September 9, 2014

Food and Water



As the school year begins we are continuing to work on FOOD, our advocacy program with youth that improves fresh food and drinking water in NYC schools. We're working in five zones all around NYC, and youth are making maps, art, and helping to improve food gardens on NYC school land, park land, and community gardens. With the election of Mayor Bill DeBlasio there are some new commissioners in the city departments we work with, and also in the last few years there have been some new people working at the city and state level related to our FOOD advocacy work.

Emily Lloyd is the DEP Commissioner:
"Under Lloyd’s leadership, the federal government recognized DEP for its watershed protection programs, earning New York City the status as one of only five cities in the country where the majority of its water supply does not require filtration—saving the city billions of dollars". Source: nyc.gov

She was Commissioner of the NYC Department of Santiation from '92 to '94, during the time that Open Road youth leaders Nando Rodriguez, Raphael Santiago, Lisa Rivera, and Melissa Ramos were working with Tom Outerbridge from DOS on the design and construction of Open Road Park and the Hot Box composting bin. A landfill liner and dozens of truckloads of compost from Fresh Kills, along with expertise from Bill Young, made the remediation of contaminated soil at Open Road Park successful. 

August 10, 2014

Water Maps

Summer 2013 and 2014 we went on road trips with kids to NYC ponds and reservoirs and to watershed areas upstate. We made 2D and 3D water maps. We used Oasis maps as the base for NYC locations, and USGS maps and travel maps outside the city.


























We added 3D topography to blueprints of NYC gardens and rooftops



















This blueprint of the Seward Park roof (above) in lower manhattan shows gravity fed water tubes and rainwater harvest tanks.
















This 3D model (above) shows an imaginary sinkhole, waterway, and reservoir with topographical elements exaggerated in a cartoonish way























This way we could understand the lines in the topo map above.











We made 3D digital models, using the elevations from a real garden, and showed the reservoirs, ponds, swales, streams and cement water holding tanks under the ground











We superimposed an aerial photo over the 3D digital map so it looks realistic
















It's easy to make the topo maps with child safety scissors, a pencil and a rubber mat




















Parts of the topographical water maps are moveable, so people can move, rearrange and replace parts of the maps. This helps them understand the map features, by playing with them.



























































Growing Food in the Bronx




On August 6 young urban farmers working with Open Road and the Bronx Enchanted Garden harvested fresh fruits and vegetables to serve in the school cafeteria. The next day the young farmers served the food themselves alongside cafeteria staff to hundreds of teenagers in the JFK school building in the Bronx. This is all part of FOOD, a program of Open Road in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and Garden to Cafe. Click here for our map of food gardens and summer meals.  

Danny Steiner of Bronx Theater High School guided the team in how to harvest carrots, tomatoes, peaches, sorrel, and many more fresh delicious vegetables and fruits. Open Road has worked with the Enchanted Garden since its beginnings as a trash filled vacant lot, and one of the original youth co-founders of the garden, Oz, led the team through a colorful history of the design and development of the Enchanted Garden. 

You can find photographs at these links. Photos by Paula Hewitt Amram of Open Road. 

Harvesting: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/104921896947876024446/albums/6044521970942772801
Serving: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/104921896947876024446/albums/6044880985893343361

In each of five zones, FOOD youth have mapped sites where public meals are provided, entered data onto Google Maps, and surveyed locations to assure they were operating as advertised. Beyond the youth staff and volunteers, hundreds more youth and families are benefiting from improved gardens, increased rates of healthy fresh food in public feeding programs, and community art and architecture our youth are producing related to food. Our youth team has been advocating for improved menus at public feeding programs, and have met with SchoolFood officials and elected officials in the City Council to advance this work. This youth team has advocated for fresh food grown in the city and on nearby farms to be included in the menu of public feeding programs, and in each zone the team has intensively studied, assessed, and surveyed the menu of at least one public feeding program, to ensure improvements are made. Our youth team has held 10 events to alert the community to locations where food should be served to youth, to share food grown in gardens, and involve neighborhood people in our advocacy. 






































April 16, 2014

FOOD, our youth led program, is continuing in 2014

FOOD improves food growing environments and public meal programs with youth leadership in each of five low-income zones involved in the program. We are engaging young people in learning about healthy eating and food justice. Through Food, youth are taking action to increase access to affordable fresh foods in their own neighborhoods. We are experiencing a high level of success with an excellent youth team. Click here to see a map of FOOD 2014. 

In each of five zones, our youth have mapped sites where public meals are provided, entered data onto Google Maps, and surveyed locations to assure they were operating as advertised. Beyond the youth staff and volunteers, hundreds more youth and families are benefitting from improved gardens, increased rates of healthy fresh food in public feeding programs, and community art and architecture our youth are producing related to food. Our youth team has been advocating for improved menus at public feeding programs, and have met with SchoolFood officials and elected officials in the City Council to advance this work. This youth team has advocated for fresh food grown in the city and on nearby farms to be included in the menu of public feeding programs, and in each zone the team has intensively studied, assessed, and surveyed the menu of at least one public feeding program, to ensure improvements are made. Our youth team has held 10 events to alert the community to locations where food should be served to youth, to share food grown in gardens, and involve neighborhood people in our advocacy. 

Click here for 2014 Summer Meals locations (SchoolFood, DoE) 


You can find a report on FOOD here

April 4, 2014

WW3 Contributors at MoCCA Arts Fest 4/5/14

You can purchase WW3 here

Isabella Bannerman, Paula Hewitt Amram, Scott Cunningham, and Kevin Pyle, will be sharing table B3, and selling cartoon books at The MoCCA Arts Festival 2014, from 11 AM - 6 PM on Saturday April 5, and Sunday April 6, at the Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Ave (between East 25th and 26th St) NY, NY 10010. Admission to the 2014 MoCCA Arts Festival is $5 per day. Tickets are available to purchase at the door. Cash and credit cards accepted.









April 2, 2014

Open Road

Use the links below to find examples of our Art, Architecture & Engineering work with Youth:

1. Food Garden Design
a) Urban Greenhouse Design
b) Food gardens
c) Art and Food with kids

2. Composting
a) Hot Box composting
b) Guide to build the Hot Box

3. Mapping and planning
a) Food and Playground Map
b) Oasis

4. Playground & Park Design
a) Open Road Park, Manhattan
b) Thomas Greene Park, Brooklyn
c) Allen & Pike Street, and Manhattan Bridge Skatepark
d) Green Roof Feasibility Study

5. Design & Build
a) design games
b) Design and Build booklets


March 17, 2014

Food 2014

Information on neighborhoods throughout NYC from the most recent (2010) Census

Our 2014 locations and our Food Maps

January 31, 2014

Moveable Paper Models in Flatbush, Fort Greene, & Harlem





















 And follow this link for photos of Raphael Santiago, Nando Rodriguez, Tim Rutgers, Greg and Sean Barber, Melissa Ramos, and more!