the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT) as an affiliate garden.
To facilitate opening a garden bank account, in September 2014, Anne and Natalia filed the necessary forms to make Q Gardens a New York State Not-for-Profit Corporation (that’s how got the “inc” in our legal name, Q Gardens Community Farm, inc!). Initial Q Gardens plans were created by Hilliker Landscape Design under the supervision of Grain Collective.
What is the current status of the lot?
In December of 2014, we officially gained access to the lot! BQLT signed the lease–on behalf of Q Gardens–with MTA and Q Gardens has a license to operate the garden from BQLT. See current goings-on at our Facebook page and instagram account (handle: q_gardens)!
Q Gardens in the news: