Make Brooklyn Bloom 2018

Last month I attended Making Brooklyn Bloom 2018 at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. 

It was their 37th event of this kind but for me it was my first time. It was a really wonderful experience so I want to tell you all about it, because events like this must be talked about!

The event started at 10 am and when I arrived I was directed to the Palm House, where we could register to the workshops and to the Keynote Address.

The Palm House is a large beautiful sun room and there the staff offering a nice little breakfast and several booths were settled. The booths were about different environmental related causes such as  NYC Compost, NYC Recycling and Brooklyn Community Foundation. 

It was delightful to be able to visit each booth and learn more about their projects in such a beautiful place while enjoying coffee and muffins !

Check out this guy demonstrating his system to capture rain water for community gardens. His little model was super dope and he was happy to demonstrate how it worked as many times people asked him to. 

The morning workshops started at 11 am and I picked "Gardens Rising: Communiity Gardens and Climate Change" by Aziz Dehkan. He is the Executive Director of New York City Community Garden Coalition and he does an amazing job at promoting and protecting community gardens in New York City. 

He talked about how community gardens and other green areas help mitigate extreme weather conditions in the city's micro-climate and shared research on how important is their role in sustaining a balanced urban environment.

He also pointed out several concerns that public areas currently being used as community gardens are constantly facing, such as how fast we are loosing land for the frenetic growth of real estate and the difficulties to deal with government's bureaucracy.

He proposed ourselves to take action by encouraging and supporting community gardens in our own neighborhood. He says we should actively advocate for them and keep ourselves informed so we can better defend our grounds.

Aziz also encouraged us to know the responsibility of our political power and pressure our governments to do the right thing in preserving green areas in the urban environment. We have to fight back to assure a more sustainable, healthier and cooler (temperaturewise and mindsitewise) city in the future.

He was really open to questions and answered everyone with a contagious positivism. I was inspired to see that even though Aziz deals with several challenges that could jeopardize his projects , he still remains certain that things can change for the better

I left the workshop with a warm feeling of hope and call for action! I totally recommend to hear him speak, if you can.

At 12 pm the morning workshop was over and it was lunch time. I grabbed a delicious vegetable wrap at the Yellow Magnolia Coffee Bar at the Visitor Center, where I shared a communal table and had conversations with a bunch of very friendly people that were also attending the seminar. 

After lunch I still had some time before the keynote so I visited the Rotunda on the second floor along the library hall, where more booths with exhibits were settled. There, seeds catalogs were being distributed, insects were being shown, and seedling were given away! All fun!

At 1:30 pm the Keynote speaker Malik Yakini started his presentation at the Auditorium. Maliki is the founder and executive director of Detroit Black Community Food Security Network