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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, History, Justice, Health, Climate Action

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, New York City


YouTube Video

How Radical Gardeners Took Back New York City

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  • This video tells the stories of two influential women in New York, Hattie Carthan and Liz Christy, who worked tirelessly to improve their communities through gardening and greening abandoned urban areas.
  • It provides the historical context for these events and the present-day benefits that remain for these urban communities.
Teaching Tips


  • The interviews, maps, historical footage, and photographs make this video tangible and impactful.
  • It highlights women, immigrant communities, communities of color, and low-income communities.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are ads before and during the video.
  • The video content ends at 11 minutes, 53 seconds.


  • Social studies, history, and civics classes could use this video when discussing redlining, the lack of trees and parks in low-income neighborhoods, and gentrification.
  • Advanced students could explore this Google Earth resource about urban heat islands and come up with solutions that could be applied to the northeastern United States.
  • To explore this topic further, consider using these StC lesson plans about redlining and green spaces and this video about the benefits of urban trees.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a 13-minute video that presents an inspirational discussion about ways in which marginalized communities in New York City worked hard to prevent overdevelopment within their neighborhoods and worked to form and preserve community gardens. This is an interesting look at a particular chapter in U.S. history and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.9-12 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
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