Allied to Flower Bed-Stuy and Sustain its Beauty
Working for the Community: Last Saturday, Block and Tenant Association presidents, Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth, Education and Safety Task Force members, Bridge Street Development staff and community leaders were among those who came out to beautify their blocks. Photo: Winston Wharton
Last Saturday (May 10), more than 50 Block and Resident Associations participated in this year’s Flower Bed-Stuy project sponsored by the Bridge Street Development Corporation, the Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth, Education and Safety (Y.E.S.) Task Force and Community Board 3.
Flower Bed-Stuy is part of a multiyear initiative designed to create and support an alliance of Block and Tenant Associations that will be more able to address crime and other quality of life issues, and also develop more positive relations between the police and the community. The entire community organizing initiative, with the YES Task Force, Bridge Street Development Corporation and Community Board 3 as the sponsors, was supported by a grant issued from long-term supporter and community activist Al Vann just before his retirement from the New York City Council.
“On Flower Bed-Stuy Day, we come together to sweep up and beautify our community,” says Brenda Fryson, co-chair of the YES Task Force, “but also to renew our legacy of advocating for safe streets, effective municipal services and schools that prepare our children for the global economy. Flower Bed-Stuy is much more than flowers!
The Block Associations turned out at 8:00am at the Quincy Senior Residences to participate in the event, a major flower giveaway day which also includes a block cleanup and community-wide planting effort. Flowers were distributed, group shots conducted, and a short program, at which Vann spoke, was presented.
The groups received flats of plants and gardening tools donated by the event sponsors for their block gardens at this third annual event which kicked off with a breakfast and program, attended by community leader Al Vann, who supported this and other block beautification projects of this kind during his tenure as CD 36th Councilperson.
In addition to the alliance, Mr. Vann and Ms. Fryson, in attendance were: Bridge Street Development Corporation CEO and President Emilio Dorcely; Ettice Womble, Civic Engagement Manager at BSDC; Gina Parham, President of the Fulton Park Tenants Association; and dozens more.
This year’s event marked more than a flowering of gardens. “It was a powerful demonstration of the unity that has existed in Bedford-Stuyvesant for many decades,” says BSDC’s Emilio Dorcely. “The Bed-Stuy Works Alliance of Block and Resident Associations, a grass-roots collaborative that was key to the revitalization of the community many decades ago, has become a powerful voice for a neighborhood where safety, beautification and the very best quality of life are hallmarks.”
At last year’s event, Tiffany Lee, Block Association Officer of the 100 Jefferson Avenue Block Association, said of Flower Bed-Stuy, “People … really (take) it to heart. It shows how people are passionate and care about where they live”. That was true, too, this past Saturday. For more information, visit: www.bsdcorp.org.