Humans of Newark: Former Conservancy interns Mekale and D’Aundra are back and in love

3rd annual Nelson Mandela birthday tribute in Newark this Friday

community cardCelebrate the life of Nelson Mandela as Greater Newark Conservancy honors the late Nobel Peace Prize winner with a birthday tribute on Friday, July 15th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Judith L. Shipley Urban Environmental Learning Center, 32 Prince Street in Newark.

The event is free and will take place rain or shine. Participants are urged to RSVP and register in advance.

Participants will honor Mandela’s legacy at this third annual gathering with locally-made South African food, music, including a djembe drummer from the community, dance and poetry performances, plus crafts and face painters.

“The small garden that Mandela tended during his 18 years in prison at Robben Island inspired him and many others, and we hope to similarly inspire a love for and understanding of the importance of a green and healthy environment in Newark and other urban communities through the programs and services we provide,” noted the Conservancy’s Executive Director, Robin Dougherty.

“Newark’s schoolchildren have been enriched by visiting our Mandela Garden and participating in lessons about his life. As we honor Mandela on his birthday, we hope that people of all ages from the greater Newark area will join us for this family-friendly celebration.”


To register for the Nelson Mandela Birthday tribute or for more information about Greater Newark Conservancy’s other programs and services, to volunteer or to make a donation call 973.642.4646 or visit www.citybloom.org. You can also follow news from the Conservancy through social media at Facebook.com/GreaterNewarkConservancy plus Twitter and Instagram – @Citybloom87.     

Get some green: Enjoy upcoming garden tours throughout the state with excursions from Newark

While Greater Newark Conservancy has created and maintains some of Newark’s most impressive gardens and urban farms, their spring and summer schedule includes trips to visit other gardens in New Jersey of interest to both avid gardeners and those without a “green thumb.”

Destinations in the week’s ahead

Duke Farms Community Garden Trip

Saturday, July 9, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; cost – $5

Community gardeners and Conservancy Plot It Fresh members are invited to visit the Duke Farms Community Garden. With 462 plots, it is the largest allotment style community garden in the country.

Well Sweep Herb Farm

Saturday, July 16, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; cost – $5

Located in Warren County, Well Sweep Herb Farm is home to one of the largest collections of herbs and perennials in the country. Stroll their numerous gardens and watch the farm animals. Bring some extra spending money if you’d like to purchase some plants and herbs.

Rutgers Gardens

Saturday, August 27, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; cost – $5

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Rutgers University’s purchase of the Gardens. Originally a research and display facility, it now includes over 14 extensive plant collections, Helyar Woods, and Mill Pond. Join Conservancy representatives to explore this expansive botanical garden.

Attendees should bring a bag lunch, water, and wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Trips are for participants ages 15 and up only. To register, contact Greater Newark Conservancy at 973-642-4646 or visit CityBloom.org.

Featured image: Duke Farms Garden courtesy Greater Newark Conservancy

Get truly homegrown produce from the Greater Newark Conservancy’s Youth Farm Stands

From kale and collards to tomatoes, strawberries and more, Greater Newark Conservancy’s Youth Farm Stands are the city’s source for “Newark Fresh” produce grown in season on the Conservancy’s Court Street and Hawthorne Avenue urban farms.

Now open and running until the harvest season ends in November, the farms stands provide affordable, nutritious, and locally grown produce for people who live, learn, and work in Newark, as well as opportunities for the city’s young people.

The Farm Stand program is run by student interns from the Conservancy’s Newark Youth Leadership Project (NYLP), a year-round job training and leadership development program for Newark high school students. NYLP interns manage the Farm Stand program under the direction of the Conservancy’s professional staff.

The Youth Farm Stands are open every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., and Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. till 6:30 p.m. at the Conservancy’s Outdoor Learning Center (entrance located on Broome Street). The stands accept many forms of payment including cash, credit and debit cards, checks made out to Greater Newark Conservancy, WIC vouchers, senior vouchers or SNAP benefits.

