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It’s been 3 years since we launched our five-year Urban Greening commitment. Throughout the years, we’ve learned many valuable lessons, like how to plant a tree without getting your Timbs dirty (just kidding, they always get dirty), how to move two thousands bricks via human chain and most importantly, that we have the potential to do more. So, this year, we set out to green not just one city, but three. With support from Journeys, the Student Conservation Association and our local communities, we pulled on our boots and took our greening commitment to Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles!
In September, we kicked things off in Chicago, where volunteers teamed up to green up the Blue Island Neighborhood. More than 65 volunteers transformed an overgrown triangular lot into a community park and restored a growing garden for residents of a nearby senior center. Watch the video to see our impact in Chicago.
In October, we headed to New York City for the second stop of our urban greening tour, where 100 volunteers transformed the roof and surrounding grounds of the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics in East Harlem. Volunteers worked with students of the school to create a growing rooftop with carbon and heat mitigating plants. Also, on the roof, volunteers restored a greenhouse, installed two large raised garden beds with seating areas, planted close to 2,000 seeds and repotted plants.
Meanwhile, volunteer teams on the ground planted trees, raked and mulched school property and cleared leaves and removed invasive species from neighboring Thomas Jefferson Park.
In November we headed west to Los Angeles for the third and final stop our tour. Close to 100 volunteers convened near downtown LA to transform a vacant lot into resident-driven urban farm to benefit the local homeless population. Volunteers demolished a shed and installed a new one, installed raised garden beds, constructed new garden benches, installed a compost system, createed a pollinator garden, distributed mulch, planted over 1,500 seeds and twelve varieties of vegetables ad wildflowers, installed solar lighting, birdhouses and more.
We have created or restored more than 130,000 square feet of green space over the past three years. After looking at all we’ve done, we can’t help but up the anty. We’ve increased our urban greening commitment with a new pledge to green 500,000 additional square feet of urban space by 2023. Follow our journey at #EarthkeepersUnite.