When I founded Sustainable Flatbush in 2007, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in my Brooklyn neighborhood. Thanks to the time and talents so generously shared by friends and neighbors, three years later that seed of an idea has evolved into something powerful: a community-based incubator for urban sustainability that truly belongs to the people it serves. With a committed Advisory Board and volunteer staff, and supported by our fiscal sponsor Open Space Institute, we’ve grown Sustainable Flatbush into a catalyst that inspires neighbors to create a new way of living while simultaneously building community and fostering local self-sufficiency.
Today I’m writing to ask for your help, to insure we will be able to expand and sustain our community programming that reaches hundreds of Brooklynites every year. With your support, Sustainable Flatbush will continue bringing neighbors of all ages and backgrounds together to mobilize, educate, and advocate for sustainable living in our Brooklyn neighborhood and beyond. Our models are both adaptable and replicable, as evidenced by groups throughout the city who have sought our advice on how to begin their own initiatives.
Sustainable Flatbush works on the neighborhood level to address society’s greatest challenge: how to live more sustainably, and meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This requires rethinking almost everything we do: how we heat and cool our homes, how we get around, where our food comes from, how our public space is allocated, how we dispose of the waste we generate, and much more. Over the past three years, Sustainable Flatbush has formed more than 20 partnerships and engaged over 1000 Brooklyn residents in activities stemming from our four key program areas: Energy Solutions, Livable Streets, Urban Gardens and Farms, and Zero Waste.
Here are just a few examples of our accomplishments in the past year alone:
This in-depth seminar and vendor fair connected 80 participants with education and resources to make their homes and buildings more energy efficient.
Our second community garden project, located at the historic Flatbush Reformed Church, launched with democratic discussions of garden designs and mobilized plenty of volunteers ready to get their hands dirty.
Celebrating the local urban gardening movement, this annual event presented more than 50 participants of all ages with how-to lessons in composting with worms, growing sprouts in your kitchen, cooking healthy at home, starting seedlings, and more.
For the fourth year in a row, we transformed a parking space into a grassy park with art activities and live music. This vibrant temporary green space was enjoyed by hundreds of neighbors, and sparked dialogue about how our public space is allocated.
In response to the city’s decision to stop picking up fall leaves, Sustainable Flatbush volunteers joined forces to divert over 1,700 pounds of leaves from the landfill to instead be reused by local gardens as the compost for their next planting efforts.
These projects are just a few of the reasons why the Sierra Club New York City says they:
“…would encourage neighborhood groups everywhere in the City to seek inspiration for their own green efforts from Sustainable Flatbush”
Marlo Thomas – who featured our work in her “Hero Next Door” series on AOL – states that Sustainable Flatbush is
“…galvanizing [the] community to help the environment”
and Streetfilms declares:
“We need a better planet and Sustainable Flatbush is a vital part of that equation”.
Be part of the equation today. Please make a donation to Sustainable Flatbush and support our local urban sustainability efforts. A monthly or one-time donation will have a huge effect as Sustainable Flatbush grows in its reach and impact. Click here now to make a tax-deductible donation.
We thank you for your support and hope to meet you at one of our upcoming events.