To advance the educational activities of Brooklyn College and foster partnerships with gardeners from the college (students, staff, and faculty), from the neighborhood surrounding the college, and from other Brooklyn gardens and organizations involved in urban gardening.
We aim to achieve this mission through workshops and education in sustainable activities such as composting, responsible irrigation practices, use of recyclable materials, and the selection of bird- and insect-friendly native drought-tolerant ornamental plants that both make the Avenue H "back door" of the college appealing and beautiful and also promote urban biodiversity. The garden creates a communal space for growing annual vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs that models best practices of urban gardening. A related effort by some members of the garden is helping the street trees on Campus Road adjacent to the garden through reviving and maintaining the tree pits.
The Brooklyn College Garden was established by President Karen Gould in the 2010–11 academic year. The garden has been built through support from the college and the efforts and enthusiasm of committed volunteer members who contribute their time and labor to build and maintain the garden every year. This partnership has been very productive. Together, we have built a garden both the college and the participants are proud of. On a footprint of approximately 5,000 square feet, the garden currently has 28 framed plots, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with plots assigned each year by lottery. There is a small annual fee assigned to an individual plot, but gardeners who do not have a plot volunteer to help maintain common planting areas, or work on specialized activities such as irrigation, tool maintenance and weeding. The plots are framed in cedar and are equipped with holders for hoop gardening, which allows year-round gardening. Two of the beds are raised to accommodate gardeners with physical limitations.
Brooklyn College also provides a part-time director who handles administrative aspects of the garden and a part-time garden coordinator who participates in the work in the garden itself. The college supplies the funding for developing the resources of the garden. This includes resources to provide a supply of shared gardening tools; build the raised plots, a three-bin compost system, and several storage sheds for tool storage; install an underground system providing hose bibs across the garden to facilitate irrigation; and purchase comfortable garden furniture, all for use by members of the garden.