Take a quick stroll through any of the fourteen Department of Transportation plazas the Hort plants and look around. Depending on the season, you might find freshly planted Purple Verbena, Snapdragons, or Nemesia in the planters. While these flowers provide the flair, evergreen shrubs, like Arborvitae and Hollywood Juniper, offer year-round continuity – keeping things interesting and beautiful, even in winter!
Often, when our GreenTeam and gardeners are planting in the plazas, they connect with enthusiastic, interested, and curious community members who seek advice and search for left-over cuttings. It is because we encounter a strong passion for plants and friendly public spaces in the community that we teamed up with Con Edison to provide two plaza plant giveaways this past June! On June the 22nd and 29th, The Hort’s Neighborhood Plaza Program brought seedling and soil to Knickerbocker Plaza (Bushwick) and 78th Street Plaza (Jackson Heights).
By teaming up with local plaza stewards, Jackson Heights Green Alliance and Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, it enabled the Hort to inspire a love of plants and the environment, educate New Yorkers on how to take care of plants, and introduce the community to the people who clean and green each plaza.
Knickerbocker Plaza, in the heart of Bushwick and at the foot of a busy M train stop, had the Hort staff digging and planting hard for the entire afternoon. Train riders loved the colorful Impatiens after the long commute, plaza visitors relaxed with their newly acquired Begonias, and passers-by excitedly walked their Polka Dot Plant home.
Hundreds of kids and families, outside to enjoy the hot sunny day at the ‘78th Street Play Street’, quickly ventured to the Hort’s plant table to say hello, talk about the plaza, and of course, get their plant! One young visitor who chose red Impatiens exclaimed, “I’m glad I got a plant today, my mom loves plants!”
Each plaza plant giveaway was made possible through the generous support of Con Edison!