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Year End Report—2019: 

The Stewards of Brust Park Achievements:   


      The Stewards of Brust Park were able make leaps and bounds in 2019, especially in their efforts to restore upper Brust Park to some of its former glory while also continuing to care for the lower park.     

      Apart from all the obvious improvements you may have noticed in Brust Park, there’s always a lot happening behind the scenes, too. A handful of volunteers are regularly at work to make things happen. Our back-office activity was unusually robust. Through a special Partnership for Parks coaching program, three members of the Stewards leadership participated in four months of weekly one-on-one coaching to strategically organize and establish a well-functioning and sustainable parks volunteer group. 


      Because of all the amazing support we received and a lot of nose-to-the-grindstone volunteer effort, the Stewards of Brust Park accomplished many important benchmarks in 2019.  Here are some highlights from this very fruitful year: 

  • We worked closely with the NYC Parks horticulturist to design and plan the logistics for the first phase of garden refurbishment and other improvements. This huge volunteer effort was made possible through all the strategic planning, fundraising and organizing of teams of volunteers who came out to prepare the soil and replant garden and lawn areas.   See more photos here...

  • We step-by-step prepared the path to gain a fiscal sponsor (a 501c-3 organization): We then applied for and were accepted into the fiscal sponsorship program through the Partnership for Parks.  This sponsorship put the Stewards of Brust Park into a position to can fundraise and accept tax-deductible donations.

  • We ran our first successful crowdfunding campaign on, raising $6,000 to be used expressly for our wish-list of additional new plants, gardening equipment and some educational supplies.

  • We applied for and received two grants for a combined $3,000-plus that were earmarked for specific purchases of new plants, gardening equipment and supplies, as well as the two public information bulletin boards.

  • We laid the foundations for future improvements to the park by establishing strong relationships with Community Board 8, local government representatives, NYC Park & Recreation Department officials, etc.

  • We hosted seven official “It’s My Park" days, along with additional Saturday morning gardening dates to keep both sections of the park looking as good as possible throughout the year.

  • We successfully petitioned the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wto provide a new fire-hydrant on the upper brust park side of Manhattan College Parkway, so that future gardening efforts would have access to water to maintain plantings.

  • We put together a volunteer "watering brigade" which kept the new plantings in the upper park happily hydrated through the late spring and summer months. Through a very neighborly collaboration with the Fieldston School, we had access to a water spigot inside their campus. 

  • We networked throughout the community to continue building awareness of Brust Park, the Stewards of Brust Park organization and its mission.

  • We developed the educational aspect of our mission to use Brust Park as an place where our community can learn about ecology and nature. We collaborated with the Ethical Culture Society on several occasions with learning opportunities for their youngest members. This included working with their summer camp (20 kids ages 6-10) program, creating a special lesson about community, civic engagement and how that all relates to what we do in Brust Park. We also arranged for  John Butler from the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance to teach a session about the some of the fascinating aspects of the Brust Park plant and insect life.  It was awesome to see!

      See more photos here...

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