Public Appearances, Spring 2024



Saturday, June 1st

1-3pm: Pollinator Safari, East 4th Street Community Garden, Kensington, Brooklyn

We’ll survey the garden looking for “pollinators”, i.e.: insects and others visiting the flowers blooming all around the garden.

Explore the garden’s plants and flowers, and learn how to see them in new ways with urban naturalist Chris Kreussling (aka the Flatbush Gardener). We’ll “hunt” for pollinators, and other flower visitors,around the garden. As we try to identify them, we’ll learn about the garden’s biodiversity and ecology.

Me hosting the NYCWW Pollinator Week Safari in my Front Yard, June 2014. Photo: Alan Riback

Previous engagements this season. It’s was a busy one, with something every weekend – except for Memorial Day weekend – from mid-April to the first weekend of June.


Sunday, April 14th

Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn

11:00 am – 1:30 pm: Removing invasives, planting native plants.

THursday, April 18th – Monday, April 22nd

Attending the Northeast Natural History Conference in Albany, NY.

Thiursday, APril 25th, 5:50 – 7:00 pm

CANCELLED NYC Pollinator Working Group, Monthly Working Committee Meeting. This is a closed meeting for members of the Working Committee, only.

The meeting was cancelled, but if you are interested in joining and working with us, please fill out the Membership Application and let us know!

Friday, April 26th – Monday, April 29th

City Nature Challenge Observation Period!

Check out the CNC:NYC 2024 Event List. As a Brooklyn Borough Captain, I’ll be attending the following events in Brooklyn. Many of these events have limited space for participants, or require advance registration, so check the links if you’re interested.

Friday, April 26th

10-11am: NYC Parks Kids Week: Spring Scavenger Hunt, Herbert Von King Park

4-6:30pm: City Nature Challenge: Teen Bioblitz! at Brooklyn Brige Park.

Saturday, April 27th

10am-1pm: City Nature Challenge: Ecology Park Cleanup and Tour

4-6pm: Billion Oyster Project Sunset Park Field Station Experience, Bush Terminal Piers Park

Sunday, April 28th

11 am -12:30 pm: City Nature Challenge McGolrick Park Bio-Blitz

Tuesday, April 30th – Sunday, May 5th

City Nature Challenge Identification Period. Results will be announced on Monday, May 6th.


Saturday, May 4th

10 am – 4 pm: GreenThumb GrowTogether, Herbert Von King Park, Brooklyn.

Registration by noon May 3rd recommended, but walk-ins are accepted.

I’ll be co-presenting on creating habitat for pollinators (and others) in community gardens.

Saturday, May 11th

2 – 4:30 pm: The Great Flatbush Plant Swap, Flatbush Food Co-Op, 1415 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn (Q Train, Cortelyou Road stop).

I’ll be bringing native plants from my garden. And I’ll be on-hand to answer questions about gardening, native plants, and habitat gardening.

Sunday, May 19th

11 am – 1 pm: McGolrick Park Nature Walk – Gardening Ecology

Please Reserve Your Spot!

“Garden vitality and health are key to building a sustainable, nurturing environment for all living creatures. Please join us for a garden ecology session with Chris Kreussling (The Flatbush Gardener). We’ll study plants, insects, and animals and how they all work together to create a harmonious habitat.”

2024 NYRP Tree Giveaway

The annual New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway begins distribution on Saturday, April 13th, a little less than 6 weeks away. It runs for four weeks, ending on Sunday, May 12th.

Advance registration is mandatory. You select your preferred species when you register. Note that each location will only have 6-8 species. Some locations, especially smaller sites, may be “sold out” of some species. So, check the locations you can get to, confirm you can do it on their giveaway dates, and select from the species available at those sites.

Consider the mature size, after 30 or more years of growth, of each species. There are two lists below: one for smaller-medium sized shrubs and trees that max out at no more than around 50′ high and 30′ wide; the other for the larger trees that will grow too large for most urban yards. These sizes do not take into consideration existing vegetation, outdoor structures, etc. Your conditions will vary!

Salix discolor, pussy willow

I’ve highlighted the 12 species that are NEW for 2024. The 6 species that aren’t available this year are crossed out.

Shrubs and Smaller Trees

Larger Trees

Brooklyn Locations

There are 8, two more than last year, Brooklyn pickup sites.

