In May, gardening initiatives organized in concert with AHRC New York City’s community and corporate partners took place throughout multiple service locations. People we support and staff members from Day Services and Educational Services worked with students and professionals to add color and crops to their plots.

Karen Zuckerman, Director of Community Partner Engagement said that the initiatives took place at AHRC Middle/High School in Brooklyn, Howie Stone Day Services, Dorothy and Michael Styler Day Services, William F. May Day Services in the Bronx, and Far Rockaway Day Services in Queens.

The Community Gardens were funded by our Corporate Partners: BKD Advisors, HSBC, and Comcast NBCUnites who collectively donated more than $12,000 to purchase materials used to build our gardens,” Karen said. AHRC Middle/High School students were also joined by peers from Poly Prep Country Day School, furthering inclusion for all involved.

Karen Zuckerman and a volunteer from NBCUnites at Far Rockaway Day Services.

Karen Zuckerman and a volunteer from Comcast NBCUnites at Far Rockaway Day Services.

She added “AHRC NYC staff, people supported, and our Corporate Partners worked together as a team putting together flatbeds and raised beds and filled them with hundreds of bags of soil. Then planted all types of vegetable plants, herbs, and flowers. To make the gardens even more beautiful, the Community Partners painted the raised beds, birdhouses, and garden rocks.”

Gardens at AHRC NYC are created with accessibility in mind to allow anyone interested in the process to participate. “We have a long hose and raised flowerbeds which makes it easier for our gardeners,” Ruth Jaramillo, Community Support Supervisor at Howie Stone Day Services, said. “We enjoy filling the birdhouses with seeds and watching the birds that come by to use it. They love painting so we’ve been decorating every little spot we can find.”

Abe Roberts plants veggies and flowers with a staff member at Howie Stone Day Services

Abe Roberts plants veggies and flowers with a staff member at Howie Stone Day Services

Ruth said that gardens wouldn’t flourish as much without the support of AHRC NYC’s community partners. “We really appreciate every supply that we did get–they help so much.”

At the Howie Stone and Styler Day Center, Kesha Terry from HSBC said that she and her colleagues were happy to join AHRC NYC’s efforts to continue beautifying the Bronx. “It’s a great relationship we have here,” Kesha said. “We’ve been working together for nearly six years, which continued even through the pandemic. We’ve met people for just one time and become close with them.”