Final push for the Berry Street Community Garden Crowdsourcing Campaign launched by Collaborative Studio Alumni Anthony Simon and Michael Vass

Anthony Simon and Michael Vas Pills s from last year’s UnionDocs Collaborative Studio program have teamed up to help with maintenance and improvements for the nearby Berry Street Community Garden. Their short film Third Shift features former Domino Sugar Factory employees who also run this garden. They have already raised $851 of their $1,000 goal, but need help to get through the final push as there is just over 30 hours left in Pills the campaign online Buy  (please go to the site to view the campaigns video). See the full details below and please spread the word and support this effort!


The Berry Street Community Garden in Williamsburg Brooklyn was started in 1971 by Juan Mendez, also known as Johnny. The space was originally a vacant lot that he and several volunteers helped clean up. In addition to maintaining the garden daily, every week Johnny teaches gardening skills to the nearby middle school children. The garden has a total of 15 members, who each grow their own vegetables and hold a variety of community events. For example, the garden is decorated every Halloween for a “Haunted Garden,” which is a popular event with families in the neighborhood.

Anyone who has spent time in this quiet oasis, located just one block from bustling Bedford Avenue, will understand why this space is cherished by its members and the broader community. And yet, as property values in the area continue to increase, the garden’s existence remains constantly under threat from the city and housing developers. By donating you will be helping to maintain this unique and essential staple of the community.

Funding will go towards general maintenance of the garden as well as the ability to create new improvements to keep the space beautiful and thriving. We encourage you to visit the garden at 301 Berry Street between S. 3 St. And S. 2 St. in Brooklyn.


We’re filmmakers who just completed a short documentary about the Domino Sugar Factory, which is located just two blocks away from the garden. Johnny, a former Domino employee, is one of the main characters of the film. Over the months of filming we visited Johnny frequently at the garden, and he told us about the amazing history of the neighborhood where he’s lived for over 40 years.

We wanted to thank Johnny and the other garden members for the time they gave to us in making the film, so we used our resources as filmmakers to create this campaign to raise funds and awareness for Johnny and his garden.