Related Content

2023-03-09: 2023 NYRP Tree Giveaway
2010-04-08: Put Down Roots: Million Trees NYC Tree Giveaway
2008-10-14: Tree Giveaway this Saturday in Sunset Park


New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway

iNaturalist Workshops at GrowTogether, 4/22 & 4/23

Eristalis arbustorum (left) and and Syritta pipiens (right), thick-legged fly, on NOID Lamiaceae, 6&B Community Garden, East VIllage, Manhattan, July 2012

It’s a busy season for me this Spring! NEXT WEEK is New York City NYC’s GreenThumb community gardening program annual conference, known as GrowTogether:

Part 2 of the GreenThumb GrowTogether conference will be hosted in-person in community gardens in all five boroughs in celebration of Earth Week. Join us for workshops about growing food, healthy eating, native pollinators, flower arrangement, planting seeds, screen printing garden swag, volunteer projects, and more. All the activities are free and open to the public!

… The theme of this year’s GrowTogether is “Deeply Rooted: Growing Community Connections.” Community gardeners from across New York City have been gathering at the GrowTogether conference each spring since 1984 to celebrate the start of the garden season with a day of learning, networking, and reconnecting with friends. – Ibid.

38th Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference Part 2 Conference Guide

As noted above, all GrowTogether workshops are open to the public. Please register, as some workshops have limited capacity.

This is my first time participating in GrowTogether. I’ll be giving two different workshops on how to use iNaturalist, Friday in Brooklyn, and Saturday on Staten Island.

Using iNaturalist for Community Gardens and Gardeners

Friday, April 22
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
(Rain Date: Saturday, April 23, same time)
Location: Vernon Cases Community Garden, 42 Vernon Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

iNaturalist is a community/citizen science platform where anyone can record their observations – photos or audio recordings – of any living thing anywhere in the world. Community gardeners and visitors can use iNaturalist to document and keep records about their gardens, such as flowering and fruiting times; identify and keep track of common weeds; and identify insect visitors, whether pests, predators, or pollinators.

In this workshop, we will use iNaturalist “in the field” to make observations of plants and insects and upload them to iNaturalist, creating a record of the biodiversity in a community garden. If you have access to a smartphone, please download the iNaturalist app in advance and bring it to the workshop!

Meet and Greet New York City’s Native Pollinators

Saturday, April 23
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
(Rain Date: Sunday, April 24, same time)
Location: Hill Street Community Garden, Staten Island

New York City is home to hundreds of species of pollinating insects. While butterflies and bumblebees are easily-spotted inhabitants of our community gardens, meet a few of New York City’s lesser known pollinators—including wasps, flower flies, and specialist bees— during this workshop with Sarah Ward from National Wildlife Federation and Chris Keussling (aka Flatbush Gardener). During a walk through the garden, participants will learn tips and tricks for observing pollinators and welcoming them into our gardens. Participants will also learn how to use the community science app iNaturalist to identify pollinators and contribute valuable data about pollinators in New York City.

Related Content

Torrey Lecture, Wednesday March 30, 2022-03-17


For more information, or to register, for either/both workshop:

38th Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference Part 2 Conference Guide, Greenthumb News


100 Years Ago

On November 1, 1918, the worst transit disaster in New York City history occurred just outside Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The wooden cars of the Brighton Beach line of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit (B.R.T.) company left the tracks, crashing inside the tunnel beneath the busy intersection where Flatbush Avenue, Ocean Avenue and Malbone Street met [Google map]. The Malbone Street Wreck killed nearly 100 people and injured more than 250. Criminal trials and lawsuits arising from the accident dragged on for years, contributing to the bankruptcy of the BRT. The name “Malbone Street” became associated with the disaster; it’s known today as Empire Boulevard.

The BRT line followed roughly the current route of the B/Q subway lines from Coney Island to Prospect Park, and the shuttle from Prospect Park to Franklin Avenue. Conditions for the disaster were created by a number of factors. World War I, and the influenza pandemic, were still raging. A multi-year project to consolidate the BRT and then-IRT required temporary rerouting of several lines, creating a sharp turn into a tunnel beneath what is now Empire Boulevard, just north of the current Prospect Park station of the B/Q lines and the Franklin Avenue Shuttle. This turn, called “Dead Man’s Curve” even before the accident, is still visible from the street today.

Detail, Brooklyn's Franklin Avenue Shuttle Track Map

A strike by motormen who ran the BRT’s trains caused the BRT to run its trains with inexperienced staff:

As Edward Luciano began a run as motorman on the Brooklyn Rapid Transit’s (BRT) Brighton Beach line on the evening of November 1, 1918, getting home quickly and safely might well have been foremost in his mind. Luciano’s career as a motorman had started earlier that very day, when the BRT pressed the twenty-three year-old dispatcher into service after company motormen went out on strike. Weakened by a recent bout with influenza and emotionally anguished by the death of one of his children from flu the week before, Luciano nonetheless complied with his employer’s wishes.