To see your produce fresh-picked, visit the Youth Farm Stand from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Court Street Farm, located at 138 Court Street behind the Krueger Scott Mansion, or support the Youth Farm Stand at the newest farmer’s market in town every Saturday at the corner of Ferry and St. Charles in the Ironbound. You can also find a Conservancy Youth Farm Stand at the Farmer’s Market held every Thursday at PSEG Plaza in downtown Newark. Check citybloom.org for the most current schedule and locations.

As part of the Garden State Good Food Network, customers can now shop at the Conservancy’s Youth Farm Stands using their Families First Cards and double the value of their purchases. Similar farmers’ market incentive programs are now offered at more than 300 markets in over 26 states and Washington, D.C.

“NYLP student interns play an integral role in our expanding urban farming initiatives that are producing thousands of pounds of healthy and nutritious produce that are contributing to better nutrition for everyone from children to senior citizens in the City of Newark and beyond,” noted the Conservancy’s Executive Director, Robin Dougherty.

She continued: “The program underscores the sustainability that is at the core of the Conservancy’s mission, with graduates of the program returning to serve as college mentors and becoming advocates for a greener and healthier communities.”


Contact Mujica at 973.642.4646, with questions about the Youth Farm Stand and NYLP programs. For more information about Greater Newark Conservancy’s other programs and services, to volunteer or to make a donation call 973.642.4646 or visit www.citybloom.org. You can also follow news from the Conservancy through social media at Facebook.com/GreaterNewarkConservancy plus Twitter and Instagram – @Citybloom87.

Enjoy wine and cheese in the garden with Greater Newark Conservancy

things to do cardTake a stroll through the lush landscape at Greater Newark Conservancy’s Judith L. Shipley Urban Environmental Center on Prince Street and enjoy Wine and Cheese in the Garden this Thursday, June 23rd from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (over 21 only!). Bring your friends to sample great wines and cheeses in a green and flower-filled oasis in the heart of Newark. Not a drinker? Try some fresh, chilled water infused with Newark grown herbs and flowers. A $5 fee per person includes one free beverage ticket. The event is a fundraiser for the Newark Youth Leadership Project (NYLP). The Conservancy’s Youth Farm Stand will have fresh, locally-grown produce at affordable prices from its urban farms in Newark.

NYLP is a leadership program for Newark high school students that focuses on issues including green jobs, the environment, healthy living, education and career exploration. Interns in the program help run the Conservancy’s Youth Farm Stands selling Newark fresh produce grown on the Conservancy’s urban farms in the city. As part of their experience, the interns are encouraged to try new things, experience outdoor activities and to lead a healthier lifestyle.

To register for the event, call 973.642.4646. For more information about Greater Newark Conservancy’s programs and services, to volunteer or to make a donation you can also visit www.citybloom.org. Follow news from the Conservancy through social media at Facebook.com/GreaterNewarkConservancy plus Twitter and Instagram – @Citybloom87.


Founded in 1987, Greater Newark Conservancy’s mission is to promote environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities through environmental education, community gardening, urban farming, beautification of neighborhoods, job training opportunities and environmental justice.

Fresh Kids program promoting healthy kids and communities debuts in Newark at Conservancy block party

people cardSusanne Brose is dedicated to healthy kids and communities, and dreamed of a way to build a business that would help kids learn where their food comes from and connect with healthy choices and good nutrition. Inspired by First Lady Michele Obama and her campaign for better nutrition and more exercise for our nation’s children, she co-founded Fresh Kids, an independent, woman-owned company with roots on a farm in northern Virginia, and now works with kids in urban communities in the Metro-New York region often referred to as food deserts. In the short time since Fresh Kids was launched in 2014, its growing line of healthy snacks for kids can now be found at health fairs, community events and select stores in New York State, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

Introduced to the Newark area at an event at ShopRite of Newark, Brose connected with representatives of FoodCorp, a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders with similar goals and a commitment to growing healthy kids. Like FoodCorps, Fresh Kids’ founders’ goal is to partner with educators and community leaders in schools and in the community to empower students with the information they need to make smart choices about food and nutrition, to create opportunities for kids to be involved in hands-on activities like gardening and cooking that engage them in healthy and positive ways with food and to provide access to nutritious lunchtime meals in their cafeterias.

