Rap star returns home to grassroots – QNS.com

Rap star returns home to grassroots

There’s no feeling like returning to your old neighborhood, having made it big — except, of course, if you are able to give something back.
That’s exactly what rap star 50 Cent (a.k.a. Curtis Jackson) did on Monday, November 3 when he and actress/singer Bette Midler cut the ribbon on The Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson Community Garden at 117-19 165th Street in Jamaica.
The New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and revitalizing parks, community gardens and public space in New York City, commissioned acclaimed landscape architect and designer, Walter Hood to redesign the NYRP community garden, which was underwritten by 50 Cent’s G-Unity Foundation.
A native of Jamaica, 50 Cent and his G-Unity Foundation joined forces with NYRP to bring Walter Hood’s designs to life in his old neighborhood as part of his personal mission to give back to the community that has supported him over the years.
“I am thrilled that 50 Cent and the G-Unity Foundation have become such a vital part of the NYRP family,” said Midler. “We are a perfect match!
Midler and 50 Cent were joined by New York City Council Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie who provided NYRP with an $80,000 grant toward garden programming and infrastructure. New York State Assemblywoman Vivian Cook and representatives from the offices of Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and New York State Senator Shirley Huntley also attended the garden opening.
The newly renovated garden will give members of the community access to much needed green space. According to Queens Community Board 12, the area currently has only 5 percent of the recommended amount of outdoor/open space to serve the neighborhood’s 52,000 children.
Community garden members will be able to host numerous activities in the space with the help of NYRP’s garden coordinator, including movie nights, garden workshops, family days and more.
“It is an honor and a privilege for me to partner with Bette Midler and New York Restoration Project to bring this garden to Jamaica, Queens, my childhood neighborhood,” said 50 Cent. “Every child should have access to open, green space where they can learn, play and be active in their community.”

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