Sustainable South Bronx: SSBx is a nonprofit organization founded by Majora Carter that played in a major role in the development of the South Bronx Greenway, aimed at increasing green space, expanding waterfront access, and improving transportation safety in the area. SSBx also funds programs for green job training, community greening, and social enterprise.
The Green Bronx Machine: Together with his high school students, teacher Stephen Ritz (somewhat accidentally) founded The Green Bronx Machine, a nonprofit dedicated to growing green and feeding and fostering healthy, high-achieving, happy members of the community. The group has harvested over 60,000 pounds of vegetables in the South Bronx, planting seeds in gardens, parks, and even on the walls of buildings in order to create new green spaces and distribute food to school cafeterias, homeless shelters, and soup kitchens across the county. At schools where ninety nine percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch, Ritz has effected measurable change: attendance rates have increased from forty to ninety three percent, one hundred percent of students have passed the New York State examinations, and all high school graduates are either working or enrolled in university programs. As Ritz is known to exclaim, “Behold the beauty and bounty that is Bronx county!”
Via Verde: The product of collaboration between New York City-based architects, developers, and residents that has completely upended traditional thinking regarding low-income housing. In stark contrast to the unattractive and poorly-equipped public housing projects of the past, Via Verde is centered on thoughtful green design and health-focused amenities. A mixed-income community fills the 222 residential units in a complex that is complete with green roofs, solar panels, courtyards, large windows, state of the art appliances and security, a fitness center, ample indoor and outdoor space, and urban farming plots. Classes and training programs are frequently held at Via Verde, and a medical center and pharmacy open to the entire community is located on the ground floor.
South Bronx Unite: A coalition of South Bronx residents, organizations, and allies recently formed in order to improve and protect the social, environmental, and economic future of the South Bronx. They are currently protesting the relocation of the manufacturing company FreshDirect to the area—as well as its enormous fleet of new delivery trucks. The group’s longterm goals include green businesses that provide living wage jobs for South Bronx residents and dedicated public green space, parks, and waterfront accessible to all at the Harlem River Yard.