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15 Bed-Stuy Gardens to Get an Upgrade Thanks to Federal Grant

By Paul DeBenedetto | September 20, 2013 8:31am
 Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Fifteen Bed-Stuy community gardens will be getting an upgrade this year, thanks to a $30,000 federal grant.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency awarded $30,000 this week to Green Guerillas, a local nonprofit that teaches gardening skills to residents.

The money will be going to the group's Youth Tillers program, which will teach young Bed-Stuy residents how to compost and harvest rainwater in order to better serve local gardens, according to the EPA.

"The grant to Green Guerillas will educate young people in Brooklyn on ways they can utilize urban land, create healthier neighborhoods and get people working together to solve problems,” EPA regional administrator Judith A. Enck said in a statement.

The $30,000 grant was part of the agency's Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, which helps support community organizations working on public health issues.

The EPA received applications from five city groups this year, and a spokesman for the agency said Green Guerillas was chosen because of its track record in helping underserved communities.

"[Grants] are given to projects where people are being positively affected in their local communities," spokesman John Martin said. "It has a real impact on peoples' lives."

Kids will learn to install rainwater systems used to reduce runoff and sewer overflows, while also teaching locals with hands-on demonstrations, including healthy cooking classes.

Green Guerillas, which did not respond to inquiries, helps support the Hattie Carthan Community Market at Bed-Stuy's Hattie Carthan Garden, on Marcy Avenue between Lafayette Avenue and Clifton Place, according to the market's website.

Carthan, herself a Bed-Stuy resident, helped found the Green Guerillas, according to the Parks Department.

It was not immediately known which Bed-Stuy gardens would benefit from the grant.