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Last Saturday the residents from the Melrose community and beyond gathered at the Bronx Documentary Center for the launch of Nina Burman’s exhibit, “Bronx Gardens“. (Read Nina Burman’s interview on this project)
The exhibition itself is a journey through community gardens of the South Bronx that documents and tells the story of residents committed to turning rubble strewn lots into mini green oases among the concrete urban jungle landscape. Bronx Gardens is just one of many that are a part the Climate Change projects of the NOOR Foundation which “… is an international non-profit organization creating and distributing compelling photojournalistic works with the aim to raise awareness, enhance an understanding of the world and to contribute to the visual history of mankind.”

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The event was celebrated with a good old garden party with eats, face painting for kids and even the next door neighbor providing “coquito helado” (Puerto Rican icees). We arrived promptly at 4PM, the starting time and by the time I left at 7:30PM the party was still quite packed and abuzz with locals just having a good time.

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In just a year that the BDC has opened its doors and planted roots in Melrose it has grown to be an integral part of our community and identity in the South Bronx. Not only have they catered to an obvious thirst for cultural and artistic wants and needs of the area but they have become a true part of our very fabric by being exemplary neighbors. This is evident in the amount of locals visible at such events as the garden party. As time has progressed, more and more residents have participated in events clearly showing that BDC is an important part of our family. It is also further proof that local residents want, need and deserve to have such institutions like any other neighborhood in our city.
Bronx Gardens which runs from now through August 16th, 2012 and the garden itself will be used by the Bronx Documentary Center as a platform for workshops for all ages and engage residents in food and environmental justice.
To find out more about how you can help, volunteer and even make a donation just feel free to contact them.

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Bronx Documentary Center is located at 614 Courtlandt Avenue and 151st Street in the Melrose neighborhood of the South Bronx.

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