11 March 2009

spreading love in the form of flowers in bed stuy

I've been wanting to throw some seed bombs since I wrote about Green Guerrillas last summer (and maybe even before that). Well now I'm going to have the chance to live the dream, and you can too, if you're interested.

Here's the opportunity -- it's called Bed Stuy Meadow and it's a project being put on by 21st Century Plowshare, who describe themselves as:

... an inspiration-station and resource hub for anyone who wants to deploy environmental actions that matter--actions that prompt an ecstatic recognition of people's surroundings. Do your part! Join the discourse, participate in the actions here and make your own actions happen!
Oh man, if that doesn't make you want to get involved, I don't know what will.

Full details are below. If you want to get in on the action, email them at 21stcenturyplowshare@gmail.com

If you want to make your own seed bomb, get instructions here [via FunTimeHappyGardenExplosion].

Project Description

The goal is to sow wildflower seeds on every single patch of abandoned soil in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bed Stuy this April. By early summer, there should be so many wildflowers growing in the untended treepits, vacant lots, half-built developments and other tiny scraps of neglected soil in Bed Stuy that the whole neighborhood effectively turns into a meadow.

Wildflower seeds are very easy to plant, and they grow well in poor, shallow soils without human attention, so it's going to be relatively easy to make a huge visual impact over the entire neighborhood. The profusion of wildflowers that result from this minimal effort will probably be relentless and visually unifying, and this relentless unity of wildflowers will probably make anyone walking down the street feel good.

I want there to be so many wildflowers on the streets that the summer of 2009 is remembered very fondly every single resident of the neighborhood. I want the continuity of the Meadow to be so strong that Google Earth is compelled to re-photograph Bed Stuy. I want people who don't even live within the five boroughs to visit Bed Stuy for the first time so that they can see the Meadow with their own eyes, and I want people who will never even come to be so inspired by the Bed Stuy Meadow that they make their own amazing neighborhood project and share it on 21st Century Plowshare.

Bed Stuy is a neighborhood of contradictions. There is a lot of crime here, but it's also by far the friendliest neighborhood I have ever lived in. It's got a litter problem and the landscape is dotted with empty lots and condemned houses. But this is also a neighborhood of seriously tended front yards with a rich history of community gardening. Bed Stuy claims as its own Hattie Carthan and the Notorious B.I.G. I think the Meadow is going to work because it doesn't work against what Bed Stuy is. Bed Stuy's low-slung, long-blocked character and the expansiveness of its territory are not like an urban jungle or forest as much as an urban prairie. The effort of the meadow is another chapter in the community gardening history of the neighborhood. Wildflowers are beautiful in the way that the architecture here is beautiful, the way the people who go out of their way to say good morning on the streets here are beautiful. And wildflowers are tough enough to grow wherever the seeds are cast.

Get Involved

1. Plant Seed in April. If you live in NYC and want to spend an afternoon scattering seed in April, email 21stcenturyplowshare-at-gmail-dot-com to get on the list of volunteers.

2. The total budget for this project is about $2000. Donate a few dollars by clicking this button: