Eric Brelsford, Lead Software Developer and Data Analyst
Eric is the freelance programmer who put this site together. He also works on other, not unrelated, projects (Farming Concrete, Food Census, Garden Maps). He is interested in power relations in urban spaces. He is also interested in the potential uses of collective data collection and analysis as tools for direct action and organization. The code for this site and some of his other projects is available on GitHub, and you're invited to poke at it and reuse it however you like.
Paula Z. Segal, Founder, Director & Lead Facilitator
Paula is a facilitator- and annotator-at-large who has lived in Brooklyn for ten years and focused her work on building capacity and providing technical assistance for local community-based organizing and decentralized pedagogic practice. She writes about the law and geography as structures that shape life in the city (including about 596 Acres, specifically). Paula is a graduate of City University of New York Law School at Queens College, where she was a Haywood Burns Fellow in Human and Civil Rights and worked in the Economic Justice Project at Main Street Legal Services. She is a founding member of the NYC National Lawyers Guild Street Law Team. Before joining the legal profession, Paula taught English to Speakers of Other Languages, developed curricula and ran an all-volunteer adult English school on the Lower East Side. She was also a member of the Empty Vessel Project. Paula is an attorney admitted to practice in New York State and is working in the Disaster Recovery Unit at Staten Island Legal Services.
Aviva Coopersmith, Winter 2013 Intern
Anthony Mohen, Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Attorney
Anthony is an attorney, mediator, and native of New York State, Anthony has lived in Brooklyn for the last five years. He supervises students at the NYU School of Law Mediation Clinic and previously worked at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. He also volunteers with the Foundation for Responsible and Open Government (FROG), is the Treasurer at the Prospect Park CSA and is a Master Composter with the NYC Compost Project. He spends his spare time biking, reading philosophy, and hanging out with his cats.
Richard Semegram, Communications and Legislative Coordinator
Richard coordinated our first ever benefit event. He is now handling or communications, social media, and working on our legislative efforts. He is also an aspiring tenant advocacy lawyer.
Andrew Tucker, Development Associate
Is a fifth generation Louisvillian, and recent transplant to New York city. He has spent the last five years doing community organizing with low income groups, the homeless, and public housing residents around issues pertaining to their ‘right to the city’; as well as other geographically specific issues in Kentucky, including clean energy transition, restoration of voting rights for former felons, and tax reform. His interests include common property, urban forensics, the city as a site of conflict/change, and absurdity. He is a new resident to the Flatbush area of Brooklyn.
Stephan von Muehlen, Design Manager & Strategist
Stephan is a multi-disciplinary designer living and working in Brooklyn. His work tends to live at the intersection of technology, sustainable practice, and collaboration. He was a member of the Empty Vessel Project, a founder and the Design Director of of the technology startup EnergyHub, and is currently a member of the Mare Liberum boat-building collective and principal at the design and build consultancy Von Muehlen Industries, LLC. Stephan managed the design and production side of 596 Acres in 2012-13. He has been involved in Myrtle Village Green since renewed efforts for a community site on that DEP property were made in 2010 and in part of the compost cluster there!
Kaitlin Dougherty, Manhattan
Kaitlin is a revolutionary at heart and loves organizing. For 6 years she worked as community organizer for Camden Churches Organized for People in Camden, NJ. It was there she fell in love with community gardening and began to explore holistic health and food as medicine. She's a certified herbalist and yoga teacher. She also runs the Children's Aid Society Food Justice Program.
Kimberly Beazer, Bronx
Moving through roles of coordinator, instructor and manager, Kimberly, a dedicated greenie with over 15 years experience, has delivered quality project management for community-based organizations, nonprofits, private businesses and city & state agencies. With an MPA in Nonprofit Management and certified in several sustainable infrastructure practices such as green-roof installation/maintenance & IPM techniques, she has worked with many eco-minded organizations such as The Hudson River Clearwater, Greyston Community Gardens, The NY Botanical Garden & Sustainable South Bronx to educate and green NYC.
Rosemarie Miner, Brooklyn
OUR ADVISORY COMMITTEEOur programming is developed by an advisory committee that is made up of local project leaders that have emerged from sites that have organized using our tools (approximately 50%), members of partner organizations and the paid and volunteer team members who actually carry out the day-to-day work of the project.
Amy Laura Cahn (Garden Justice Legal Initiative of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia), Andrew Blancero, Chad Berkowitz, Helen Ho (Recycle-A-Bicycle), Leah Feder (Occupy Sandy, Sarapis), Mara Gittleman (Farming Concrete), Mark Taylor (Rankin & Taylor), Quilian Riano (DSGN AGNC), Shatia Jackson (462 Halsey Community Garden Co-Founder), Tami Johnson (A Small Green Patch Founder), Wendy Brawer (GreenMap Systems), Alexis Bhagat (Patchen Communtiy Square Core Member), Jane Moisan (Rankin & Taylor), Aazam Otero (Morning Glory Community Garden Member), Lacey Tauber, Tom Hallarman (Feedback Farms).
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Liz Barry, Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science and TreeKit co-founder
Eric Brelsford, 596 Acres Lead Software Developer and Data Analyst
Patrick Foster, environmental justice advocate and attorney, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Kristin Booth Glen, former CUNY Law School Dean, retired judge from the New York County Surrogate's Court & current CUNY professor
Paula Z. Segal, 596 Acres Founder, Director & Lead Facilitator
Shatia Strother, 462 Halsey Community Garden Co-Founder
Lucy McFadden, Fall 2012 Intern
Lucy helps 596 Acres on odd jobs, random tasks, and the like. Born and raised in Tennessee, she has lived in Colorado, New Hampshire, DC, Boston, and now Brooklyn. She enjoys drawing, eating roasted vegetables, and listening to bluegrass. She worked in politics in D.C. for a while, which helped her realize her interest in the design and function of urban space. While she applies to landscape architecture graduate programs for next fall, she is excited to help 596 Acres work its magic!
Eva Meszaros, Development Associate
Eva helped to seek out funding for 596 Acres and for the communities that have formed around the vacant lots for a year, starting in late 2011. By day, she is an editor and writer for a trade magazine covering the specialty food industry, published by a nonprofit organization fostering small food producers, some based right in Brooklyn and other parts of NYC. She grew up in the farming haven that is California, but her fascination with food policy and love of farmers markets bloomed only in recent years, as did an interest in contributing at the local level to organizations and projects focused on community development and food access.
Oksana Miranova, Data Analyst
Oksana is an Urban Planning graduate student at CUNY Hunter, with a focus on participatory planning and affordable housing issues. She particularly interested in non-speculative housing models. Oksana was born in Russia, but grew up in Coney Island, Brooklyn. She is the co-founder of the Newkirk Cares Collaborative. Her hard work is behind the precision of our data!
Cameron Moss, Web Design Intern
Cameron is an intern with 596 acres. He is an aspiring web designer assisting with website functionality. He grew up in the Bay Area and has lived in California for most of his life. He currently tutors math and runs the books at his wife's handbag company. Cameron can be found most Saturdays next to the brick oven at the North Dean Community Garden. He is anxious to build another at 463 Tompkins.
Mary Prall, Summer 2012 Intern.
Mary is a San Diego native who grew up in an agricultural town that fueled a strong passion for sustainable and local food. She moved to San Francisco to study culinary arts, and has worked at various bakeries and restaurants throughout the Bay Area. Currently she is a head baker at One Girl Cookies in Brooklyn. During summer 2012, she was an intern with 596 Acres and is now involved with starting her own community garden in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Her hobbies include brewing beer and making ice cream.
Julia Samuels, Digital Imaging Specialist
Julia gave 596 Acres its visual identity and continues was our stalwart pre-press coordinator, 2011-13. She was born and raised in Portsmouth, NH. She moved to Brooklyn, NY to study at Pratt Institute where she earned her BFA in Printmaking. She managed a bicycle taxi company in Manhattan where struggles with the city government lead to her prints being published in the New York Times. She now manages digital printing at Pratt Manhattan, and continues her own work in printmaking at the Gowanus Studio Space. She has been published by Cannonball Press and shown by the International Print Center of New York and has studied at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography. Find out more about Julia at her personal site.
Gabriel Willow, Chief Naturalist & Ecological Advisor In Residence
Gabriel is a naturalist, educator, and urban biologist with a particular passion for birds. He leads tours and teaches classes for NYC Audubon and Wave Hill, and was formerly the Senior Naturalist at the Prospect Park Audubon Center. He has taught and led tours to all five Boroughs, throughout NY, and abroad. He is also an illustrator and DJ. Gabriel develops educational programs for 596 Acres and mentors organizers.