NEWBURGH – Speaker Carl Heastie continued his annual statewide tour Wednesday, joining Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson to visit an urban farm providing free or low-cost produce to city residents and the historic Downing Park, where a new project is underway.
“I can’t thank Assemblymember Jacobson enough for inviting me today and showcasing the growth happening across his community,” said Speaker Heastie. “Both the Newburgh Urban Food and Farm Initiative, and the African American Burial Ground project at Downing Park, show us the incredible work accomplished when community members work together. The Assembly Majority is committed to supporting important projects, like the farm and park, in communities all across our state.”
“I’m honored to have Speaker Heastie join us today for a tour of Downing Park, and Newburgh Urban Farm and Food Initiative,” said Assemblymember Jacobson. “There is something special about neighbors helping neighbors, and the farm seeks to do that each and every day by providing produce to our neighbors that need it the most. Not only that, but our community has also been busy collaborating with city officials to ensure the Newburgh African American Burial Ground project comes to fruition. I’m incredibly proud to showcase all your hard work to Speaker Heastie today, and I continue to be committed to supporting future projects within our community.”
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Jacobson began their tour at the Newburgh Urban Farm and Food Initiative (NUFFI) with NUFFI Executive Director Virginia Kasinki. The group advises community groups and individuals on how to test soil for hazardous contaminants and safely install an urban garden while providing free or low-cost produce to residents and employment training to community members who help tend the garden, thanks in part to $10,000 allocated in the budget by the Assembly Majority.
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Jacobson then made a second stop to Downing Park where city officials provided a tour and discussed future plans, including the planned Newburgh African American Burial Ground that would provide a home for the human remains disturbed in 2008 during the reconstruction of the Broadway School. The Assembly Majority allocated $25,000 to support the Downing Park Planning Committee and is committed to the continued support of local projects like those underway in Newburgh.