The posted speed for the tunnel entrance was six miles per hour; witnesses estimated that Luciano’s train entered the curve at over thirty. The train’s first car hung precariously to the track, then derailed upon entering the tunnel. The second car slammed violently into a concrete abutment, losing its roof and one of its sides in the impact. The third car disintegrated into a tangled mass of wood and glass.
– Death Beneath the Streets, New York Underground, The American Experience, PBS

This is a photo of three of the five wooden cars of the train. You can clearly see that the top half of the second car is gone. In his review of the book, The Malbone Street Wreck, on, Paul Matus explains the image:

The Malbone Street train sits in the BRT’s 36th St. Yard after salvage. The relatively minor damage to 726 [the first car in the photo] shows why most in the first car escaped serious injury. Even the window of Motorman Luciano’s cab (left, front) is intact. Not so lucky were those in trailer car 80 immediately behind, with half the car sheared away. Behind 80 is motor car 725, also almost unscathed. Chillingly absent between 80 and 725 would have been car 100, the remains of which were dismantled at the scene.

The accident occurred during the evening rush hour. It was already night-time. In the closed confines of the tunnel, rescuers tried to save who they could. It was a horrific scene.

Dozens of passengers died immediately, many of them decapitated or impaled by shards of wood and glass. Others were electrocuted by the third rail, which had shut down on derailment but was turned back on by offsite monitors who attributed the shutdown to labor sabotage. [Note: The claim of death by electrocution is refuted in Cudahy’s book.] Rescuers rushed to the station, to help the dazed and injured and to carry away the dead. The power failure in the tunnel posed a problem for rescuers that was partially solved when automobiles pulled up near the entrance to the station to illuminate the ghastly scene.

Worried friends and relatives came from across the city and waited outside the station for news of loved ones who frequented the Brighton Beach trains. Medical personnel used the Brooklyn Dodger’s Ebbets Field as a first aid station. And Mayor John Hylan, a strong opponent of privately operated transit lines like the BRT, arrived on the scene with freshly-milled accusations of transit-interest malfeasance.
– Death Beneath the Streets

Newspapers of the day published the names and addresses of those killed and injured in the crash. From that, I created a Google Map with the names and addresses of the dead. The geographic distribution is striking. The majority of those killed were from greater Flatbush, including Prospect Lefferts Gardens, but also included victims from East Flatbush and Kensington, to the east and west, and, to the south, from Midwood, Gravesend, and Sheepshead Bay.

Here’s the list of dead and injured. Most of this list is presented as it was reported in the Brooklyn Standard Union on November 2, 1918, the day after the crash. I made other edits and corrections from additional sources, such as follow-up articles in the new York Times. Some information was originally printed in error, some of the injured later died, and one man originally listed as dead was found to be safe at home. Where available, the addresses link to the Google Map I created which shows the homes of the victims. Some victims also received short descriptions in the paper of the time; I added that to the descriptions of the markers.

