About Lots to Grow
Lots to Grow logo made by Jessica Saab for NY4P in 2019 with Adobe Photoshop
Lots to Grow logo made by Jessica Saab for NY4P in 2019 with Adobe Photoshop
Lots to Grow host, Jessica Saab, at the Good Life Garden in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in May 2019, holding pruned sage
Lots to Grow host, Jessica Saab, at the Good Life Garden in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in May 2019, holding pruned sage

General information

What is this? This is a piece of audio journalism in a serial podcast format.

Why was it done? The goal of this podcast is to raise awareness about the history, existence, and current challenges of community gardens in New York City today. 

When was it done? From January to May 2019, more than 20 interviews with over 35 individuals were conducted. At the same time, background research was done, and from May to August 2019, the episodes were recorded, mixed, reviewed, and published.

Who was interviewed? The following individuals were kind enough to lend us their time and share their experiences with us:

Gregory Anderson, Michelle Arvin, Angela Bonas, Earl Bonas, Barbara Cahn, Rene Calvo, Carmen, Aziz Dekhan, Amantina Duran, Vere Gibbs, Rodrigo Gonzalez, Tammy Hall, Nancy Hoch, Christine (Chris) Johnson, A. Mychal Johnson, Sara Jones, Jose Cabrera, Owen Kennedy, Charles Krezell, Celestina (Celeste) Leon, Gil Lopez, Carlos Melendez, Rose Moon, Zhenia Nagorny, Sandy Nurse, Genevieve Outlaw, Renée Peperone, Arlene Roberts, Mike Schweinsburg, Marc Shefflett, Annette Spellen, Kofi Thomas, Arif Ullah, Irene Van Slyke, Gerard Volel, K Webster, and Zach Williams.

Who did the interviews? Jessica Saab, the 2018-2019 Leon Levy Research & Policy Fellow for Great Parks, and subsequent Communications & Administration Associate.

Who overdubbed the translations? Joanna Saab and Josué Pérez.


Technical information

All audio was recorded with two SONY IC Recorders (ICD-PX312) and a Blue Snowball microphone.

Audio was edited on Apple's GarageBand.

Graphics and maps were created with Adobe Suite.



This project was made possible thanks to the Leon Levy Foundation, who funds the Fellows for Great Parks program, and to WeWork, which gave us space for many of the interviews and served as the home base for editing.

Thanks are due to all those who answered our questions in the background research phase, both on and off the record.

Thanks are also due to NYC Parks GreenThumb for answering our questions, publicizing our project, liaising between gardeners, and providing data for our research.

A big thank you to all those who agreed to be interviewed for this project! It was a pleasure to speak with you all and, while a lot of the stories didn't make the final cut, all of the conversations were great background knowledge and context. We hope this project is useful for you and your garden group, and we hope you enjoy listening to it.

Thank you to all those who will listen to this podcast. We hope you also enjoy it, learn new things, and feel empowered to become involved in your local open spaces!

Last, Jessica would also like to thank the rest of the New Yorkers for Parks team who helped develop, edit, and publicize this project.



Creative Commons License Lots to Grow by New Yorkers for Parks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




The content, opinions, and recommendations presented in this podcast are presented for general information purposes only. All third party interview excerpts and content referenced in this podcast do not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards, or policies of New Yorkers for Parks. The interview excerpts included in this podcast have been edited for length and episode relevance. Any edits that changed content and/or context of the interviews are unintentional.