Mission and History
La Familia Verde is a coalition of community gardens in the Crotona, East Tremont and West Farms neighborhoods of the Bronx. Formed in 1998, our mission is to sustain the environment and culture of our neighborhood through education, community service and horticulture. In the years since the coalition was founded, we have expanded our activities to encompass a broad range of community development issues, from voter registration to census education.
La Familia Verde is a part of a community gardening tradition in New York City that dates back over 25 years, when city residents first began taking control of abandoned lots left by the economic and social devastation of the inner cities. Since that time, community gardens have played an important role in helping to revitalize some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. The gardens are not only pleasing to look at; they serve as education, cultural and social resource centers in traditionally underserved communities.
La Familia Verde represents the next generation in the community gardening movement; for we are not a single garden, but a coalition of gardens and community-based organizations working together to foster grassroots community change. We are an entirely volunteer organization, and all our members are community residents.
The coalition was formed in 1998 as the Community Board 6 Garden Coalition, with a mission to educate community gardeners of their right to open space and work to preserve community gardens in the face of powerful development threats. We felt that by working collectively, we could make the public and policy-makers aware of the many benefits that gardens bring to the community, and build upon our individual efforts through the power of collection action.
It soon became clear that the gardens and the coalition were not only focusing on gardening, but in fact were playing a vital role in a broad range of community development issues. In 1999 we officially changed our name to La Familia Verde (the Green Family) to reflect this expanded mission: sustaining the environment and culture of our neighborhood through education, community service and horticulture.
Since that time, we have engaged in activities from voter registration to census education. But this year is different. 2020 with the emergence of COVID-19 we find ourselves in a pandemic which has devastated communities of color. As a coalition of gardens we felt it was necessary to increase our production of food so that we can feed our community. We have partnered with other Bronx Community Gardens, Bronx Green Up and the Mary Mitchell Center to give fresh produce to our residents. We feel both healthy food and clean water are human right issues. In a country where we grow enough food and waste enough food no one should be hungry. Stop by our market, you will not be turned away.
The La Familia Verde farmers market, entering it's 18th year, runs from July-November at Tremont Park, located on Tremont Avenue between LaFontaine Avenue and Arthur Avenue every Tuesday from 8am-2pm.
For more information about our work, or to volunteer at our community gardens you can contact us at 2000 Mapes Avenue Bronx NY 10460