  1. ALEXANDER, James, 647 Fenimore Street
  2. ALFARO, Peschal, 160 Robinson Street [I can’t locate this street on current maps of Brooklyn. Has this been renamed to Parkside Avenue?]
  3. AMREIN, Ada, Address unkown
  4. ARENA, Mabel, 186 Lefferts Avenue
  5. BARCINO, Eugene Edward, 42 Henry Street, Flatbush [sic, this address is in Brooklyn Heights, not Flatbush]
  6. BARGIN, Etta, 1145 East 14th Street
  7. Bechtold, Emily or Elise M., 362 East 9th Street
  8. BERKOWITZ, Herman, Address unknown
  9. Borden, Helen, 445 Riverside Drive, Manhattan, or 1011 Ocean Avenue [two addresses were given for Ms. Borden]
  10. Bogen, David, 27 years old, 94 Kenmore Place [Originally listed among the dead as D. Borgen of 97 Kenmore Place]
  11. Brunswick, David, 70 years old, 847 East 10th Street
  12. BURTON, Mary, 1458 East 17th Street
  13. Calibria or Calabria, Rose, 1935 East 9th Street [Published in NY Times, 2008-09-06, five days after the accident]
  14. CLEARY, Margaret, 318 Parkville Avenue
  15. Clifford, Ethel or Louise, 485 Argyle Road
  16. COADY, Emily, 682 Argyle Beach [sic: Argyle Road]
  17. Condra, Louisa G, 23 years old, Brooklyn [No address given. Not listed originally among the dead or injured. “Louisa G. CONDRA, also killed, was born in Newark twenty-three years ago and had been a resident of Brooklyn for three years. She was secretary to the vice-president of the National City Bank in Manhattan and is survived by her mother, Marguerite, and two sisters The funeral will be held to-morrow morning with a requiem mass at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Interment will be at Newark.”]
  18. COOPER, Margaret, Detroit, Mich.
  19. ENGGRAN, John W., 37 East 10th Street
  20. FLEMING, Catherine, 7 East 10th Street
  21. FITZPATRICK, Ed., Avenue H and East 17th Street
  22. FLAHAVE, James F., 277 East 38th Street
  23. Gardner (or Gardiner), Marion (Mary) Norcross, 347 Lincoln Road
  24. GILBERT, Michael, 26 years old, 1510 East 18th Street or 1819 East 13th Street [two addresses were given for Mr. Gilbert]
  25. GILFEATHER, Thomas F. 388 East 49th Street
  26. GILLEN, Harry P., 29 years old, 1539 East 13th Street or 1634 East 13th Street [two addresses were given for Mr. Gillen]
  27. GIVNAN, Thomas, 28 years old, 1601 Voorhies avenue
  28. GUIDE, Nicholas, 1505 Neck Road
  29. Hennison, Emelia, 95 Lenox Road [Listed only in association with Aline Schwaan at the same address]
  30. HOLMES, George W., 611 Westminster Road
  31. HOLTORF, Theodore, 60 years old, 984 East 18th Street
  32. HOPKINS, Lewis, 2130 Bedford Avenue
  33. JACKOWITZ, Sophie, 4301 Church Avenue
  34. JOHNSON, Mary, Address unknown
  35. KEMPF, Christina, 203 Parkside avenue
  36. KERR, David B. 132 Nassau Street, Manhattan
  37. KINSIE, Benjamin A., 79 Haven Avenue, Manhattan
  38. KIRCHOFF, Clara, 877 East Fifteenth Street
  39. LARSEN, H.W., 713 Avenue N
  40. LAWREY, Nellie, 1782 Shore Road
  41. LAWSON, T. C., 1716 Caton Avenue
  42. LEE, Fred W. 212 South Oxford Street
  43. LOMBACK, Harry 22721 77th Street [invalid street address]
  44. LOMBARD, Henry, 1016 East 18th Street or 1919 East 18th Street [two different addresses were given for Mr. Lombard, in the initial list of the dead, and in a follow-up mention]
  45. LOURING, Frank J., 1025 East 15th Street
  46. LOVE, Bessie, 90 St. Marks Place
  47. LOVELL, Aubrey, 1522 East 10th Street
  48. LYONS, Caroline, 1616 Avenue H
  49. MAIER, Joseph A. 204 Midwood Street
  50. MALAMAUD, Abraham, 602 East 16th
  51. MALONEY, Lillian, 178 Lefferts Avenue
  52. MATTOOK, Ethel, 335 East 21st Street
  53. MEEHAN, Helen, 22, 348 Eastern Parkway
  54. METZGER, Ira H., 816 East 14th Street
  55. McMILLEN, Carnette, Address unknown
  56. McCORMACK, Mrs. Grace, 1404 Cortelyou Road
  57. MUNN, Sadie, 25 Rugby road
  58. MURPHY, Grace, a school teacher, 1297 Homecrest Avenue [invalid address]
  59. NAGLE, Richard, 2124 East 24th Avenue
  60. PALMEDO, Alexander M., 439 East 19th Street
  61. Payne, Raymond, 18 years old, 1213 Avenue H
  62. Pierce, Wilbur F., 23 years old, 244 Lefferts Avenue
  63. PILKINGTON, Mrs. 214 Webster Avenue
  64. PORTER, Willis D., 721 Argyle Road [Mistakenly reported as dead, as “William Porter, Argyle Road”]
  65. PORTER, Edward Erskine, 309 Caton Avenue [Possibly 307 Caton Avenue?]
  66. PROUT, Grover T., 275 Ocean Avenue
  67. Rathe, John Charles Ferdinand (or Roth, Charles), 311 E 19th St
  68. RUBIN, M. H., 675 Flatbush Avenue
  69. RUSSO, Mamie, 485 Grand Avenue
  70. RYAN, Michael, 36 years old, 2163 Nostrand Avenue [Possibly 2162 Nostrand?]
  71. SCHWAAN, Aline, 95 Lenox Road
  72. SCUDDER, Ethel, 1221 Avenue Q
  73. SHEVIT, Syd, 224 East 26th Street
  74. SHIEDEN, John, 420 Cortelyou Road
  75. STEVENS, W. E., 150 Nassau Street, Manhattan
  76. SCHAEFER, Harold, 2804 Farragut Road
  77. Stephens, W. A., 83 Rugby Road
  78. STERN, Adolph, 141 Central Avenue
  79. SULLIVAN, Margaret, 19, 2745 Bedford Avenue
  80. TEN BROUCK (or Broeck), Floyd, 46 years old, 1419 Avenue G (Glenwood Road, today)
  81. THORN, C.C. 2023 Caton Avenue
  82. TIETJEN, Johann W., 420 Cortelyou Road
  83. TOLZE, Genaro, 2439 East 14th Street
  84. TOWNSON, T.G., 1716 Caton Avenue
  85. VINCENZO, Louis A. 493 Gravesend Avenue [Published in the NY Times, 2008-09-06, five days after the accident. I can’t locate this street. Is this know today as Gravesend Neck Road?)
  86. VINEBERG, Morris, 1706 Bath Avenue
  87. WALKER, Marion, 1670 East 10th Street
  88. WEED, H.E., Address unknown
  89. WATTS, Hazel, 48 East 22nd Street
  90. WALSH, Genevieve, 4301 Church Avenue
  91. WOELFER, Charlotte, 738 East 21st Street