Fresh Kids products were a hit with young and old alike at Greater Newark Conservancy’s recent Spring Block Party & Plant Sale. The tasty snacks are made with non-GMO ingredients; many are gluten free, Kosher and made in a nut-free facility. Favorites include Clean and Simple Popcorn, White Cheddar Corn & Rice Puffs, Pretzel Sticks and Little Dipper Hummus made in original and roasted red pepper flavors.

Brose said she hopes to get Fresh Kids involved at more local schools and community events in Newark in the months ahead. For more information, visit www.wearefreshkids.com.

Former Governor James McGreevey will be keynote speaker at Greater Newark Conservancy’s City Bloom Gala

Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey will be the keynote speaker at Greater Newark Conservancy’s Making Our City Bloom Gala at the Short Hills Hilton on May 19, 2016. The event benefits the Conservancy’s programs and services in the areas of environmental education, community greening and urban farms, nutrition, job training and environmental justice.

Honorees will include Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Neil Greenstein, owner of the new ShopRite of Newark and Brookdale ShopRite in Bloomfield, Panasonic Corporation of North America and PSE&G.

“We are pleased to welcome Governor McGreevey to our event, and know his dedication to the issue of prisoner reentry back into New Jersey’s communities will contribute to a powerful message that’s in line with the Conservancy’s mission,” stated Rachel Schwarz, co-chair of the gala and Vice President of Investments for The Short Hills Group, UBS Financial Services, Inc.

McGreevey, the founder and Chairman of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, is working in partnership with the Conservancy in Newark through its prisoner reentry program.

Janette Filbert Spiezio, Vice President, Shared Services Compliance and Anti-Corruption Compliance Officer for Prudential Financial, Inc., who joins Schwarz as the gala’s co-chair, noted her excitement hearing the stories of participants in the program successfully reentering the community. Having watched Newark’s transformation over the last twenty years, she is thrilled to be a part of the story through the Conservancy’s programs and services.

“I was fortunate enough to have found Greater Newark Conservancy and its team of dedicated leaders and volunteers that work tirelessly toward this critical mission and hope that as we continue to change lives, others will join,” Filbert Spiezio noted. “Our capacity to change the world and advance the Conservancy’s mission to make Newark a greener and healthier place to live, work and learn is only limited by the generosity of our sponsors, donors and volunteers.”

“The Conservancy’s educational programs enrich the lives of thousands of inner city children from pre-school to high school. Our ‘Newark Fresh’ produce grown on our Newark urban farms is increasing access to nutritious food for thousands of low income residents of the City, including many senior citizens,” added the Conservancy’s Executive Director, Robin Dougherty.

“Through our City Bloom Landscaping and Clean & Green Job Training Programs, the Conservancy is providing landscaping and horticultural job training for hundreds of recently incarcerated Newark residents, allowing them to contribute to our initiatives as they move towards full-time employment and reclaimed lives. Support for the gala will help us continue to expand our programs and services and make an even bigger contribution to the communities we serve,” Dougherty concluded.


To support the gala as a pinnacle, benefactor, sponsor, patron or through individual ticket purchases, contact Brian David at 973.642.4646, ext. 16 or email bdavid@citybloom.org.

For more information about programs, services and volunteer opportunities, or to make a donation, contact Greater Newark Conservancy at 973-642-4646 or visit CityBloom.org. You can also follow news from the Conservancy through social media at Facebook.com/GreaterNewarkConservancy, plus Twitter and Instagram – @Citybloom87.


