Following the 1969 oil spill crisis in Santa Barbara, California, US Senator Gaylord Nelson established the official “Earth Day” to call special attention to the importance of protecting our planet. Earth Day became internationally recognized when environmental activist Denis Hayes further emphasized the intense challenges our world will encounter if society continues to ignore the ongoing climate crisis.
This year’s official theme for Earth Day is ‘Restoring our Earth,’ a concept that emphasizes our capacity to help restore the ecosystem by taking action and making changes that support the planet. It’s essential that we recognize the intensity and urgency of the climate problem – and we have a responsibility to protect our earth, the habitat that supports and sustains us all.
A non-profit organization, New York Restoration Project, actively pursues that environmental responsibility. New York Restoration Project is the only citywide conservancy that focuses on injecting private resources into municipal spaces to fortify the City’s maturing infrastructure and develop a healthy environment in NYC. The project looks to impact all five boroughs and create a healthier, happier, and safer city. In coordination with local communities, public agencies, and the private sector, New York Restoration Project initiates, maintains, and provides public open spaces. So far, the project restored and revitalized upward of 400 acres in the city’s most-neglected public green spaces and their adjacent communities. Additionally, New York Restoration Project has planted more than 1 million trees in New York City’s 5 boroughs.
New York Restoration Project’s mission aims to restore, re-design, and maintain the organization’s 52 community gardens across the city. The community gardens operate as urban farms, with New York Restoration Project gardeners growing over 90,000—providing over $180,000 worth of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables to families with no additional cost. Furthermore, New York City gardens benefit the community by delivering tranquil and collaborative spaces for members to enjoy.
Since the onset of Covid-19, food insecurity in New York City has risen nearly 40%. Together with New York Restoration Project, we plan to actively transform unused outdoor spaces at Our Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church into beautiful, food productive facilities. This initiative will grow over 1,250 lbs of produce—providing $2,500 worth of fresh, organic resources for families and members of the Washington Heights community.
We believe that Earth Day should be celebrated in our Community and daily life. That’s why we are officially partnering with New York Restoration Project in hopes to support their mission to help restore our sacred planet. Together, our objective is to enhance and provide New York City neighborhoods with a brighter and greener future.
For more information on the climate crisis or ways to help, visit the Earth Day official website here.