The community garden itself lights up Broadway.

By Sarah Bell Lynn

Spring brewing workshops. Peace concerts. Plant Adoption Arrangements. Solar powered light.

The community garden in Marble Hill is busy. Now, a single solar panel installed in the New York City Housing Authority Complex Gardens could illuminate a single panel panel on the Manhattan Borough line. It was designed to keep gardeners and other tenants safe after sunset. Down.

The Renewable Energy project will light up the Marble Hill Fence area on Broadway and West 228th Avenue with 11 garden beds in each garden at 5pm and midnight in the winter months.

In the first two years, the new lighting plan was unveiled at a graduation ceremony on November 13 for public officials, community leaders and several marble Hill neighbors on a rainy and windy Saturday.

US Representative Adriano Espelatt donates to Brooklyn SolarWorks because Marble Hill House does not have the same funding as some of his friends.

“Marble Hill was not created by the federal government like other NYCHA buildings,” said Espelat. “As a result, he could not get the federal dollar he wanted. Now we have a lot of money in the city, so we have to be creative and innovative.

Jackie Fisher, founder of the community garden, says how far the road has come. Mountain plans with the NYCHA and long-winded meetings were still fruitful. Now, the community garden can offer new opportunities beyond healthy and home-grown food.

“We want to show you what solar and renewable energy means and how it affects our lives a little bit,” Fisher said.

The director of the garden, Juanley Carrion, expects a number of programs planned for the spring season.

“Community gardens are a reflection of the way we as individuals and communities can be self-sufficient,” Carion said. “It’s more powerful than you think. It completely contradicts the reality,” he said.

The project hopes to raise awareness of the renewable energy sector and increase the number of young people in the area so that more can participate earlier. One school Fisher wants to work with IN-Tech Academy on Tibet Street.

Daniela Benavides, an IN-Tech senior at Marble Hill, says the installation of solar panels has opened up many opportunities.

“A lot of people think this is a low-income community,” Benavides said. “They don’t think you want to be there. But when this happens, it brings a lot of hope. I have seen how this affects the community.

Tony Edwards, president of the Marble Hill Tenants’ Association – and a complex lifestyle resident – said he believes in Fisher’s vision.

“Her motivation is to try to find something more sustainable,” Edwards said. “If her motivation continues, who knows, one day there will be something that will empower all the buildings here. If it spreads, we can ignore Con Edison.

The appearance of marble hills has improved in recent years, says Edwards, “with reference to the removal of chains around the lawn and the lack of police.” Again, this year, according to the New York Police Department, NYCHA’s development has been marred by numerous robberies, violent attacks, and major frauds.

According to a 2019 Community Review by Kingbridge Rivers’ Van Corland Development Corporation, many Marble Hill residents were looking for improved public safety – especially better lighting.

“I’re honest, I’re a little out,” said Tica Marshall, a city dweller. “The garden is great. The solar panel is great. But there are a lot of everyday issues that residents have to deal with. And I don’t think that is the most important thing.

This means focusing not only on the community garden but on the lights throughout the marble hill.

“Most of them are not working properly,” Marshall said. They do not have enough light. There are so many dark places that you don’t even know someone is there until you are very close. ”

Installed the Brooklyn Solar Works panel at Marble Hill House, the company added another similar installation to the hill near Seton Park. Said TR Ludwig, CEO of the company. The Riverside Press Such a load costs $ 500.

Panels generate up to 360 watts of electricity – a relatively small amount of water heater or dehumidifier.

Collaborating with Brooklyn SolarWorks was the Manhattan College of Engineering School, where undergraduate students such as Megan Divastia helped plan a course taught by Professor Mohammed Naragi.

Due to the cholera epidemic, DiVeste could not visit the garden as often.

“Google won using maps,” said DiVstea. “With the hope of earning my degree, I can make a greater contribution to sustainable development and climate change.”

Tell us what you want about NYCHA, Fisher said. But still, “NYCHA is NYCHA. The bureaucracy will live there.

But Marble Hill Homes is not alone in its efforts to bring in renewable energy. Ellen Zillinsky, who is leading those efforts for NYCHA, said the authority is bringing solar energy to other communities.

“With our NYCHA developments, we aim to generate 30 megawatts of solar power,” Zielinski said. “So far, six buildings already have sunlight.”

Some of the upcoming initiatives are NYCHA to help tenants with the Climate Action Assistance Program and the Clean Energy Training Academy do more work in the green sector than they do. So far, more than two dozen people in our community have been trained for solar work.

“We are also committed to investing $ 40 million in renewable energy,” Zillinsky said. “Those jobs have to go to NYCHA residents. People in the community have their own ideas and activities, and we want to put money in their pockets to do projects like this.”

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