Saturday, March 9: Spring Kicks Off with the 32nd Annual Making Brooklyn Bloom

Gardening for a Resilient City
Saturday, March 9, 2013 | 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Release Date: 02/28/2013

Brooklyn, New York— On March 9, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s community environmental horticulture program, GreenBridge, welcomes hundreds of gardeners from across the borough to kick off spring at Making Brooklyn Bloom. The daylong conference will—for the 32nd year—gather horticultural professionals and home gardeners alike to meet each other, learn new gardening strategies and techniques, and discover local organizations that can help enliven the Brooklyn landscape—and the communities within it—through gardening.

As Brooklyn continues to recover and reassess after Hurricane Sandy, this year’s Making Brooklyn Bloom, Gardening for a Resilient City, focuses on the local, regenerative resources at Brooklynites’ disposal to rebuild a more verdant, sustainable borough. Ideas and practices for metropolitan gardeners to make their green spaces thrive despite urban challenges are addressed in workshops, films, and exhibits by community gardens and organizations from across the city. Dr. Vandana Shiva—global environmental activist, author, and founder of Navdanya—will deliver this year’s Wilbur A. Levin Keynote Address, “Cultivating Resilience: Diversity, Democracy, Community.” Dr. Shiva’s landmark work in teaching and promoting the biological and cultural benefits of seed saving has heavily influenced issues of global food sovereignty, seed biodiversity, and sustainable agriculture.

Eighteen workshops—covering topics as various as creating an edible garden in schools and revitalizing street tree beds—will be presented by community leaders in urban greening, members of BBG’s Horticulture staff, and experts from other organizations in New York City. For the first time, two workshops (“Refrescando la Taza de Árbol Esta Primavera” and “Cultivando Verduras Poderosas”) will be presented in Spanish.

Making Brooklyn Bloom also features exhibits, networking opportunities, and a program of short films that explore gardening and the natural world—with a special focus on seeds.

Preregistration is required for the keynote address and available online; additional seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for a live broadcast of the address. Workshop registration is open from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the event at BBG’s Palm House. For more details about the event, please call 718-623-7250 or visit the event website.

Visitors to Making Brooklyn Bloom will also have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the new Visitor Center and check out BBG’s Library for gardening texts, tips, and tricks. Plus, each participant who fills out an evaluation at the end of the day gets a spring gift bag to take home!

Making Brooklyn Bloom is sponsored by Con Edison. Brooklyn Botanic Garden gratefully acknowledges support for GreenBridge programs from Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.


  • Designing in the Prairie Spirit: A Conversation with Darrel Morrison (12 minutes, 2012)
  • Sneak preview of SEED: the Untold Story (5 minutes, 2013)
  • Two Options (8 minutes, 2013)
  • Trailer for Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds (3 minutes, 2012)
  • Soil in Good Heart (13 minutes, 2012)
  • Dirt! The Movie (40 minutes, 2009)

(11 a.m.–Noon and 3–4 p.m.)
The schedule will be listed at registration. You may choose only two workshops, one from each time block, space permitting.

From School Garden to Lunch Plate: Connecting Kids to Good Food
Michele Israel, NYC School Garden Network; Maggie Cheney, EcoStation:NY; Adam Schwartz and Genesis Rodriguez, Bushwick Campus Farm; Bess Hauser, PS 32

Put More Carrot in Your Carrot: Soil Fertility and Nutrition
Alec Baxt, FarmingUp The Global Gardener: Growing Food from Around the World
Brian Lym, CUNY; David Vigil, East New York Farms!

Save Heirloom Seeds Like a Farmer
Eric Michael Rodriguez, Weeksville Heritage Center

Upcycled Treasure: Tree Guards to Greenhouses
Tom Mazzone, Nature’s Classroom

Fruitful Natives: Blueberries and Beyond
Claudia Joseph, NY Permaculture Exchange

Refrescando la Taza de Árbol Esta Primavera (en Español)
Roy Martin, MillionTreesNYC; David Torres, BBG BUG Volunteer

Using Stormwater in the Garden
Kate Zidar, Newtown Creek Alliance

Pedal Power: Bike Energy in the Garden
Lenny Librizzi, GrowNYC

Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities
Gretchen Ferenz and Hannah Shayler, Cornell University

Resourceful Rooftop Containers
Rebecca Bullene, Greenery NYC

Seed Starting Indoors and Out
Nick Gershberg, Arthur Ross Greenhouse at Barnard College

Revitalizing Garden Membership with Community Composting
Sheila McDevitt, 6/15 Green; Jon Pope, Prospect Heights Community Farm

Growing and Eating Powerful Food
Onika Abraham and Vere Gibbs, BBG BUG Volunteers

Cultivando Verduras Poderosas (en Español)
Gabriela Alvarez, El Puente

Refreshing Your Tree Bed This Spring
Roy Martin, MillionTreesNYC; David Torres, BBG BUG Volunteer

Open House: Brooklyn Urban Gardener Volunteer Program
Louise Bruce, Brittany Snellings, Jay Smith, and BBG BUG Volunteers

Making Seed Bombs
Cheryl Moch and Tim Hollinger, Brooklyn Urban Gardeners

Networking Brown Bag Lunches
Bring a bag lunch and take part in these conversations:

About GreenBridge
GreenBridge, the community environmental horticulture program of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, shares BBG’s knowledge and resources with neighborhoods across the borough. Working with block associations, community gardens, community centers, and other groups, GreenBridge promotes conservation and community through gardening and environmental stewardship activities.
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