BBG proudly funds its new Brooklyn Urban Gardener (BUG) program through the Campaign for the Next Century. This intensive ten-week “train the trainer” program offers comprehensive education in urban horticulture and community relations to community members annually at no cost. The goal of the program is to train an active corps of volunteers to assist BBG’s GreenBridge program in serving Brooklyn’s 2.56 million residents.
In January, the fourth class of BUGs received certification in this program. Fifteen BUGs—ranging from millennials to boomers from Bay Ridge to Brownsville—graduated this year, joining 45 others who have participated since the program began in 2010. Each year, BUGs are divided into groups to work on one of three projects: community gardening, school gardening, and streetscaping. This year the program partnered with WHIN Peace Garden, IS 278 School Garden, and Bushwick Eco Action Network.
In 2013, BUGs reported more than 600 hours of community service, bringing the total number of community service hours completed by BUGs since the program’s inception to nearly 3,000. Whether working with youth greening in Bedford-Stuyvesant, teaching workshops at an urban pop-up farm in Williamsburg, or leading tree-care workshops in East New York, BUG graduates remain an active force in grassroots community building and greening.