AYER, Oscar, 600 East 16th Street
AMREIN, Kurt, 634 West 135th Street, Manhattan
ANTONELLO, Rosario, 1419 Lincoln Road

BAIRD, Loraine, 2542 East 5th Street
BANELSON, Vera, 170 Coleridge Street
BARRETT, Susan, 1550 East 12th Street
BOOM, Martin P., 635 Flatbush Avenue
BRAULT Zephrin, 107 Martense Street
BROSER, Mrs. Wm., 2641 East 21st Street

CALABRIA, Rose, 1935 East 9th Street [or Calibria, she died 4 days later]
Castellani, Marie, 2764 Haring Street, Sheepshead Bay
CLEARY, Mary, 318 Parkville Avenue
CLINCHY, Susan, 1704 Kings Highway
CORCOCILLO, Joseph, 1089 East 39th Street
COSTELAN, Marie, 24 Harrett Street

DRENNAN, Margaret, 1911 Homecrest Avenue

(No. listings for “E”)


FELICIA, Samuel, 38 Darby Street
FENNON, Edith, 826 Avenue P
Fitzpatrick, Edward N. [No address available. Mr. Fitzpatrick was not originally listed among the injured. He was awarded $35,000 in 1920 from injuries received in the crash. Reference: New York Times, 1920-01-08]
FUCHS, Pauline, 2902 West 17th Street
FULLER, Elizabeth, 364 East 18th Street


GOWARD, Harold, 234 Lefferts Avenue
GIILERDI, Sylvia, 2617 Jerome Avenue
GUTHRIE, James, 800 East 15th Street


HARLEY, Helen, Crown Street
HARRIS, Leonore, 62 Marlboro Road
HARRIS, Gertrude, 810 Avenue U
HARM, George, 2801 East 7th Street
HAYES, Nora, 287 East 17th Street
HALL, Martha, 2715 East 23d Street

(No listings for “I”)


JUDD, Francis, Manhattan Beach

(No listings for “K”)


LARSON, Lillian, 713 Avenue M
LEE, Henry A. 971 Utica Avenue
LERNER, Nathan, 15 President Street
LEES, Loretta, 619 East 4th Street
LEES, Mary, 619 East 4th Street


MITCHELL, Matilda, 3456 East 15th Street
MURPHY, Veronica, 1922 Homecrest Avenue
McGARRY, John, 120 Avenue C
MANDER, Walter, 840 Flatbush Avenue
MARTENSE, Gary, 1501 Avenue U
MULE, Ernest, 2421 East 18th Street
MUSSON, Silas, 402 Ocean Avenue
MELLOW, William, 568 East 18th Street
MESSIER, Josephine, 2163 Coney Island Avenue

(No listings for “N” and “O”)


PIERCE, Mrs. Kate, 1011 Ocean Avenue
PITTS, Frank G. 632 East 16th Street
POCHICHIE, Louis, 354 Prospect Place

(No listings for “Q”)


ROCHES, Mary, 2647 East 18th Street
REILLY, Alfred, 153 Martense Street


SCHMITT, Geo. W., 856 Est 5th Street
SEYMANN, Harry, 104 Woodruff Avenue
SCHUBERT, Arthur, 100 Webster Avenue
STOBEI, Rev. Joseph, 225 Emmons Avenue
SULLIVAN, Loretta, 437 East 15th Street

(No listings for “T” and “U”)


VAN ARSDALE, Betty, 3122 Mermaid Avenue


Related content

Malbone Street Wreck, Google Map


Malbone Street Wreck, Wikipedia
Death Beneath the Streets, New York Underground, The American Experience, PBS

The Malbone Street Wreck, by Brian Cudahy [I’ve got this back-ordered from Amazon]
Review of the book by Paul Matus on

Franklin Shuttle, Kevin Walsh, Forgotten New York
BMT Franklin Avenue Line, Wikipedia
Lanes of Mid-Brooklyn, Kevin Walsh, Forgotten New York

Eve of Destruction, 1918: The Malbone Street Horror and Day of the Dead, A Year in the Park

Brooklyn Ron

Malbone Street Wreck,, transcription of the article published in the New York Times on November 2nd, 1918
List of dead and injured, Brooklyn Standard Union
Alternative Map

Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Prospect Park

Terrible news.

