Meet the 2014 Steering Committee
Bruce Kramer has lived in New York City since he was a child, has worked in the International Transport Industry for over twenty years and lived in Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood for almost as long. He is currently the Steering Committee Record Keeper(Secretary) and is running for re-election to his second, two-year term. Bruce enjoys rewarding relationships with his great neighbors and also enjoys local restaurants and establishments. Bruce has been a member of several of volunteer committees at Clinton Community Garden and has also enjoys jumping in to volunteer projects as necessary. He has also volunteered at various other places in the city. He has gardened a back plot for several years, and has been a member of the Steering Committee since 2011. Bruce believes this has been a great front seat to the wonderful services the Garden provides, as well as our gardening community. Bruce would like to continue his service to the Garden, including attention to needed infrastructure repairs.
Top of Page
I have been a back garden key holder at the garden since 2009. I had a sublet for one year, then got a regular plot by the compost, then moved to a sunnier plot that we have enjoyed since then. I come to the garden with my son Lincoln and my husband John. I wanted to have a plot in the garden for several reasons: for respite in the middle of concrete, for a chance to connect to the earth and grow my own food, and to raise my son with the values of community, place, and having a garden. I got onto the waitlist when I first moved into Hell’s Kitchen in 2002. I’ve been coming to the garden since then and found many moments of solace and calm in the public garden before I got a plot. Lincoln was born in 2005. When I was offered an initial sub-let, I knew I wanted to be able to teach Lincoln about the earth, planting and growing food, and tending a plot.
Lincoln was fortunate to attend 43rd Street Kids Pre-school in Manhattan Plaza and learn about plants and how to grow them from Ann Haas when she did a study with them. She also brought the class to the garden to show them the different plants there. John and I were on the sidewalk committee for the first few years. We dutifully shoveled snow and swept the sidewalk as needed and on the nighttime lock up committee for the last few years. My qualifications include being Chapter Leader of my UFT affiliated teacher’s union for three years, and therefore understand the protocols of business and negotiation. I have been making preparations to start my own non-profit corporation in the last year, studying various aspects of not-for-profit organizations. I am a hardworking, mostly organized, thoughtful, Midwestern-raised person. I am abroad-thinking interdisciplinary artist and scholar. (You may look at my website, www.brittawheeler.com) I am a member of this community, teaching college in New York City, and live around the corner from the garden. Primarily, I am interested in serving my community and ensuring the future of the garden for my son and his generation.
Neal Schettler brought Clarice, Cai, and me into the garden nineteen years ago. He taught us how to trim the tulip magnolia tree, then had us care for that front bed plot. We’ve been doing so for the past sixteen years. Neal taught me how to dig dry wells to solve our drainage problems. The garden now has ten. We need a few more. In 2008, Jane Greenlaw asked me to tend the lawn. I knew nothing about grass. Since then, with the help of too many people to mention, we have been refurbishing, enriching, and revitalizing the lawn. In 2009, under the direction of Cornell University’s agrarian school, we began a seven year soil treatment plan. With two years to go, I think we are going to have a beautiful self-sustaining lawn. Something to enjoy for years to come.
This year, Anne Haas and I realized that the garden no longer had a functioning winter sidewalk snow removal team. With some really great people, we have taken care of the five, so far(!), snow falls. It’s fun to follow the weather, then meet up with terrific folks, and shovel snow! Neal taught me that a community garden is a bottom-up organization. The Steering Committee is there to provide the gardeners with what they need to make the best and most beautiful garden possible. Transparency is the key. The garden’s infrastructure is in need of repair. The loft area in the back in no longer useable. The front fence has several rusted uprights, too. Infrastructure is important.
I am gardener here since 1990 (24 years), a former steering member, and regular volunteer at the Garden. Over the years I am probably best known as the organizer of the 4th of July Barbeque; I have been one of the lead organizers and “chief griller” for at least 15 years. I try to attend all of the cleanup days, and I often times bring some of my students with me. I am a noted environmentalist, mostly for my expertise in multifamily energy efficiency, but I had a previous career as a lawn maintenance specialist and tree pruner. I worked on farms that were 10-60 acres, and kept huge plots of grass green without watering or feeding chemicals. I assisted in writing the original grants that brought plumbing to the back and side gardens, and indeed, assisted in the Garden’s efforts throughout the early 90’s of getting foundation and other funding for things that the Garden did as of right.
Locally, I am the (volunteer) President of the Board of GreenHomeNYC, and I run their GreenCareerMeetup, which has successfully gotten more than one person a real job in the environmental field every month for the last 3 years. In my work life, I am the Vice President for Energy Initiatives at the Community Preservation Corporation, anon-profit lending institution that has provided a consistent source of capital to underserved affordable housing markets throughout New York State since 1974 (even in Hell’s Kitchen). I am sorry that I cannot make the meeting on March 4th, I am doing an all day presentation at a conference in Boston that I am required to stay at for two additional days.
I’m interested in Volunteer Coordinator or Special Events (person). I’ve been aback gardener for five (5) years at Clinton garden and have done the volunteer job of sweeping the sidewalk and currently have the job (along with others) to keep the toolshed clean and straightened out. Prior to Clinton Community Garden I had a small plot on West 52nd St. as part on Housing Conservation Coordinators where I did an internship as a social work masters candidate. I do have an MSW/LMSW and have worked and volunteered in the community in that capacity. I’m born and reared in Hell’s Kitchen and my interest(s) are working with community leaders towards serving the community. I would be pleased to serve and the Steering Committee. Thank you for your consideration.