By Naeisha Rose
Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon came back to Queens to help plant trees in Jamaica Saturday.
The actress, who was born in Jackson Heights, appeared in collaboration with the New York Restoration Project, and NYC Film Green Saturday to plant 20 fruit trees she donated at NYCHA’s South Jamaica Houses in Jamaica.
In 2015, NYRP helped South Jamaica Houses grow a small garden into a large and vibrant community space through the Gardens for the City program, which lends materials, labor, and support to neighborhoods throughout the city. In the last three years, residents have grown tomatoes, sweet potatoes and kale and shared it with elderly residents living in the houses.
Sarandon complimented the South Jamaica House residents on their thriving garden and said she was sure the fruit trees were going to be well taken care of.
“I was born and raised in New York in Jackson Heights and I raised my kids here,” she said. “So I’m very proud to be a New Yorker, as are my kids, and the city has been so generous to the film and TV community, so it was a really easy thing to talk to people about offsetting their carbon footprint by planting trees. It excites me so much, everybody was enthusiastic about the project. In the future I look forward to showing everybody where the trees went and to be able to say more tree are being planted.”
Eleanor Ince-Roberts, a resident of the houses and the Green Committee captain, said she was thankful for Sarandon’s investment and that she has loved caring for the community garden.
“I want to teach others how to grow their own food because I believe your diet should be life-giving, not life-threatening,” she said.
NYRP Executive Director Deborah Marton said the organization hopes to expand its footprint and make a difference in all five boroughs to create a safer, healthier, and happier city.
“We’re here because we know everyone who lives in South Jamaica Houses believes in the power of green spaces to forge stronger communities,” she said. “At NYRP we know access to nature is a fundamental human right and that clean, safe and beautiful open spaces make for safer happier communities. Susan is here because she is an incredible advocate for NYC and social justice.”
Other donors to the NYC Film Green program include producer Ryan Murphy, and actors Ben Stiller, Edward Norton and Naomi Watts.
Singer, actress Bette Midler founded New York Restoration Project in 1995 to plant trees, revive public gardens and bring green back into city life.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart