sunflowers

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.

Y1 photo montage

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.

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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)!

garden-now

Q Gardens in the news:

Neighbors Use Their Green Thumbs to Save Honey Bees (3/27/17)

Q Gardens Launches Fundraiser for Community-Driven Mosaic (7/14/15)

After Years of Organizing, Neighborhood Volunteers Debut Q Gardens with Inaugural Cleanup (3/31/15)