Until this announcement, Agrilus planipennis, emerald ash borer, or EAB for short, had been found throughout New York state, but the locations closest to NYC were in Westchester County. This is quite a leap. One of the ways invasive forest pests get spread is through moving firewood. I wonder if that was the case here.

I live 1/2 mile south of Prospect Park. I am going to visit the ash trees in my neighborhood. They may not be here next year.

Press release from Prospect Park Alliance, 2017-10-27:

Today, the New York State Departments of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) and Environmental Conservation (DEC) confirmed the first-ever discovery of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in New York City in Prospect Park. Of an initial survey of 10 suspected trees in Prospect Park by Prospect Park Alliance—the non-profit that cares for the Park in partnership with the City, three were confirmed to be infested by this invasive pest by a Cornell University researcher.

Prospect Park Alliance has removed three trees to date that succumbed to this infestation, located along the Ocean Avenue perimeter of the Park, and additional affected trees in this area will be removed over the winter. NYC Parks, DEC, DAM and Prospect Park Alliance are taking immediate action to limit the spread of infestation and protect New York City’s more than 51,000 ash trees.

“The Emerald Ash Borer infestation was detected in Prospect Park thanks to vigilant monitoring of the tree population by Prospect Park Alliance arborists, a year-round tree crew committed to the protection and preservation of the Park’s 30,000 trees,” said John Jordan, Director of Landscape Management for Prospect Park Alliance. “The Alliance will continue to monitor ash trees in the Park, and will work closely with New York City Parks Department, USDA and DEC to continue tracking and responding to this infestation.”

EAB is a non-native species of beetle whose larvae kill trees by burrowing into the inner bark and thus interrupting the circulation of water and vital nutrients. EAB-infested trees are characterized by thin crowns, sprouts on the trunks of the trees, and the signature d-shaped exit holes adult beetles leave on trees’ bark. EAB only affects ash trees, which constitute roughly three percent of NYC’s street trees. EAB has been present in New York State since 2009.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently awarded a $75,000 Urban Forestry Grant to the Prospect Park Alliance to conduct a tree inventory of Prospect Park. The inventory will include an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 trees in the landscaped areas of the park, representing about half of the total population. The tree inventory will include an invasive insect, pest, and disease detection survey by incorporating the USDA Forest Service early pest detection protocol (IPED).

Thank you to Jessica Katz who posted this to several NYC gardening groups, which is how I learned of it.

Exhibit on Agrilus planipennis, emerald ash borer, from the Onondaga County Cornell Cooperative Extension at the 2012 New York State Fair.
EAB Exhibits

Related Content


Upcoming Events for Brooklyn Gardeners

Saturday, April 16

Rain Barrel Giveaway, NYC DEP
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Marine Park Parking Lot
Avenue U

Millions Trees NYC Tree Giveaway
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Green-Wood Cemetery
500 25th St, Brooklyn

2nd Annual Great Flatbush Plant Swap
12noon to 3pm
Flatbush Food CoOp
1415 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn
Sponsored by Sustainable Flatbush and the Flatbush Food Coop

Sunday, April 17

4th Annual Sustainable Flatbush Spring Street Tree Walking Tour
11am & 12noon

Sunday, April 23

Millions Trees NYC Tree Giveaway
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Restoration Plaza
1368 Fulton St, Brooklyn

Sunday, May 1

Millions Trees NYC Tree Giveaway
Grand Street Campus
10:00 a.m. – noon
850 Grand Street, Brooklyn

Friday, May 6, through Sunday, May 15

NYC Wildflower Week
Events city-wide

Saturday, May 7

Millions Trees NYC Tree Giveaway
Neighborhood Housing Services of East Flatbush
noon – 2:00 p.m.
Holy Cross Church School Yard
2530 Church Ave., Brooklyn

Sunday, May 15

My garden will be on tour for NYC Wildflower Week!

Saturday, June 4

Millions Trees NYC Tree Giveaway
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Blessed Sacrament Church
198 Euclid Avenue, Brooklyn

Mulchfest 2011: Recycle Those Trees!

The giant tree shredder in action at last year’s Mulchfest at Park Circle in Prospect Park.
Park Circle Mulchfest 2010

It’s tree recycling season in New York City. Residents can have their trees recycled into mulch for the City’s parks and gardens. Note that, although recycling pickup is still suspended after the post-Christmas blizzard, you can leave trees curbside for recycling pickup.

  • Remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel and tree-stands from your tree.
  • Leave your tree unwrapped. Don’t put it in a plastic bag.
  • Leave trees curbside starting Monday, January 3 for recycling pickup, OR
  • Bring your tree 10am-2pm Saturday, January 8th or Sunday, January 9th to one of 70 locations citywide.

