May 10th: The United Nations Visits Hollenback


May 1, 2008 – On Saturday, May 10th, Hollenback Community Garden in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn will play host to a delegation from the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.  Adding to the excitement, the garden will unveil a new composting toilet, adding to the significant “green” activities already underway at the Clinton Hill oasis. 

Standing on the sight of the old Hollenback Family Mansion, the Hollenback Community Garden has been a green oasis in the city for more than 25 years.  Currently, 40 active garden members work the land, growing vegetables, recycling tons (literally) of community food and garden waste into compost, harvesting rain-water from the rooftop next door, working with P.S.11 students to teach them about growing food, and being an active part of the Clinton Hill and urban gardening communities. 

Last year, the garden installed a composting toilet, the first of its kind in a community garden in Brooklyn.  Won via eBay auction from the Battery Park Conservancy, it took an almost insurmountable effort by garden volunteers to then get it delivered, installed, and ready to turn the community’s collective poop into brown gold!  This year, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UN CSD) is taking delegates around the state to visit urban gardens, farms, and other green spaces being used to sustain and build local community. 

On Saturday, May 10th, to mark the occasion, and to share our experience as an urban garden with some of our international friends, Hollenback is hosting one part of a larger tour sponsored by WHY (World Hunger Year) for the attendees of the conference held by the UN CSD.  60 international visitors will be touring the garden from 10:30-11:30 a.m. to see our space and talk about our efforts to be not only a good neighbor, but to actively improve the community in which we live.  

That same day at 3p.m., we will be hosting the Ceremonial First Flush of the composting toilet followed by a free community barbeque. 

Please join us as we mark not only a notable visit from international guests seeking to engage communities in questions of green urbanism, environmental remediation, and ongoing sustainability, but also the equally momentous opening of the first composting toilet in a community garden in Brooklyn.

Cara welcomes the UN delegates to Hollenback  (photo by BQLT President Agnes Green)  

Cara talks about community garden membership (photo by Siena Chrisman of World Hunger Year)

Mark explaining the Rainwater harvester to Ifi Ofong from Nigeria (photo by Siena Chrisman of World Hunger year)  

Learning about the composting toilet (photo by Siena Chrisman of World Hunger year)

Learning about the rainwater harvester (Photo by gardener Kirk Montague)


Mark talking about the rain water harvester (photo by BQLT President Agnes Green) 

Charlie explains our community composting system (photo by BQLT President Agnes Green)

Learning about community organic waste processing and compost production with Charlie (photos by Siena Chrisman of World Hunger Year)

Introducing the smallest members of our garden community (Photo by gardener Kirk Montague)  

Charlie rules the compost from on high (Photo by gardener Kirk Montague)

Our very own Claire and Harold Liversage, Land Tenure Advisor of International Fund for Agriculture Development  (photo by Siena Chrisman of World Hunger Year)

Two delegates listen to Charlie’s community compost presentation (photo by Siena Chrisman of World Hunger Year)

☼ “Growing in the Big Apple” (page six), an article about the day from the May 14th, 2008 issue of “Outreach Issues: A Daily Publication of the Sustainable Development Issues Network”.

Brooklyn Community Gardens Inspire Visitors from 4 Continents by Kate Daloz in The Brooklyn Eagle

Click here to check out photographs of the other three stops on the tour (the Hattie Carthan Community Garden, Bed-Sty Farms and Brooklyn Rescue Mission & East New York Farms) 


Hollenback Community Garden – Brooklyn Community Garden serving Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy and Beyond!

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