Simotas, Gianaris Attend Ribbon Cutting to Present Bryant High School Rooftop Terrace Garden

Innovative greenspace will promote environmentalism in Queens
November 4, 2013

Astoria, N.Y. – On Monday, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and Senator Michael Gianaris were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony at William Cullen Bryant High School. The terrace garden is a culmination of the efforts of the Horticultural Society of New York (the Hort), Bryant High School students, and participants in the Global Kids organization.

“It is incredible to see the beautiful results of the hard work and dedication of these young men and women,” Simotas, an alumnus of Bryant herself, said. “This rooftop garden will not only promote a sustainable, green western Queens, but also serve as a great legacy for students to leave behind as they graduate.”

During October, the Hort’s own Green Team installed the terrace rooftop garden at Bryant with significant input and involvement from students. This is among the first public high school terrace rooftop gardens in Queens, and is the fifth garden to be installed by the Hort in 2013. It features 57 green-roof grid modules with perennial shrubs, colorful flowers, healthy herbs, and seasonal vegetables.

“The Bryant High School rooftop garden will not only help our young people develop an appreciation of the environment from a young age; it is also a testament to our community’s resiliency,” Gianaris said. “The funding for this green space, and five others like it throughout western Queens, is a result of our efforts following the July 2006 blackout. I am proud to see that we have used a dark time in our past to make such a positive impact, and I thank the Horticultural Society, Global Kids, and everyone at Bryant for helping make this happen.”

“Every time I meet with students, it is clear that the number one issue facing their generation is the preservation and protection of our environment,” Simotas explained to the students on hand for the ceremony. “It is truly encouraging to see young people not only concerned about the environment, but actually taking concrete steps to protect it.”