Residents can also pick up free mulch at designated chipping locations.

Brooklyn Locations

This year’s Mulchfest locations for Brooklyn are almost the same as last year’s. Those marked with an asterisk (*) are on-site chipping locations.


Location Address
The Amazing Garden* Columbia Street at Carroll Street Chipping
Cobble Hill Park* Verandah Place & Clinton Street Chipping
Coffey Park Dwight Street & Verona Street Drop-off only
Fort Greene Park* Washington Pk. & Willoughby Avenue Chipping
Green-Wood Cemetery 25th Street & 4th Avenue Drop-off only
Hattie Carthan Garden* Across from Von King Park: Lafayette Avenue & Clifton Place Chipping
Lincoln Terrace Park Buffalo Avenue between East New York Avenue & Eastern Parkway Drop-off only
Maria Hernandez Park Knickerbocker Avenue & Suydam Street Drop-off only
Marine Park* Avenue U & East 33rd Street Chipping
McCarren Park* Driggs Avenue & Lorimer Street Chipping
McGolrick Park Monitor Street & Driggs Avenue Drop-off only
Owl’s Head Park* Colonial Road & 68th Street Chipping
Prospect Heights Community Garden 252-256 St. Marks Avenue Drop-off only
Prospect Park* Third Street at Prospect Park West Chipping
Prospect Park Circle* Parkside Avenue & Prospect Park Southwest Chipping
Sunset Park 44th Street & 6th Avenue Drop-off only


View Brooklyn MulchFest 2011 in a larger map


Related Content

Mulchfest posts:


Mulchfest, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Partnerships for Parks
Prospect Park Alliance

NYC Leaves: Project LeafDrop 2010

Cherry Leaves, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, November 2008.
Cherry Leaves

For the second year, a city-wide coalition of community gardens and other groups has organized Project LeafDrop to collect leaves from residents for composting. Again this year, most of the drop-off sites are located in Brooklyn. Check the map for locations near you, and the dates and times of your preferred locations.

View NYCLeaves: Project LeafDrop 2010 Locations in a larger map

Flatbush area residents have three exciting new options: community garden and composting sites which didn’t even exist a year ago, for last year’s LeafDrop! Sustainable Flatbush is collecting leaves this Saturday, November 6 and next, November 13, from 11am to 1pm at East 21st Street and Kenmore Terrace, at the site of the new Communal Garden in partnership with the Flatbush Reformed Church, the Flatbush CSA, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Compost for Brooklyn, at Newkirk Avenue and East 8th Street in Kensington, and Prospect Farm, in Windsor Terrace, and also new.

Press Releases

Sustainable Flatbush

Sustainable Flatbush is proud to be part of Project LeafDrop 2010: “a coalition of community gardens, botanical gardens, greening groups, environmental organizations, City agencies and community partners dedicated to moving fallen leaves from the trash bin to the compost bin.” The new Church Avenue Communal Garden, a project of our Urban Gardens and Farms Initiative, will hold leaf collections on November 6th and November 13th from 11am till 1pm, and we’ll also be looking for interested volunteers to help us construct a leaf bin to hold what we collect. So bring your fall leaves to the corner of East 21st Street and Kenmore Terrace (1 block south of Church Avenue), and be part of the movement for less garbage and more gardens!

Until 2007, the NYC Department of Sanitation collected leaves in the fall and brought them to a municipal composting site in Staten Island; this compost was made available to urban gardeners at pickup sites throughout the city in the spring. In 2008 the program was discontinued in response to budget cuts, and New York City’s leaves were carted to landfills along with the rest of our garbage, where they represent both a major addition (20,000 TONS) to the city’s waste management burden and a missed opportunity to create free, high-quality gardening fertilizer for NYC residents and community gardens.

In 2008, a pilot project at 6/15 Green garden in Park Slope, Brooklyn, collected over 1.5 tons of leaves from Brooklyn residents, indicating a deep desire in the community to keep residential leaves out of the overburdened waste stream and recycle them into nutrient-rich plant food. The following year a network of gardens joined forces to create Project LeafDrop, collecting leaves in neighborhoods throughout the City. Sustainable Flatbush joined this newly formed coalition and collected 1,740 pounds of leaves from Flatbush residents in just four hours. We are proud to participate in Project LeafDrop 2010!


NYCLeaves: Project LeafDrop, a lively coalition of community garden, open space and greening groups, and other community partners are dedicated to reducing usable organic materials in the City’s wastestream. They are working together to direct fallen leaves from the trash bin to the compost bin. Last year, residents throughout the City brought over 8 tons of leaves to Project LeafDrop sites…leaves that would otherwise be part of the 20,000 tons of leaves that go into the City’s already-overburdened landfills. Savvy community gardeners turned them into beautiful, rich compost and mulch for garden beds and hungry street trees. As more sites are joining the project, they expect to do even better, this year.

