Greyston’s Community Gardens and Environmental Education Program plays a critically important role in the community – providing comprehensive environmental education for hundreds of Yonkers youths and their families, fresh fruits and vegetables and safe open space for recreation and relaxation. The program has turned eight vacant city lots into thriving growing spaces as well as hands-on outdoor classrooms, teaching Yonkers youths and their families the importance of eating healthy. Our longtime Program Coordinator, Lucy, is a member of the community and works to cultivate a sense of ecological stewardship while simultaneously instilling an entrepreneurial work ethic through the growing and selling of fresh produce by program members.
Greyston’s Community Gardens & Environmental Education program is comprised of four components:
Greyston maintains community gardens in eight separate locations within Yonkers, serving a total of nearly 400 garden members. Garden members weed, water, harvest, and care for vegetable plots that produce hundreds of pounds of produce every year. During harvest season, members unite to create nutritious meals right in the garden using barbeques and fire pits, and enjoy communal dining in their urban oasis.
School and Community-Based Environmental Education
Each year, more than 600 students at local schools and libraries are introduced to environmental science concepts. Students are exposed to real-life examples of the many intersections between the natural environment and their daily lives. Additional interactive and dynamic workshops covering a wide variety of topics, including: recycling and other conservation measures; the local urban habitat; the roles of local plants, bugs, and animals on our ecosystem are provided throughout the year.
The Enviro-Earth Club
The Enviro-Earth Club is an after-school and summer program that cultivates local environmental leaders by educating and motivating urban youth about gardening and the environment, while promoting healthy eating and living among the participants and their families.
Special events for members and the Yonkers community include the annual Enviro-Health Fair, garden barbeques, garden clean-ups, and “green” holiday celebrations. Unique, environmentally-themed programming is offered over the course of the year in conjunction with our community partners, including the Yonkers Riverfront Library, Yonkers Public Schools, Groundwork Yonkers, Sarah Lawrence College, and Concordia College. These special events serve a combined total of more than 1,000 Yonkers residents each year.