Nov. 5, 2013 By Sean Brosnan
Several elected officials joined students from William Cullen Bryant High School on Monday to cut the ribbon on a pioneering new rooftop garden at the Long Island City-based school.
The terrace garden, which features 57 green-roof grid modules with an array of shrubbery, flowers, herbs and vegetables, was installed through the combined efforts of the Horticultural Society of New York (the Hort), Bryant High School students and faculty members, and participants in the Global Kids Organization.
“I’m so glad to be here today for what I think is a very important development here at William Cullen Bryant High School,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who graduated from the school in 1987. “This is a fantastic project that will be very worthwhile to the students.”
Van Bramer also cut the ribbon on a new education garden at Sunnyside’s PS150 in September of this year.
“It is incredible to see the beautiful results of the hard work and dedication of these young men and women,” said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, also an alumnus of Bryant, graduating in 1995. “This rooftop garden will not only promote a sustainable, green western Queens, but also serve as a great legacy for students to leave behind as they graduate. It is truly encouraging to see young people not only concerned about the environment, but actually taking concrete steps to protect it.”
State Sen. Michael Gianaris concurred with Van Bramer and Simotas and stated that the rooftop garden was a testament to the fantastic resiliency of the Astoria community.
“The funding for this green space, and five others like it in western Queens, is a result of our efforts following the July 2006 Blackout. I am proud to see that we have used a dark time in our past to make such a positive impact, and I thank the Hort, Global Kids, and everyone at Bryant for helping make this happen.”
The ribbon cutting occurred on the same day as William Cullen Bryant’s birthday, who aside from being a legendary author and poet was also a noted horticulturist and botanist.