Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The David Prize Recipients

 Two Brooklyners received the  David Prize.  Established in 2000, this prize – awarding $200,000 to each winner – is a “celebration of individuals and ideas to create a better, brighter New York City.”

It was Dr. Suzette Brown – a pediatrician and COO at Strong Children Wellness and Domingo Morales who learned about composting from his work at Green City Force – both hailing from Brooklyn who received the grants.  Brown has been working on ways to bolster the healthcare system and Morales on sustainable composting in disadvantaged communities.

Brown’s organization has been implementing her healthcare system approach of “reverse integration” which has resulted in the provision of a “one stop shop for kids and families where not only can they get their physical needs met and their primary health care needs met, but they can also benefit from a range of social services.” She was inspired to do this when she worked with a single homeless mom trying to escape her domestic violent situation without any support. Trying to navigate the social services system during such a challenging time is close to impossible and with the additional coronavirus situation, things became even worse.

Morales has been through the system himself, having grown up in foster care.  He is seeking to increase sustainability in Brooklyn and at the same time, help less advantaged communities. The grant he receives will be put toward the establishment of composting sites, and the creation of educational opportunities.  He explained:

“For the communities that don’t have the resources to pay, the idea is to just build them the best compost system that they can have and then figure out how we can work other forms of sustainability into that site.” 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Escaping at Home

While the coronavirus continues to ravage our lives, we take a look at one educational and relaxing way you can escape the craziness in the comfort (and safety) of your own home…reading!

Thanks to funding from the Greenpoint Community Environment Fund, a new local library has opened.  The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center is offering a socially-distanced service for all locals. The Brooklyn Public Library leadership has engaged in the renovation of all of the libraries.  Over the next five years, it is hoped that at least a third of them will be redeveloped.

But meanwhile, thanks to the fantastic architectural work of SCAPE as well as the design from Marble Fairbanks, what is on offer is phenomenal.  Double in size of its predecessor, the 15,000 sq. ft library has both an indoor and an outdoor space along with a grab-and-go service to limit the spread of the coronavirus.  According to CEO and President of the Brooklyn Public Library Linda E. Johnson:

"The new Greenpoint Library models the enormous potential of public libraries in the 21st century. With the help of our partners, from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund to Marble Fairbanks, we created a space for everyone in the community that is as inspiring as it is versatile. In 2020, in Brooklyn and beyond, we need more libraries like this one: that make vital knowledge and beautiful design accessible to all, that empower people from all walks of life to come together and build a more sustainable, more just world."