The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is teaming up with New Yorkers for Parks (NY4Parks) and public housing residents of the Governor DeWitt Clinton Houses to kick off The Daffodil Project plantings beginning in Manhattan on October 25. Plantings will take place at NYCHA in each of the five boroughs. This first-ever partnership between NYCHA’s Gardening and Greening Program and NY4Parks will focus on increasing environmental awareness and resident engagement to preserve both the environment and New York City communities. The first event at the Clinton Houses includes area school children and the neighboring East Harlem community.
“This is a great opportunity to move NYCHA’s Green Agenda forward and to work to increase resident participation in making their developments and communities greener with this exciting collaboration with New Yorkers for Parks,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “Clinton Houses and the other NYCHA sites that will receive these generous donations of daffodil bulbs will benefit from plantings that will beautify their open spaces and serve to unite them under one common cause—the well-being of their community.”
“This project is an example of what we can accomplish when we come together as a community to improve the overall quality of life,” said NYCHA Board Member and Environmental Coordinator Margarita López. “Green spaces such as these not only beautify the neighborhoods, but they purify the air creating a healthier environment for us all.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Chairman Rhea, Commissioner López and NYCHA’S Gardening and Greening Program by giving NYCHA residents in every borough the opportunity to participate in the Daffodil Project and become stewards of their public spaces,” said New Yorkers for Parks Executive Director Holly Leicht. “The Daffodil Project remains a powerful memorial to 9/11, but also has become a symbol of civic pride and community volunteerism. Its spirit is defined by the thousands of New Yorkers who join together to make their neighborhoods and their city a more beautiful place to live.”
NYCHA’s Garden and Greening Program will be in charge of distributing bulbs and recruiting resident volunteers and area students for plantings during the fall. Their efforts will yield a bountiful blooming of the yellow flowers in the spring, creating vast fields of gold throughout NYCHA developments city-wide. The initial daffodil plantings will continue through the beginning of November.
The Daffodil Project was founded in 2001 as a living memorial to September 11. It began when Dutch bulb supplier Hans van Waardenburg reached out to NY4Parks to find out what he could do to show his support of New Yorkers during this horrific tragedy. Around the same time, former New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe had a similar idea of planting yellow daffodils – the color of remembrance – across the city. The three formed a partnership with the Dutch government, and The Daffodil Project was born. The following fall, more than 10,000 volunteers joined NY4P to initiate the Project.
In 2007, Mayor Bloomberg named the daffodil the city’s official flower in recognition of the millions of daffodils that had bloomed every spring since 2001.With nearly five million free bulbs planted citywide by more than 40,000 school children, parks and gardening groups, civic organizations, corporate volunteers and other New Yorkers, it is one of the largest volunteer efforts in the city’s history. Today, the initiative remains a powerful memorial, but also has become a symbol of civic pride and unity. Its spirit is defined by the thousands of New Yorkers who join together to make their neighborhoods, and their city, a more beautiful place to live.
NYCHA and NY4Parks plan to host The Daffodil Project planting sessions with public housing residents in each of the following developments from November 5th to 9th, from 3pm-5pm:
Monday, November 5, 2012
Gun Hill Community Center, 745 Magenta Street Bronx, NY 10467
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Todt Hill Community Center, 255 Westwood Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10314
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Tilden Houses Community Center, 630 Mother Gaston Blvd., Brooklyn, NY 11212
Friday, November 9, 2012
Astoria Houses Community Center, 4-05 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY 11102
To learn more about the NYCHA/The Daffodil Project, please visit http://greennycha.org/free-daffodils/.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA):
NYCHA provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate- income residents in New York City. NYCHA serves approximately 420,000 public housing residents across 334 developments in all 5 boroughs. To fulfill this mission, NYCHA must preserve its aging housing stock through timely maintenance and modernization of its developments. NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments. Simultaneously, we work to enhance the quality of life at NYCHA by offering our residents opportunities to participate in a multitude of community, educational and recreational programs, as well as job readiness and training initiatives.
About New Yorkers for Parks (NY4Parks):
NY4Parks is a citywide independent organization that conducts research and develops tangible policy recommendations around our findings related to park development, management and sustainability. Using this research as a foundation for our advocacy campaigns, NY4P drives both immediate actions and long-term policies that protect and enhance the city’s vast network of parks, ensure adequate and equitable distribution of open space resources to all neighborhoods, and inform and empower communities throughout New York City to advocate for their open space needs.