Growing Through Greening

Grace Henry with her neighbors on her front stoop in Brooklyn.

Grace Henry with her neighbors on her front stoop in Brooklyn.

When Grace Henry’s East Flatbush block entered the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest in 2004, she had no idea how deep her commitment to Brooklyn Botanic Garden and making Brooklyn a more livable place would go. Fifteen years later, her scope is the entire borough, not just her block.

Grace’s story echoes that of countless other community gardeners who find their passion through BBG’s programs dedicated to encouraging greening in Brooklyn. The Garden’s Community Greening programs work with block associations, community gardens, and other service groups to build vibrant exchanges between people and green spaces.

Local gardeners often learn about BBG’s Community Greening network through the Garden’s free workshops, or through the annual Making Brooklyn Bloom urban greening symposium and Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest. There they tap into a wealth of knowledge and are inspired to dig deeper, with experiences often culminating—as they did for Grace—in becoming urban greening leaders

Participants in free Community Greenging programs are given the tools to build community networks through gardening. Alongside instruction in best practices in urban horticulture, they learn how to strengthen engagement and participation among neighborhood groups, including schools and local businesses.

These programs make a tremendous impact over time—with Grace and many others spreading their love for greening throughout Brooklyn, year after year. The success of longterm initiatives like this is also made possible in part by friends of BBG who take the long view by making a planned gift to the Garden. You do not need to have a fortune to give a lasting gift to BBG. Planned gifts can be made in a variety of ways and can be structured to potentially assist you in estate, gift, and income tax savings while helping wonderful Community Greening programs thrive!

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