Capital Roots plants latest community garden in Cohoes
COHOES, N.Y. » There’s a new community garden on Cayuga Street in Cohoes, thanks to a local initiative to bring both green space and healthy food to the area.
Capital Roots, a Troybased local food access nonprofit, cut the ribbon on its 54th Community Garden during at ceremony on Tuesday at the 47 Cayuga St. site in Cohoes.
The new Cayuga Street Community Garden will open for its first growing season in 2019 and will provide space for 20 families to grow their own organic produce close to home.
“The community gardens program is really the core of what Capital Roots is about,” said chief executive officer Amy Klein at the ribbon cutting event. “For 43 years we’ve been building and managing community gardens. They’re places where people can grow their own food. It’s about building self-sufficiency - creating these spaces but then letting people have the ability to grow their own food, for years to come.”
The organization was joined at Tuesday’s ribbon cutting by many supporters including U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, State Sen. Neil Breslin, Assemblyman John McDonald, Land Trust Alliance’s New York Program Manager MemeHanley and Albany County Land Bank Corporation Executive Director Adam Zaranko. Local neighbors, donors and future community gardeners were in attendance too.
Perhaps the person with the greatest connection to the new green space is Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse, as it was the site of his childhood home. “This is where I was raised. This is where my house was. This is where I lived, with my mother and my two brothers,” the mayor shared at the event. “Today I stand here so proud to think my house that I was raised in, that is no longer with us, is a community garden that will continue to give back to the community.”
The property, once ridden with knotweed and covered entirely by brush and a crumbling building, now has a new purpose, one that will last a long time and have an impact on the city and its residents.
As an urban land trust, Capital Roots owns most of its garden properties, so they are protected forever. Klein said this is the organization’s 29th protected green space, and each funder, partner and volunteer were critical to turning the once-abandoned lot into a safe, green space for families to enjoy for decades to come.
“Transforming unused urban spaces into a community garden enables for food security to be the outcome, and to be able to have sound adaptable reuse of theses plots of land that really add to the fabric of the community,” Congressman Tonko said, congratulating Capital Roots and its partners on the newly completed project.
“It’s about a healthy lifestyle,” Assemblyman John McDonald added. “We know that access to fresh, affordable produce is really difficult for those living in
urban communities. Gardens like this make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for these individuals.”
Senator Breslin also congratulated all those involved with the Cayuga Street Community Garden. “I hope 54 is just the start in the number of community gardens, and I look forward to coming to every opening,” he said.
As the third commu- nity garden Capital Roots has opened so far in 2018, funds from the Land Trust Alliance New York State Conservation Partnership Program, the Cohoes Savings Foundation, as well as individual and business donors made this project possible.
More information about Capital Roots and its programs is available online at www.capitalroots.org.
Those interested in gardening at the new Cayuga Street Community Garden are encouraged to visit the Capital Roots website or call (518) 274- 8685.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is held Tuesday for Capital Roots’ 54th Community Garden, located in Cohoes.
Capital Roots chief executive officer Amy Klein speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony held Tuesday for Capital Roots’ 54th Community Garden, located in Cohoes.
A poster shows Capital Roots team members creating the Cayuga Street Community Garden in Cohoes.
Signage informs passersby about Capital Roots’ 54th Community Garden, known as the Cayuga Street Community Garden, in Cohoes.
Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse speaks during at a ribbon cutting ceremony held Tuesday for Capital Roots’ 54th Community Garden, which is located at the site of his childhood home.