For many Brooklynites, summer means long days of hard work in the borough’s 110 community gardens. Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Campaign for the Next Century supports these community greening endeavors with an expanded suite of environmental outreach programs, including the GreenBridge Community Garden Alliance.
The alliance, which works to propagate sustainable gardening techniques, spent this summer cultivating rain gardens. Utilitarian yet aesthetically pleasing, rain gardens help absorb rainwater runoff that would otherwise enter the sewage system as a waste product. In these carefully designed landscapes of mostly native and moisture-loving plants, runoff is naturally filtered, recharging the local supply of clean, fresh water and providing habitat for beneficial insects and birds. The alliance has more than doubled in size since its creation in 2008, bringing together dozens of Brooklyn’s community gardens to share their knowledge and experience and fostering beneficial environmental practices in these oases of natural tranquility.