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Meet the New Yorker transforming old tree-pits from trash bins into stunning flower beds

4 min read

Good Stuff
Meet the New Yorker transforming old tree-pits from trash bins into stunning flower beds
Source: Facebook/JustOnePerson

By beautifying these forlorn eyesores into vibrant micro-oases, he is trying to make a small impact on his local community and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

Just One Person trying to make a difference

New Yorker David Kass decided to beautify his neighbourhood in Chelsea, Manhattan, by taking over empty tree beds and putting in plants. When he first moved to the area, he noticed the empty tree beds had become nothing more than garbage pits. This upset him and he kept thinking someone was going to do something about it. Eventually, David, who likes gardening, decided that as it seemed nobody was going to do anything, he was going to do something himself — and the results have been pretty transformative! 

Source: Facebook/MakeAChangeWorld

“When you see something going from garbage to the garden, it kind of makes it all worthwhile.”

“When you see something going from garbage to the garden, it kind of makes it all worthwhile.” Kass told MakeAChangeWorld in a recent interview. 

David Kass has to find time between his real job as a lighting designer to actually garden and maintain the miniature green oases, taking out the trash and keep them looking tidy. There are currently 22 of them dotted around the neighbourhood.

When he first started, people would ask him if he had permission, and he would reply, “I don’t know!“ The most common question is, “Do you work for the city?“, to which David would reply, “No, I just live around here.“ 

Today, David finds people come to him for advice on how to garden these micro-patches of dirt in Manhattan. 

Source: Facebook/MakeAChangeWorld

Kass has to find time between his real job as a lighting designer to actually garden and maintain the miniature green oases, taking out the trash and keep them looking tidy.
There are currently 22 of them dotted around the neighbourhood. Kass has to find time between his real job as a lighting designer to actually garden and maintain the miniature green oases, taking out the trash and keep them looking tidy. Source: Facebook/MakeAChangeWorld
When it felt like everything had stopped, here was somebody out there gardening as if there was nothing wrong.
Kass says there was something very normal about seeing flowers, something very uplifting about seeing something continuing on when everything else had come to a halt. When it felt like everything had stopped, here was somebody out there gardening as if there was nothing wrong. Source: Facebook/MakeAChangeWorld

“All it takes is just one person. Every person is significant.”

Now that David’s guerrilla gardening activities have become established, there are different comments because now people recognise him. A lot of people simply come and thank him, especially this year during the pandemic.

In an interview with MakeAChangeWorld, David explained that he began in March 2020. As the pandemic hit and everybody was locked down, he decided to plant cold-weather pansies, and people were really grateful. He says there was something very normal about seeing flowers, something very uplifting about seeing something continuing on when everything else had come to a halt. When it felt like everything had stopped, here was somebody out there gardening as if there was nothing wrong.

“All it takes is just one person. Every person is significant. Even though New York is a city of 9 million people, it’s a city of neighbourhoods. And those neighbourhoods have blocks. You know, you just shrink it down and it really comes down to the fact that people can make a difference. Even in this vast concrete jungle with millions of people walking around.

“I did it because it was something I hated to see. Nobody said, ‘Hey, David, clean this up!’ Nobody said that to me.

“It’s bags full of trash, bottles, cigarette butts. The stuff that you see that somebody didn’t have the wherewithal to carry to the corner and throw in a trashcan. If nobody else is going to do it, then I might as well.”

Follow David on Facebook for photos of his magnificent mini micro-gardens of Manhattan.

Source: Facebook/MakeAChangeWorld

He started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the costs.
David purchases all the plants, maintains and waters the gardens to prevent them from becoming garbage pits. He started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the costs. Source: Facebook/MakeAChangeWorld
“The stuff that you see that somebody didn’t have the wherewithal to carry to the corner and throw in a trashcan. If nobody else is going to do it, then I might as well.”
“It’s bags full of trash, bottles, cigarette butts…” “The stuff that you see that somebody didn’t have the wherewithal to carry to the corner and throw in a trashcan. If nobody else is going to do it, then I might as well.” Source: Facebook/MakeAChangeWorld
David Kass Is Planting Flowers In New York “All it takes is just one person. Every person is significant.” Source: Facebook - Make a Change World
Make an Impact

Support David beautifying New York

“I'm Just One Person trying to make a difference in the Chelsea neighborhood, one tree pit and one bike lane micro-garden at a time. You can be Just One Person too! Contribute what you can to be a part of the beautification. No contribution is too small.” — David Kass