Environmental Justice and Urban Agriculture
Recognizing and Remedying Environmental Injustice
BluePrint Geneva operates public gardens for use by all community members any time: the State Street Public Gardens in ward 5 and Crystal Gardens on Crystal Street in ward 6. We started a curbside composting program, Growing Cycle, that diverts food waste (and other biodegradables) from the landfills. Speaking of landfills (which we have to do in this area!), we host the ItStinks! landfill odor complaint platform which we hope will provide data to drive improvements to landfill operations.
State Street Public Gardens
The gardens on State Street are co-located with Geneva Peeps, a chicken-keeping cooperative where you can contribute to the caring of chickens in exchange for fresh, healthy eggs! The site also houses one of Geneva's Little Free Farmstands where you can give, take, or swap fresh fruits and vegetables. The property is owned by Children's Hours School, a montessori-style preschool and elementary school based on Lewis Street. On the State Street site, you will find raised beds for rent so you can grow exactly what you'd like. These are separate from BluePrint's public gardens where volunteers grow crops requested by the community for the community to harvest as needed. We welcome volunteers to help out with weeding, watering, harvesting, and general tending of the space. We also have a children's garden at the front of the property, with areas inviting visitors to "taste," "smell," and "touch" various plants.
Crystal Street Garden
Crystal Street is the home to our newest public garden. Started in the summer of 2020, it was a continuation of our commitment to providing food access to neighbors, and also driven by the heightened need created by the COVID-19 pandemic. A socially-distanced "grand opening" was held in September, and we look forward to the 2021 growing season at this space. Many thanks to the city of Geneva for leasing this property to us and encouraging our efforts.
This curbside composting program provides you with a bucket for collecting food waste in your home, then provides a weekly pickup of it just like your trash service. The amount of biodegradable waste you can divert from the trash can might surprise you and our goal is have homes and businesses send as little to the landfill as possible. More information is available on the website and facebook page.
In response to rising complaints about landfill odors, BluePrint partnered with local software engineer Jeff Henderson to create an easy-to-use complaint logging system. ItStinks.org works on computers and mobile devices and sends complaints to elected and DEC officials who are responsible for monitoring landfill operations.
Weeding Wednesdays (Summer)
In conjunction with the City of Geneva's Green Committee, we work with volunteers at the lakefront every week to tend to the landscape and plantings. This effort is consistent with the City's commitment to avoid the application of synthetic pesticides. Help us improve the health of our water supply, our pets, bees, butterflies, and the plants themselves with a little sweat equity! It's amazing what we can do together!