A LOOK BACK AT 2014
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
As the year-end giving season comes to a close, I would like to take a moment to ask you to consider supporting Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden in 2014 and join our grass-roots movement to preserve the Garden as a unique public green, open space.
In June 2013, I joined a small group of volunteers to preserve the Garden as a New York City park. Since then, we have "grown" a volunteer base of nearly 400 — ranging in age from 18 to 80-plus — and an email list of more than 3,000 subscribers!
Collectively, our volunteers have dedicated thousands of hours to the Garden, including:
- Staffing and opening the Garden to the public year round — more than 40 hours a week during warm-weather months;
- Programming more than 150 free public events this year, including our second annual Harvest Festival attended by more than 2,000 neighbors;
- Organizing our Bees, Butterflies & Worms educational workshops for local residents and elementary students from neighborhood P.S. 1;
- Restoring 4,000 square feet of garden beds and 6,000 square feet of lawn;
- Planting more than 5,000 herbs, shrubs and flowering perennials; and
- Establishing Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden as a nonprofit corporation and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.
In a neighborhood with only 3 square feet of open space per resident, Elizabeth Street Garden is the only local park where you can literally put your hands in the dirt. Children learn that vegetables come from the earth, not the local bodega, and that worms, ladybugs and nematodes serve as natural (and fun!) protectors. Most importantly, in an era of digital connectivity, the Garden has become a place where neighbors can meet the old-fashioned way while volunteering, gardening or attending our many events. Elizabeth Street Garden has become the soul of our neighborhood, a green oasis in our otherwise concrete city.
As 2014 draws to a close, we thank our dedicated volunteers for their commitment and volunteer power, Citizens Committee for New York City for our Neighborhood Grant, Sullivan & Cromwell for pro bono legal counsel, Lower Manhattan Neighbors’ Organization for having served as fiscal sponsor and our neighbors and local businesses for their generosity.
One hundred percent of our staffing and 85% of our funding come from individuals like you. Please consider both volunteering and making a year-end contribution to Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden to support the free public programming, greening and preservation of the Garden.
All the best in 2015, with warm wishes,
Jeannine Kiely, President
Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden