In the garden underneath Long Island City’s staple Pepsi Cola sign, environmental scientist Summer Rayne Oakes and luxury apartment company TF Cornerstone joined forces to host the community’s first-ever plant swap event on Sept. 28.
The outdoor event brought together about 50 “plant parents,” who also received some tips about how to care for their plants from Oakes, founder of Homestead Brooklyn and author of “How to Make a Plant Love You.”
Some of those tips include understanding “light in your home by determining the intensity and which direction it’s coming from” and deciding whether you want to be a more hands-on or hands-off kind of plant parent.
“Plant swaps are such a great way to bring a community of plant lovers together and help raise funds and awareness for good local causes,” Oakes told QNS.
Oakes also mentioned how the plant swap raised funds from their ticket sales for Newtown Creek Alliance, a nonprofit working to restore, repair and revitalize the Long Island City waterfront.
“This was our first time bringing the swap to the area — and the first one outdoors — so I was thrilled that TF Cornerstone graciously opened up the garden in the back of 4610 Center Blvd. underneath the iconic Pepsi sign to host the event,” Oakes added. “Local residents got to mix and mingle with fellow plant lovers, and the weather couldn’t have been more cooperative.”
According to a TF Cornerstone spokesperson, this won’t be the last plant swap the organization hosts.
“TF Cornerstone believes in active, fun community events that benefit local organizations — similarly to how this plant swap benefited Newtown Creek Alliance,” TF Cornerstone said. “We hope this catalyzes the larger Queens community to create more plant swap events as they encourage the sustainable practice of trading plants.”
They added, “Rather than tossing unwanted plants out, you can find your plants a new home and find new plants to take home, all while meeting new people in your community.”
For those who’d like to find or submit local plant swaps in their area, Oakes invites them to visit her website for more details.