 

New trips and workshops highlight Greater Newark Conservancy’s Spring/Summer 2016 Program Guide

Trips to see beautiful gardens and farms plus exciting new workshops that can help make your home and community gardening efforts a success highlight Greater Newark Conservancy’s recently released Spring/Summer 2016 Programming Newsletter. The comprehensive guide showcases a wide range of upcoming activities and opportunities to get involved and contribute to a greener and healthier environment in the Greater Newark area. A complete listing of all upcoming spring and summer programs is also available on citybloom.org.

Spring into spring and summer by participating in the annual Spring Block Party and Plant Sale (Saturday, May 7), Strawberry Jam (Saturday, June 4), Garlic-Palooza (Saturday, August 6), and other events, environmentally focused workshops, community greening projects and field trips for everyone from school children and families, to young professionals and retired seniors.

“With spring on its way, there’s lots to do and learn that’s fun and educational for individuals and groups,” noted Robin Dougherty, the Conservancy’s Executive Director. “Our programs and services help people connect while planting seeds, growing community and changing lives.”

Exciting Trips

Green thumbs and non-gardeners alike will appreciate the beauty of the diverse gardens on the Hoboken Secret Garden Tour (Sunday, June 5), the Walking Tour of the Lower East Side (Saturday, June 25), at Well Sweep Herb Farm (Saturday, July 16) and Duke Farms Community Garden (Saturday, July 9). Costs range from as little as $5 to $35 per person. Bring a bag lunch and water and wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Sorry, ages 15 and up only.

Special Events

While the Conservancy offers a variety of programs throughout the year, the urban environment comes alive with the advent of warmer weather. The Prudential Outdoor Learning Center on Prince Street offers self-guided tours and visits even if there are no events taking place starting on Saturday, April 2nd.

Strawberry Jam at the Court Street Urban Farm features freshly grown strawberries to taste, demonstrations on how to make tea and strawberry crafts. At Garlic-Palooza, learn about garlic’s health benefits, create garlic crafts and then taste a variety of garlic at the Hawthorne Avenue Farm. For the third consecutive year the Conservancy will also host a Nelson Mandela Birthday Tribute at the Outdoor Learning Center on Friday, July 15th, all part of a long list of events in the months ahead.

Workshops

What better way to enhance your gardens than with a do-it-yourself project? Once a season, from spring through fall, the Conservancy will guide workshops to help participants keep their gardens unique and ever-changing by building new additions like a BYO Planter Box (Saturday, May 21, $30) and a BYO Garden Table (Saturday, August 20, $45). Growing Gardener Workshops help people of all ages get started by focusing on and teaching everything from gardening basics to advanced topics, including a Summer Garden Maintenance Workshop (Saturday, July 9, $5).

Experience the gardens at the Conservancy’s Outdoor Learning Center in a whole new way at Art in the Garden Workshops on Thursday, June 16 and Thursday, September 15 (free). Draw your favorite tree, paint the sunset or press a blooming flower. Art supplies will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own to help unleash their creativity. The educational Second Saturdays program from April through August ($5) is the perfect way to join and support your child as Conservancy staff help connect science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.) to nature through hands-on, inquiry-based lessons. Children will enjoy outdoor exploration and interactive games covering topics like Veggies, Urban Habitats, Bees and Worms. Parents must stay with their children from PK through 6th graders during the workshops.

Founded in 1987, Greater Newark Conservancy’s mission is to promote environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities through environmental education, community gardening, beautification of neighborhoods, job training and environmental justice.

To register for an upcoming event, trip or workshop, for more information about programs, services and volunteer opportunities or to make a donation, contact Greater Newark Conservancy at 973-642-4646 or visit CityBloom.org. You can also follow news from the Conservancy through social media at Facebook.com/GreaterNewarkConservancy, plus Twitter and Instagram – @Citybloom87.