Learn how urban green spaces raise the health and economy of New York City neighborhoods

WHAT:          Philip Silva, graduate researcher in natural sciences at Cornell University will discuss his research showing the health, social, economic and ecological benefits of farms and gardens throughout all five boroughs during a journalist-only lunch.

WHEN:          At this month’s Inside Cornell, Wednesday, May 21, from noon to 1 p.m.

WHERE:        Cornell’s ILR Conference Center, 16 E. 34th St., 6th floor, Midtown

MEDIA:         Journalists are invited to attend this special media-only lunch. To RSVP contact Melissa Osgood at (607) 255-2059 or (716) 860-0587, or via email at mmo59@cornell.edu.

ITHACA, N.Y. – More than 900 farms and gardens in New York City grow food on rooftops, schoolyards, public housing developments, parkland, previously vacant lots and private land – and these farms and gardens provide significant health, social, economic and ecological benefits to their communities.

Learn about the benefits of urban farms and gardens during this month’s Inside Cornell journalist-only lunch on Wednesday, May 21, from noon to 1 p.m. at Cornell’s ILR Conference Center, 16 E. 34th St., 6th floor, Midtown. The lunch features urban green space and natural resource expert Philip Silva of Cornell.

Silva’s research uncovers the ecological, economic, nutrition and social benefits of urban gardens and farms. Silva is a Fellow on the Five Borough Farm project, developed by the Design Trust for Public Space in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to scientifically understand and maximize the benefits of urban agriculture in New York City. The results of the project’s second phase are published in the recently released book, “Five Borough Farm II: Growing the Benefits of Urban Agriculture in New York City.” The next phase of the Five Borough Farm project will equip a large number of farmers and gardeners with the first publicly accessible Data Collection Toolkit while also forging connections with the City and funding institutions to develop sustainable models of support for urban agriculture.

Is there an urban forest near your neighborhood? Silva is also the co-founder and co-director of TreeKIT, a small non-profit organization that helps city dwellers measure, map, and collaborative manage urban forests. Since 2010, TreeKIT volunteers have accurately mapped more than 12,000 street trees on hundreds of blocks throughout the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan in New York City. TreeKit is being used in the 2014 New York City Street Tree Census.  

About Inside Cornell: This event is part of a series held in New York City and Washington, D.C. featuring high-interest experts working at Cornell University. The free, catered lunch sessions are on-the-record, and media members are welcome to record video and audio as desired.