On Saturday, Nov. 2, over 125 gardeners, community members and elected officials gathered for a day of workshops, music, food and fun at the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust’s (BQLT) sixth annual Celebration of Gardens. The event was held at the Brooklyn Job Corps Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The BQLT is the nonprofit organization that owns and stewards 32 community gardens in central Brooklyn and Queens.

During the morning, BQLT presented a series of garden-related workshops with topics ranging from plant propagation to permaculture to art in nature. Gardeners of all ages—kids and adults—took part in these lively sessions, which were followed by lunch and a formal program.

Demetrice Mills, BQLT board president, presented an honorary award to Council Member Albert Vann, who is retiring this year. Mills said, “We appreciate the fact that you have recognized the importance of greening open spaces and community gardening in the urban areas, and especially in connecting people to the environment and their source of food by assisting the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust organization in its continued stewardship and ownership of public green open spaces.”

Assemblywoman Barbara M. Clark then presented proclamations to two gardeners from the 227th Street Cambria Heights Community Garden—Rose Bibuld and Robert Jurgens—and commended them as “individuals who give of their time and energies and serve the best interest of their communities.”

In addition, BQLT Community Service Awards were given to 11 senior gardeners who have contributed their time, energy and activism since long before BQLT was established, all in the interest of protecting community gardens as open spaces for future generations.