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Best reason to take up gardening


Bushwick was originally named Boswijick, or “town in the woods,” by Dutch settlers in the 17th century. Sadly, it seems the only vegetation thriving in the industrial neighborhood these days are the thick weeds growing around the area’s several abandoned lots. The kindly green thumbs of Trees Not Trash, a local beautification project, are changing that. Since the organization started in 2005, they’ve turned a few lots into green spaces, replacing errant shopping carts and tires with petunias and vegetables gardens (the group also has a community garden near a cement factory on Bogart and McKibben streets). More importantly, they’ve collected enough signatures to get the parks department to plant 50 street-lining trees—49 more than there were two years ago, according to founder Kate Gilliam. She said the group plans to have 10 times that amount planted in the next two years. Before we know it, Trees Not Trash will have Bushwick living up to its name. Visit for upcoming volunteer projects.