(MSCC) John Mudd, September 7, 2017 — Midtown Community Council Urban Farm Project
The Midtown South Community Council was established in 1983, formed to combat the many problems facing residents in a commercialized area. The Midtown South Community Council (MSCC) is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization devoted to building better neighborhoods and stronger relationships within the midtown south neighborhood of Manhattan.
MSCC’s Urban Farming Program, one of our many developing programs, supports urban farming in New York City. On October 20, 2016, in a policy brief by CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, which not only reports the benefits of urban farming, but also “Urge(s) elected officials and city agency administrators to preferentially support garden and farm projects dedicated to social justice.”
The Institute continues to report:
Food production is only one of the many benefits of urban agriculture. As documented in the Five Borough Farm I project, many other beneficial activities take place in gardens and farms: formal and informal education, business development, community events, youth development activities, services for older adults, and many ecosystem services such as composting, rainwater harv
Midtown south community councilesting, beekeeping, and moderation of the urban heat island effect. These activities, and the outcomes, are tracked by some gardens and farms, but not most, and there is no city or non-profit project to gather and analyze such data.
Rooftop gardens are rooted (pun intended) in culture since the beginning of recorded history, and the interest is fervently growing (to pun further). Roof gardens have been used as extensions of living and communal spaces, and symbols of status. Pragmatically, they’re used as insulation, a means of flood control, and a way to grow food in a dense city with otherwise scarce resources for planting. We’re slowly rediscovering the astonishing benefits of vegetated roofs.
Midtown South Community Council with midtown Urban Farmers, wish to grow various vegetable, herbs, and fruit on the rooftop of the Midtown South Police Precinct. The Precinct’s rooftop would allow us to produce a sizable production for distribution to the precinct, shelters, and public.
The minimum space needed for our farm development is 1,500 square feet. An engineer is hired to study and test the prospective site for its ability to support our farm development’s load.
MSCC is partnering with Inner City Farmers, who have an active rooftop garden with 1,200 square feet, at 205 West 39th Street. Built in 1900 for garment manufacturing, this building functions extremely well with a rooftop farm and commercial business. The Calvin Klein Corporate office is located within this building. The farmers use 34 fabric pots ranging in size from 65 gallons to 200 gallons, and 25 x 3 foot diameter plastic kiddie pools. They will transition to fabric only pots in the future, which are considerably deeper and do not repel the plants roots, so more can grow in each pot.
Locations Under Consideration
Rooftop farming is suitable and even prudent for various partnerships:
- Local precincts
- Municipal buildings
Criteria for our rooftop garden includes:
- A minimum of 1,500 square feet of useable space for gardening
- Water supply and ample sunlight
- Supports the minimum load requirements
Our program supports urban farmers, to bring locally grown produce using rooftops and available space, not only in Midtown but elsewhere. Our mission is to build urban food production, distribution, sustainable living, and education for our community.
MSCC and its network will source funds and expertise, and with our rooftop, we’ll produce fresh food to strengthen communities through food security.
Urban Farm Project Proposal
Midtown South Community Council Urban Farming Program
Prepared by: John Mudd, President; Sharon Jasprizza, Community Services Director
May 2, 2017
THIS IS A CONFIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM intended solely for your own limited use. If you wish a copy of Midtown South Community Council’s Roof Top Gardening plans, please contact: John Mudd or Sharon Jasprizza
Advisory Board / Key Personnel
John Mudd, President; Sharon Jasprizza, Community Service Director; Andrea Winter, Urban Farming Director.