01.28.2016

First Cohort of Green City Force/NYCHA Urban Farm Fellows Graduates

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund congratulates Green City Force’s 10th Cohort – Urban Farm Corps for successfully completing their ten-month service on the Red Hook Farms. The Urban Corps members were officially recognized at a graduation ceremony held on Thursday, January 28th, at Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, located in the Pfizer building.

In attendance were NYCHA board members, Margarett Jolly, Director of Research & Development at Con Edison and Green City Force board member, and Dan Wiley, Community Coordinator for Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who presented the graduates with Congressional Service Awards. Speakers at the ceremony included Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, Director of NYCHA’s Office of Public and Private Partnerships, David Buckel, Master Composter at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Rick Luftglass, Executive Director at the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

The program closed with remarks from Urban Farm Corps Member, Kevin Gonzalez, who was chosen as the graduation speaker for his team. Kevin touched on his background prior to Green City Force and the experiences and skills he acquired during his service term. He commended his fellow corps members on their team work while serving their community:

“A group of working young adults came together, a diffusion of cultures: West Indies, Puerto Rican, Panamanian and more, to an understanding of each other’s community and development. Us Harlem and Bronx guys went to the furthest parts of Brooklyn and Queens, and for what you may ask? To serve a community, not perform a menial task. We created the foundation on which public housing residents can cultivate and tend to the land for fresh and healthy alternatives. We went from apartment to apartment in these developments, informed and supplied residents with the means to more sustainable practices. We made a difference by serving our people!”

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a core supporter of the city’s Building Healthy Communities initiative and NYCHA’s Urban Agriculture initiative.