Free Trees!

If you missed the wildly popular free tree giveaway through the FAB Alliance and the Million Trees NYC initiative this past spring, you'll have another opportunity on October 23 in Bed Stuy, at  Bed Stuy's Restoration Plaza: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Tree Giveaway Saturday, October 23, 2010 1:00pm – 3:00pm Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation 1368 Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY 11216

Summer Events at Fort Greene Park

The Fort Greene Conservancy just emailed me a poster detailing their summer events. There's lots of stuff here for kids, but most intriguing to me are the September performance by Reggie Watts (NY Mag just profiled him) and the Urban Bat Exploration (cool!).  I'm sure the Whitman tour (only one left!) will also be good.  I love seeing such a variety of entertainment and education right here at our doorstep.

Clinton Hill Garden Walk

Check out some of the neighborhood's most wonderful private gardens on this upcoming walking tour:

Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District presents its self-guided 13th Annual Garden Walk. Spend a Sunday afternoon being inspired by the creativity of this neighborhood's urban gardeners. The stops on the tour include single, double and triple-lot city refuges. Pick up a self-guided map at the corner of Washington Avenue and Lafayette, just outside the entrance to the G train, and enter into a a wonderland that cannot be seen from the street.

This year's stroll features 15 private gardens in the historic district of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. In addition to private gardens, many of which also feature the artwork of their creators folded into their greenery, the tour includes several vibrant community gardens, a newly planted garden entitled, Symbols, Parables and Healing, sponsored by BBGD in partnership with Teen Challenge, the drug recovery and prevention program at 444 Clinton Avenue, The Pratt sculpture Garden, green graffiti art installations and a Living-Couture Fashion Show in a neighborhood church.

All proceeds from the Garden Walk fund activities that support, encourage and facilitate local gardening, urban farming and environmental art.

Tickets are available in advance for $15 at:

and for $20 the day of the event.

PACC Gardening Event

Emily at PACC emailed me a little roundup of their Earth Day planting event with some photos:

Pratt Area Community Council celebrated Earth Day with its second annual gardening event on Saturday, April 17th. Last year tenants, PACC staff and volunteers spruced up Gibb Mansion's gardens for Earth Day. This year, on a cloudy morning, more than 25 volunteers joined tenants and staff at 15 Quincy Street to get their hands dirty "greening" one of PACC's affordable rental buildings. The team turned over garden beds in front and in back of the building, then planted flowers and trees including arborvitae, coreopsis, petunias, marigolds, flowering plum and cherry trees. Walk by the building on Quincy or Lexington to see what a difference a few hours of gardening makes!

Free Yoga in Fort Greene Park Begins Tomorrow!

Last year,  yogi Lindsay Sage offered free yoga in FG Park.  I went a few times and it was amazing - there is nothing like spiritual exercise outside.  Thankfully, she's back starting tomorrow.  See you there!

Hari Om Brooklyn Yogis!

Yoga in Fort Greene Park is eager to start its second season!  I hope you are as excited as I am to soak up the warmth of an outdoor practice.

Begins this Tuesday -- May 4 (until mid-July) Weather permitting 7-8PM Fort Greene Park -- near the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument Bring mat (or use the grass) There is no charge but this year I will be accepting donations

Please feel free to pass this along to your friends that live or work in Brooklyn.  Also -- FYI -- I teach Yoga in Riverside Park (my other home -- at 115th Street) on Wednesday evenings (6-7) and 6:15PM every other Sunday at my studio (, though that's indoors and not nearly as fun).

Looking forward to seeing you!


More Earth Day Fun: Grand Ave Block Party on 4.24

The neighborhood continues celebrating Earth Day, this weekend on Grand Ave.  Here's the info from Still Hip Brooklyn: Saturday, April 24 | all day! 12:00pm Fati & Charles 1:00pm Graciela of Music Para Mi 2:00pm rolie polie guacamole 2:30pm Sean Kershaw 3:00pm Pistachio: A Brooklyn Girl Made of Trash 4:00pm Tres Leches 4:30pm Rene Collins 5:00pm Audra Rox! 6:00pm LIG funk band

PLUS: Private Picasso Art Crafts find out about Green Drinks + Vokashi composting Book Signing of Brooklyn Baby by Allison Lowenstein Baby Raising fair with info on Doula's + Montessori playgroups + classes + more!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * BRING ALL YOUR CLOTHES TO DONATE TO WEARABLE COLLECTIONS AND HELP RAISE MONEY FOR COMMUNITY ROOTS CHARTER SCHOOL! We will have tons of bins set up for your used fabric goodies

Tree Giveaway a HUGE Success!

