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

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!

January 16, 2014

Design Game

The Design Game is a role playing game. 2 to 5 people play it on a simple paper map of a real place. They act out people who will use the place when it's finished, like teenagers, adults, custodians, neighbors. They move pieces around on the map that represent different areas, like grass fields, garden beds, trees, or buildings. We published this game in 1993 and we have used it to design hundreds of public parks, playgrounds, and programs.

To play the game you need:
1. Location: Base Map
2. People
3. Design Principles (Permaculture, Participatory Design)
4. Movable model pieces 2D and 3D

Examples
1. Location Base Map
2. People
3. Design Principles
4. Movable model pieces 2D and 3D
Desert Water Garden

Resources on role playing games
1. Give your city a personality in your role playing game

January 12, 2014

Art, Comix and Comic Book Publishing

Truth and Dare is out this spring, with art by Paula and many other WW3 artists, written by Quincy Saul and Seth Tobocman, Fred Ho, and Joel Kovel. http://truthydare.blogspot.com/2014/01/about-truth-and-dare.html. Check out the book and music tour info here, and feel free to re-post and share this link:
 http://ecomusictour.blogspot.com/2013/12/press-release.html

We have a gorgeous hard-cover full-color Anthology of WW3 out this spring 2014, here's the pre-order link. Here's the same link if you'd like to re-post it (please do!) https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=636.

We began work last week on a documentary with the same great team that made this WW3 doc back in the early 90s. Password is WW3.

This Rutgers University show has work by WW3 artists Sandy Jimenez and Peter Kuper, and other favorites like Julie Doucet:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/comics/article/60564-off-the-page-comics-at-rutgers-gallery-and-in-the-subway.html

Our WW3 fellow artists Scott Cunningham and Kevin Pyle have this great new book that you can order here.

August 27, 2013

Cooper Union and Urban Farms


Before the Foundation Building at (now) Astor Place, an urban farm and greenhouse were there.

A few blocks away, on 11th street and 1st Avenue, we built this one acre urban farm and greenhouse in 1990, (with the help of Cooper Union and many others). This farm and greenhouse are still there.



June 21, 2013

FOOD

A lot of progress this week with FOOD at two of our Seward Campus locations. We're organizing our maps,  lists of gardens, Garden to Cafe sites, and summer meal locations and we're working on our schedule.




View Food and Playground skatespot map by Open Road in a larger map

New Design: 5 students were accepted into our Summer Design Institute where we'll create designs of food producing gardens, hold events to re-imagine the city as a place to grow food, and work through obstacles to get this food into Summer Meals, free to kids and teens.

LOMA: Julie and a team of teenagers at LOMA in the Seward Park Campus, Manhattan volunteer after school on Thursdays. They'd like more garden areas inside the classroom where they can grow food. The roof may be under construction (again) and they may all need to move their plants growing up there.

We looked at this window. They need to go vertical for two reasons: to fit full grown plants they need the space, and they need the plants to filter the sunlight.


 Now they use this paper on the window below to filter the light or else they can't see the whiteboard. The window faces south. Plants will grow all the way to producing a harvest in this south facing light. But we have to go up. We'll also draw up some designs for using the lizard terrarium on the left to grow food and get an ecosystem going. They returned the lizard to the pet store because they didn't want to keep buying crickets.

 The green worm bin below is filled with eisenia fetida, red worms. The castings, or waste, they make from eating food waste is used by the after school kids to feed the plants.

We'll use what we learned from this hydroponic food garden set up (below) we built for David at New Design. SchoolFood staff gave advice on good food to grow for the cafeteria. Instead of a wide set up on the front desk with fluorescent light like we built for New Design then, we'll be using natural light and going vertical for the LOMA garden now.