You are reading

Astoria Residents Aim to Turn Empty Lot Into Community Garden and Educational Space

Astoria Urban Agriculture Alliance’s vision for The Sitting Area space (Courtesy of Bianca Bibiloni and Kyra Cuevas)

Oct. 27, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A group of Astoria residents hosted an event Saturday to garner support for the transformation of a long-neglected lot into a community garden for neighbors in the area.

The newly-formed Astoria Urban Agriculture Alliance (AUAA) is working to create a shared community garden and educational space out of an asphalt lot on Hoyt Avenue North between 19th and 21st Streets.

The group hosted a kick-off event at the lot, known as The Sitting Area, over the weekend to invite residents to learn about their plans for the community garden.

The group wants to revitalize the public lot by planting small gardens in its empty tree pits and painting a mural on the asphalt.

When complete, the urban green space will serve as an educational hub with skill sharing, community building and gardening lessons, AUAA said.

The community group hopes to help neighbors learn how to cultivate plants in small spaces and how to use them, as well as increase the number of native agriculture and pollinators in Astoria.

The Sitting Area as it looks today (Courtesy of Bianca Bibiloni)

“Our vision is to create a collaborative public space where people from all backgrounds and cultures can enjoy community gardening while addressing environmental sustainability, food justice, the need for more public outdoor spaces, and the impact of COVID-19 on our lives,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, Co-founder of Astoria Urban Agriculture Alliance, longtime resident, and avid gardener.

Hantzopoulos is running for the 22nd council district seat and part of her platform is to bring more community gardens to the district.

The plans for transforming the lot have been approved by the NYC Parks Department and presented to the Queens Community Board 1 Parks Committee, AUAA said.

Roughly 200 people visited the lot throughout the day on Saturday to pick up free seeds, pots and soil and exchange urban gardening tips. Locals offered lessons on soil, bokashi compost and cardboard box composting at the event as well.

Astoria Fridges — which spearheaded the creation of community fridges full of free food — also collected food to stock its refrigerators at the kick-off.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

4 Comments

Click for Comments 
Dian Hawkins

This is a great community uplifting transformation i have heard of, in this time where people feels suppress and lethargic its a real upliftment, like a light bulb turns on when one goes out and returns home, i felt excited reading about the population that got involved and their anticipation .
This is what community looks and feels like.
Onwards!!

Reply
Polis

Community Gardens are part of the Parks Department of NYC. Gather support to join with our NYC thousands-strong community gardeners. One in Long Island City!

5
1
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

‘Ghost car’ driver arrested in East Elmhurst after traffic stop reveals weapons, threatening note: NYPD

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst discovered an arsenal of weapons in a ghost car they pulled over on Ditmars Boulevard and 86th Street in East Elmhurst early Wednesday morning.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey held a press briefing at the 110th Precinct on Wednesday afternoon to discuss what the sergeant and three officers from the 110th Precinct public safety team found when they pulled over a black Ford Explorer at around 1:30 a.m. because it had blacked-out license plates.

Henry ‘Hank’ Krumholz, stalwart pioneer of Queens LGBTQ Pride, dies at 73

Henry “Hank” Krumholz, a pioneering gay rights activist in Queens, passed away on Sunday in his Flushing apartment at the age of 73.

Krumholz played a crucial role in the establishment and success of the Queens LGBTQ Pride Parade, which is held annually in Jackson Heights. He joined the parade’s sponsoring organization right after its inaugural event in 1993 and continued his involvement for decades. His passing came just a week after this year’s parade on June 2, marking its 31st anniversary.