Project LeafDrop 2010 sites welcome neighborhood residents to bring their bagged leaves (in clear plastic or paper bags without twigs or trash!) to participating sites on specific dates in November.

Information will be available at many sites about how to make compost in your own garden or apartment and about efforts to encourage the City to reinstate its municipal leaf recycling/give-back program.

To register a garden or other open space as a Project LeafDrop 2010 site, to find participating sites and dates near you, to volunteer to help or for more information about the project, check out the group’s website: or email them at

Until 2008, New York City collected over 20,000 tons of leaves annually, composting much of it and making the fertile compost available to the public. But, since that program was discontinued due to budget cuts, leaves collected at curbsides are treated just like regular garbage. Project LeafDrop gives New Yorkers the chance to recycle residential leaves into “brown gold” that will nourish the City’s urban oases and be kept out of the wastestream.

In 2008, a pilot project at 6/15 Green garden in Park Slope, Brooklyn, collected over a 1 1/2 tons of leaves, revealing a deep desire in the community to keep autumn leaves out of the City’s wastestream and transform them into compost. In 2009, NYCLeaves created Project LeafDrop to expand that program. In its first year, residents brought over 8 tons of leaves to participating sites for recycling into “brown gold”. Many groups worked with Master Composters from the NYC Compost Project to provided educational material about home and backyard composting. Information was also available to raise awareness about the importance of reinstating the City’s municipal leaf composting/give back program.

Bringing bagged leaves to a Project LeafDrop site lightens the City’s load of trash, saves the City the money it would spend collecting and getting rid of leaves, and redirects this precious natural resource to its best use – as compost to enrich exhausted urban soil or feed stressed and hungry street trees. It’s a win/win!


Related Content


Leaf Composting with Project LeafDrop, Sustainable Flatbush
Compost for Brooklyn

June 16: Community Visioning Workshop for a new Communal Garden

The Parsonage at the Flatbush Reformed Church is the proposed site for a new communal garden.

This Wednesday, June 16 at 6pm

Are you a gardener, or have you always wanted to get your hands in the dirt?
Sustainable Flatbush is collaborating with the Flatbush Reformed Church to create a new community garden!

Join us in a creative brainstorming session to plan this new neighborhood green space!

WHAT: Community Garden Visioning Meeting
WHEN: Wednesday June 16th at 6pm
WHERE: Flatbush Reformed Church, 890 Flatbush Avenue (at Church Ave.)

Refreshments and childcare will be provided!

What to expect at the meeting:

* see the garden location!
* contribute your ideas for what the garden will be
* what we can grow (flowers? herbs? vegetables?)
* how we can best use the space we have
* how we will build and maintain the garden
* learn how you can get involved!

Sign up here to attend a Visioning Meeting and keep up-to-date on news related to the garden.

For more information: 718-208-0575 /

Sustainable Flatbush brings neighbors together to mobilize, educate, and advocate for sustainable living in our Brooklyn neighborhood and beyond.

The Flatbush Reformed Church is a welcoming, inclusive and ecumenical Church located in the heart of Brooklyn.

A section of the wall filled in by participants in the first Visioning Workshop on June 6.
Church Garden Visioning Workshop

Related Content

Help Envision a New Garden: Sunday, June 6, 2010-06-02


New community garden — not at Brooklyn College, Helen Klein, Flatbush Life, 2010-06-08

Flatbush Reformed Church
Sustainable Flatbush
Flatbush Farm Share CSA

Got Snails?

Garden Snail along the Shady Path, May 2010
Garden Snail

I was contacted on behalf of an urban nature educator who needs snails. She has a project this weekend on Governor’s Island to create snailariums. Who knew?! She got some snails, but not enough.

We are a neighborhood with a surfeit of snails. With yesterday’s rain, and more predicted today, it should be a good time to collect. If you’re interested in participating, see the original request from Wild Gotham Fran on the Brownstoner Garden Forum:

I am teaching a workshop at the Figment Arts Festival (6/11-13) on Governor’s Island on how to upcycle a shoebox into a posh house for a common garden snail. I am an urban nature educator and have a web show called Wild Gotham that focuses on everyday wildlife in NYC. If you have excess snails, I would love to come get them at your convenience or you could drop off at my house in Park Slope. Snails will be displayed at Figment and afterward released into my backyard where, along with all the others, they will devour my plants. Thank you in advance.- Fran

Tree Snail, Hattie Carthan Community Garden, Bed-Stuy, October 2008
Tree snail