  Bravo to FAB and their partners MillionTrees NYC. Mr. Lesterhead and I arrived around 10 in the hopes of getting a cherry tree and there must have been 100 people in line already.  Due to the fact that the cherry trees were way too big to fit in the car and we couldn't wait, I snapped some pics and we were on our way.  It was great to finally meet FAB Director Philip Kellogg in person and say hi to neighbors waiting for their trees.  Great location for it, too.

Here's hoping I can snag a tree next time.

Did you go?  What kind of tree did you choose?


Celebrate Earth Day at Habana Outpost

Our favorite local eco-eatery is hosting a full day of fun to help celebrate the 40th annual earth day!  Schedule is below.  I'm most intrigued by the beekeeping seminar!  (In case you missed it, beekeeping just became legal in NYC!) Sean Meenan presents Earth Day Expo at Habana Outpost Saturday, April 17th 2010 Join us to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day with a day full of free workshops and events for the whole family!

Kid’s Corner:  12-6pm All day long there will be free arts & crafts, games, and entertainment for children focusing on recycling and nature:

FINDERS KEEPERS!!!! TOSSERS WEEPERS!!!:  Saturday 1 – 3pm Recycling within your environment with Habana Works and the Leadership Learning Lab.  This hands-on workshop will explore how to reuse what’s in your home, community and environment—or in this case, what’s at Habana Outpost!  Children will be asked to go on a scavenger hunt through the courtyard and use what they find to create new objects, or give old objects new purpose and meaning.

The ABC’s of Bees and Beekeeping:  12 – 5pm Local beekeeper John Howe (New York City Beekeeping Meetup) will explain how honey is made with a live observation hive and arts & crafts projects.

Free Eco- Face Painting:  12-6pm Let us turn your kid into butterflies, ladybugs and bumblebees…and while they’re at it, they can learn how important these insects are to our environment!

Eco-Fashion:  3 – 4pm Find it, recycle it, rock the runway in it!  Join us for the 2nd annual Scrap Kins Kids Repurposed Fashion Show where local kids will be strutting their eco-stuff front and center for all the courtyard to see!

Electronic Waste Recycling:  10am - 4pm The Lower East Side Ecology Center (LESEC) will be collecting your unwanted electronic waste in their e-waste container. Composting Workshops for Adults:  12 - 6pm Brought to you by The NYC Compost Project at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, funded by the Department of Sanitation, these fun workshops will teach you how to make the most of your trash and start composting at home.

Shop Green:  12 - 6pm Local vendors and designers will showcase green products and services in an outdoor market.  Featuring: Still Hip Brooklyn, Via Nativa and Recycle a Bicycle.

Get Involved:  12 – 6pm Meet local eco-minded groups and individuals to find out how you can get involved!  Participating Groups: Green Home NYC, Greene Harvest CSA, Manhattan Young Democrats – Environmental Committee, and Transportation Alternatives, Greene Hill Co-op, and Fort Greene Compost Project.

Please visit our website for more information - or call 718 858 9500. Habana Outpost - 757 Fulton Street

Free Tree Giveaway, This Saturday

The MillionTreesNYC Initiative is awesome!  This Saturday, pick up a free tree to plant on your private property as part of the plan to plant one million new trees in NYC at the "Putnam Triangle."  Love that they are making use of an interesting place that could function better as a community space. Sponsored also by the FAB Alliance and Greene Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, and the NY Restoration Project. Here are the details:

Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill and the FAB Alliance, in partnership with MillionTreesNYC and the New York Restoration Project, are giving away 200 FREE TREES on Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18th from 10am-3pm. Bring your friends and family to the "Putnam Triangle" in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (Fulton St and Grand Ave) and leave with a tree to plant at home, at your business, at church, at school (as long as it's private property).

Are you planning your spring garden? Do you have an open spot for a tree? Plant a tree that will grow as your kid grows. Commemorate a loved one. Come to the Tree Giveaway and walk away with a FREE TREE!

All trees will be first-come, first-served. All you need is a place to plant and access to water. Free trees will be available to individuals, families and community groups for planting on private property only, and not in containers or on rooftops. Trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis until supplies run out. Limited quantities of the following species of trees are expected to be: Eastern Redbud, Dogwood, Cherry, Oak and Sweet Gum.

Need a hand or a shovel? We will have tools for you borrow. We will have help for those who need it to get a tree home and have people to lend a hand with planting if you (or the senior next door) need it.

Trees are renewable resources that benefit the entire community. They reduce air pollution, beautify the neighborhood, slow traffic and teach important environmental values.

Not sure what type of tree you want? Horticulture specialists will be on hand to answer questions and provide species selection recommendations. Simple tree planting and care instructions come with your tree.

Do you want to help out? Volunteers are needed to give out trees, transport trees, help neighbors plant their free trees, publicize the event in surrounding neighborhoods and answer questions about tree planting. To volunteer, contact Marilyn Shaw at

Presented by Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill and the FAB Alliance in partnership with New York Restoration Project and MillionTreesNYC and through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and David Rockefeller

About MillionTreesNYC: Led by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and New York Restoration Project (NYRP), MillionTreesNYC is a citywide, public-private initiative that recognizes the benefits trees provide New York City’s residents, neighborhoods and environment, through an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across the City’s five boroughs by 2017.

About Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill: Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill is a volunteer project of the Fort Greene Association. It is reducing the neighborhood's contribution to global warming and lessening its use of non-renewable resources through projects created and staffed by neighborhood residents and others called to our cause.

About the FAB Alliance: The Fulton Area Business (FAB) Alliance is a newly formed Business Improvement District working on behalf of property owners, merchants, residents and stakeholders along Fulton Street in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill - from Rockwell Place to Classon Avenue (plus adjacent blocks of Lafayette, Greene and Putnam Avenues). Goals are to retain current businesses and improve the atmosphere to make this area of Fulton Street a clean, safe and retail diverse environment that is a destination for people work, shop, dine and play.

Old Tree Damaged by Storm

A reader snapped this shot of a beautiful old tree on the Washington Park side of Fort Greene Park that was damaged by the recent rain storm.  No word yet if it will have to come down.  I know a tree is a plant and not a person, but it makes me sad to see that a living thing that's been in the park for so many years, and so many generations of neighborhood residents, might be removed.

Autumn Gardening in Fort Greene Park

Fall Gardening. Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District hosts a Bulb Give Away and Dig. Share. Dig. (Recession gardening)


Saturday October 24th – 9 – 2

Look for the BBGD table adjacent to the Artisan Market and the Farmer’s Market at the Dekalb Avenue/Washington Park entrance to Fort Greene Park.

Come take a bag of free early spring blooming bulbs. The selection includes muscari, crocus, hybrid emperor tulips and species tulips in butter yellow, deep blue, cream and crisp white. These bulbs may be planted anytime before the first frost.


DIG. SHARE. DIG. (Recession Gardening)

Saturday October 24th 12 – 2

Look for BBGD at the monument in Fort Greene Park

Do you have plants in your garden that need to be divided? Do you have plants that have spread and does it pain you to “throw them out ?” Come share what needs to be dug up! In the Spring BBGD hosted a Dig. Share. Dig. and local gardeners offered their roses, hostas, ground covers, bearded iris & tiger lilies. This fall we promise to have coral bells, ajuga, gooseneck and tall red cannas.   Add to the list. Bring something. Take something.

Yoga at the Park: A Review

On Tuesday night, I was finally able to check out the free yoga in Fort Greene Park.  Held at the top of the hill near the monument every Tuesday from 7-8 pm, almost 30 students (a handful of whom had never done yoga before) gathered to sweat it out in 90 degree park

Teacher Lindsay Sage started out with the very basic moves, and eventually moved to more advanced poses (half moon, anyone?).  Students at all levels definitely got something out of the session (though I'd suggest beginners take a few very basic classes on their own to learn the breathing techniques and body positioning).  The pacing and the poses were perfect for me (a few years ago, I did yoga regularly but haven't been practicing as of late).

Technique aside, it was an amazing experience.  It was hot as a sauna, but we were surrounded by nature sounds (cicadas  buzzing, birds singing), and were treated to the occasional breeze.  Children played nearby, and a few people practiced juggling.  A young couple sat and watched our class, nuring their baby.  Lying on our backs and looking up at the clouds -- as well as the illumintaed monument once the sun set -- was very meditative.

Sage hopes to continue her free Tuesday classes into October.  Bring your mat and check it out!

(We were briefly interrupted by a fully naked man lying on the grass shouting obscenities, until 5 cop cars drove up onto the grass and took him away.  Ahh, Brooklyn.)

Mysterious Ft. Greene Park

bampark2 Several months ago, a reader emailed me about the mysterious park across from BAM:

Hi Clinton Hill Blog! All summer, I walked to work past a seemingly lovely park at the corners of Ft Greene Place, Fulton Street, and Lafayette Ave. There's a few benches in there and I'd love to sit and read there. What's the deal with this park?  Who owns it? Why isn't it open? Thanks, Amelia

The park, officially called BAM park, has been a point of contention at least as far back as 2004, according to this Brooklyn Paper article.

I've never once seen it open - have you?  It would be nice to have a green space to sit and wait in while waiting for one of the busses that stops on the north side of the park.  (It would also be nice for a wedding!)


Rain = Good for Hydrangeas

The weather finally seems to have cleared up now that July is here, and this past weekend was the perfect opportunity to walk around the neighborhood!  As I was marveling at all of the breathtaking hydrangeas around town, a neighbor told me that all the rain was extremely beneficial for the flowering bushes.  At least something good came out of June's rain! A house on DeKalb just west of Mike's Coffee Shop has the most breathtaking blue hydrangeas:

lafayette and washington

These next shots were taken on Lafayette at Washington, right near the G stop.  My favorite selection of hydrangeas thus far, this house offers a rainbow of colors, ranging from deep pink to almost white, surrounding the house:

lafayette and washington

lafayette and washington

Free Yoga in Fort Greene Park, Summer Tuesdays

CHB reader Lindsay Sage emailed to tell me she is offering FREE yoga classes in Fort Greene Park, every Tuesday this summer from 7-8pm!  I'm a big fan of yoga, and I'm excited for the opportunity to practice outdoors (for free!). Here are the details:

Free Outdoor Yoga in Fort Greene Park (outside near the Prison Ship Martyr’s Monument), Weather Permitting

Tuesdays this summer, 7-8PM

Bring Mat, Beginners Welcome

Earth Day with PACC

earthday Another celebration of Earth Day this coming weekend:

Pratt Area Community Council is planning a great Earth Day event, scheduled for April 18!  Get your hands dirty and help plant a garden.  Plus, if it means a chance to take a peek inside the amazing Gibb Mansion, it'll be worth it!

PACC will also be offering coffee and breakfast from the popular Desserts by Michael Allen (which seems to be bumping every time I walk past).


Greene Grape Environmental Events

earthday The below details both kid- and grown-up friendly Earth Day events at Greene Grape and Provisions in Fort Greene.  It's all happening within steps of Habana Outpost's season opener as well!

At The Greene Grape, we’re excited to celebrate Earth Day Weekend April 18/19 and the return of our neighbor, Habana Outpost, from its winter hibernation. Join us for the following special events all weekend!


Outside Greene Grape Provisions, 753 Fulton at South Portland, the Brooklyn Brownstone Garden District will hold an edible plant sale and help kids make ‘seed bombs’ using recycled coffee grounds from the coffee bar that will hopefully lead to a summer floral explosion in Fort Greene!   Plants for sale will include Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas (the peas and the leaves are edible and it can be grown inside), Ho Lang Tau (an Asian pea which is a delicacy and you can also eat the peas and the leaves and grow it inside) and Nasturtium (edible flowers). An expert on edible plants and flowers will be on hand to answer questions.  Plant sale will be both April 18 and April 19 from 10am-5pm.


While the kids are waiting for their seed bombs to dry, the parents can mosey over to The Greene Grape Wine store at 765 Fulton where we will be holding an all-day tasting of environmentally-friendly wines. From a malbec packed in a tetrapak to organic wines to local NY state wines, there are many ways to reduce your wine drinking carbon footprint without sacrificing the quality of your wine. The tasting schedule is as follows:

Saturday, April 18 12pm-7pm Think Global, Drink Local

By supporting local growers and producers, we are cutting out both the cost of transportation and the damage that gasoline leaves on our environment. Alie, the founder of Brooklyn Oenology, a Brooklyn label that uses New York grapes and labels by Brooklyn artists, will pour her Social Club White 2007. From 2-4, Pure vodka, made from upstate NY apples, will be mixing and sampling cocktails.  We’ll also open 3 wines from our monthly New York Cork Club, which features 2 new wines each month from the Empire State.

Sunday, April 19 12pm-7pm Economical and Earth-Friendly

We’ll pour 4 organic wines all under $15 including a 1-liter malbec in a tetrapak (Yellow+Blue Malbec 2007).