Freedom Garden: RestoreNYC and bKind and the Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition

RestoreNYC and bKind and the Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition volunteers!

“Sisterhood of the Unstoppable”

Partners: NYC Parks Department‘s Jamil Phillips, Ju-Wan Winslow, Partnership for Parks  Ashley Kuenneke, PEP J.P.Kane Lee, and the NYC Park workers clean up crew and Larissa of the Greenbelt Native Plants Nursery,  SRPCC Gardeners, Sally Han and volunteers of Restore NYC volunteers, Lisa Mehos of bKind (trauma yoga healing work and more). Kate Fitzgerald SRPCC advisor and M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden , Kim Fong’s BRC for bleach and bathroom access.

Freedom Garden for Survivors of Human Trafficking.

The Project: Building a Freedom Garden for survivors of human trafficking..
-Volunteers (not survivors) will plant a flower for each victim of trafficking (statistics below).
-Some volunteers would work on nearby tree beds to remove Belgian blocks where they are strangling those trees and use those blocks to delineate flower beds (these help both Park workers to know where those are and has helped visitors not walk into beds).

Date: Friday June 7th. (Thursday June 6th- cancelled due to thunderstorm)

Total 2 days: Total Crew: 22

Times: Hours per day: 9am-12pm Crew of 11 and 1pm-4pm Crew of 11

Volunteers from RestoreNYC and SRPCC volunteers and bKind


The former Audubon NY plot in front of the BRC -Chrystie side.
(After we, the experienced gardeners, weed the area and sweep for needles, trash, etc.).



During: These two crews did the work that would have taken us months to finish!

Collected a LOT of trash!

and this Catbird who eagerly investigated all our work!




Tools (trowels/pointed shovels/gloves/ grabbers/garbage bags, etc). Partnerships for Parks

Soil, Flowers, MulchBronx Greenbelt Nursery, Partnerships forParks delivered by Jamil Phillips Park Manager, and some purchased and transported from Union Square with funds from RestoreNYC.

Mulch – Jamil Phillips
Small indigenous flowers – K


Sara Roosevelt Park, on Forsyth Street here in the late 70’s until 1990 was lined with young women who were addicted/forced into the sex industry.

We could never offer much to these women – it was too dangerous for them (and us).
Now we think we can do something to acknowledge their existence as a community.

We are also home to homeless women and men, we have two migrant shelters alongside this park and one a block away, Chinatown has a large immigrant population – all populations vulnerable to coercion into human trafficking.
“New York City is a gateway and one of the largest destinations for trafficked women in the country. Right now in every borough, women are being forced into prostitution.”

94% of sex trafficking victims are women
64% of sex trafficked victims are Black or Latina women
60% of sex trafficked youth have been in foster care at some point in their lives
42% of Restore sex trafficked victims named “immigration status” as the reason they feel unsafe in the U.S.
64% of sex trafficked victims are experiencing homelessness when they were recruited into a trafficking situation


We will ask survivors to bring their own messages written on small stones (a project run by bKind) to ‘plant’ them in this area. They would create the stone messages in a safe space. It would be ’their garden’.



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