TUESDAY APRIL 5, 2011 • 12:00 NOON
Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Threaten Funding of New York City’s Community Gardens
In response, the New York City Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) is leading a RALLY at City Hall and calling upon our elected officials to fight to save Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Gardeners and supporters from across the city will assemble on the steps of City Hall on TUESDAY, APRIL 5 @ 12:00 NOON, rallying to SAVE GREENTHUMB!
Since 1978, GreenThumb has nurtured community gardening in New York City, assisting over 600 gardens and urban farms and their collective 20,000 members with material and technical assistance. GreenThumb is fully funded by the Federal HUD Community Develop- ment Block Grant (CDBG) program with a modest budget of around $800,000 in Fiscal Year 2011— less than half of 1% of New York City’s current $200 million allocation.
The US House of Representatives’ 2012 budget calls for the elimination of funding for the CDBG program for the remainder of FY 2011, and a 60% slash to overall CDBG funding — that could translate to the elimination of GreenThumb, or at least a devastating cut to its budget!
Community gardens are important to New Yorkers, providing much needed green space to neighborhoods lacking in parkland. They promote environmental education, encourage lo- cal food production, nurture intergenerational and intercultural friendships, and help reduce crime by being the eyes and ears of our communities. As more and more people discover their benefits, it is absolutely imperative to protect and increase resources and funding for GreenThumb — the lifeblood of community gardening in New York City.
NYCCGC calls on government officials to guarantee the survival of the GreenThumb program:
1) We demand that the Federal Government protect CDBG funding, not only for GreenThumb, but for all CDBG projects in new York City and across the nation;
2) We strongly urge our City, State and Federal representatives to advocate for the protection of ALL CDBG funding;
3) We call on the NYC Office of Management and Budget to make sure GreenThumb receives its full share of CDBG funds disbursed to new York City to maintain current operations;
4) We encourage the City administration to take steps to use tax levy funds for GreenThumb operations to ensure a diversified funding stream.