Tag Archives: New York Restoration Project

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Toronto’s ravines are in dire health. Bette Midler’s NYRP may provide an example to get them back to health

The Star
Toronto’s ravines are in dire health.
By PATTY WINSA, Data Reporter
Mon, Dec. 31, 2018

Bette Midler gardening

In 2007, then-New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg planted a Carolina Silverbell on a street corner in the Bronx to launch MillionTreesNYC, a 10-year plan with an ambitious goal to plant nearly 10 times as many trees as had been planted by the city in the previous decade.

Standing beside Bloomberg was Bette Midler, who was lending star power and more than $30 million (U.S.) to the effort through New York Restoration Project, a non-profit she founded in 1995 to create green spaces in densely populated areas of the city that lack adequate municipal support, according to the organization’s website. Read More

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Global Impact of Bette Midler’s Philanthropy

BORGEN Magazine
The Global Impact of Bette Midler’s Philanthropy
JULY 26, 2018

Bette Midler

SEATTLE — In addition to being a Grammy and Tony-winning singer and actress, Bette Midler has dedicated herself to many philanthropic causes, supporting several humanitarian and human service organizations. Bette Midler’s philanthropy includes providing monetary support for several organizations that work to assist those living in extreme poverty.

Some of the many nonprofits that Bette Midler has funded include Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights First and The Mirembe Project. Both of these programs focus on supporting human rights and empowerment in developing countries and stress the importance of individuals making a difference and getting results by conducting several campaigns to raise awareness.

Bette Midler’s philanthropy extends beyond providing donations, as she is more heavily involved in these three organizations:

Smile Train a Benefactor of Bette Midler’s Philanthropy

Smile Train focuses on training local doctors to perform cleft repair surgery. In countries facing extreme poverty, it can be difficult to find doctors who are properly trained to care for affected children. Smile Train believes that through the doctors it trains and the doctors who learn from these trainees, the proper care can be provided. Often, these children need more dental care and Smile Train provides it when available.

The impact of this organization is huge, with more than one million surgeries being performed since 1999. Every five minutes, a child’s life is impacted by Smile Train. Midler commented in a statement for the Smile Train website, “It’s incredible the number of children’s lives transformed by Smile Train every day.”

Worldwide Orphans Foundation Works to Support Children in Need

Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO) provides education, medical care and psychosocial support for communities in need. It focuses on helping children become thriving adults who can positively impact their communities. Element of Play (EOP) is a program developed by WWO to address childhood trauma in a positive manner. EOP has a special curriculum to encourage children to participate in creative play. This program has a positive impact on children’s social, physical and emotional wellbeing and helps heal trauma.

The results show a drastic decrease in abuse and neglect within the communities affected. To date, WWO has served more than 108,000 children in developing countries. Bette Midler has supported WWO by auctioning off tickets to the New York Restoration Project’s Annual Halloween Gala.

Midler Gets Involved with Committees for Hope North

Hope North was started with the belief that every child deserves the chance to have a childhood. Thousands of Ugandan children have been forced to become child soldiers for the Lord’s Resistance Army; the war has also made millions of children orphans and refugees. Hope North is a school that provides education, an arts center, vocational training and a working farm. It describes itself as “a school, a home and a promise.” Bette Midler has supported this organization by being on the host committee for the Hope North Gala, which was attended by many celebrities with the goal of raising funds for Hope North’s operating expenses.

Bette Midler has used her platform as a legendary actress and singer to assist organizations of all kinds. She supports those who are in need of help across the world and is an outspoken advocate for those who do not have a voice.

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Bette Midler Tells AD About the Importance of Community Gardens (and Her Personal Garden Too!)

Bette Midler Tells AD About the Importance of Community Gardens (and Her Personal Garden Too!)
Posted June 22, 2018

Bette Midler, AD

Bette Midler joined Michael Kors as she enthusiastically lent her voice in support of the opening of Essex Street Community Garden in the heart of Brooklyn. “I’m screaming, and I’m going to lose my voice,” the Grammy winner exclaimed to the crowd as a series of elevated subway cars thundered overhead. “And we definitely don’t want that.” For nearly three decades Midler has been a champion of public green spaces through her nonprofit New York Restoration Project, which has helped develop more than fifty urban gardens throughout New York’s five boroughs. And in her private life, the singer’s passion for homegrown food has led her to cultivate a wide variety of vegetables in her own garden, which boasts as many as 20 kinds of peppers. Here, she shares with us some of her knowledge about both public and private gardening and preserving a cause that’s very important to her.

Architectural Digest: How long has this been a passion of yours?

Bette Midler: When I came back to New York in 1994, the place was a train wreck. Giuliani had just been elected, and there seemed to be a shift. I started picking up garbage along the West Side Highway. At that time there was no development along the West Side Highway at all, and they had been fighting over the waterfront since World War II. Somehow I started picking up garbage—and I’m not taking credit for this—but I will say that a lot of stuff started happening. I started this organization with a friend of mine in 1995 and we’ve been going ever since. These gardens are just part of what we do. We have 52 community gardens, but that’s just a little part of what we do. We teach children, we build parks, we’ve renovated parks—not community gardens. They’re two entirely different things. We have real estate all over town. These gardens we own, but we help the park department. We were instrumental in planting a million trees here in the city. That’s what we do.

AD: I actually just saw an old episode of the Simpsons that showed you picking up trash and chasing down litterbugs.

BM: That’s my favorite thing ever. It’s genius. They play it a lot and it’s my favorite thing.

Architectural Digest: Why do you think having garden space is important for everyone? Read More

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Trees Grow in Brooklyn, Thanks to Michael Kors and Bette Midler

The Cut
Trees Grow in Brooklyn, Thanks to Michael Kors and Bette Midler
By Emilia Petrarca
JUNE 22, 2018

It was hard to hear Bette Midler singing as the JMZ train thundered past the Essex Street Community Garden in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon. But the show must go on.

Midler had a job to do. She was there to help her longtime friend Michael Kors and his husband, Lance LePere, cut the ribbon for the newly restored green space, which they helped bring to life in partnership with the New York Restoration Project (NYRP). To celebrate, Kors hosted a block party on the summer solstice with live music, food trucks, and face paint.

“New York is our home and an unending source of inspiration for our work,” said Kors in a statement. “We’re honored to be able to help Bette and her colleagues at NYRP. Their work helps improve the lives of everyone in New York City by bringing a little nature to the urban environment and creating safe, healthy spaces where local communities can connect.”

“In the end, Michael and Lance wanted this garden to have something for everyone in the community and that’s really important because without the community, no space can thrive,” said Midler. “This garden has something for everyone. It has places to relax, a place to meet, a place to have fun: weddings, birthday parties, memorials, concerts, movies, whatever you can think of.”

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Bette Midler & NYRP: Essex Street Community Garden Grand Opening & Block Party

We had an incredible time at Essex Street Community Garden yesterday! Neighborhood gardeners, NYRP’s founder Bette Midler, Michael Kors, who sponsored the garden, and people from all over the neighborhood came out en masse! There were food trucks with pizza, tacos, and ice cream, face-painting for the kids, and the High & Mighty Brass Band killing it under the tent!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Bette Midler And Michael Kors To Attend Grand Opening Of NYRP’s Essex Street Community Garden 6/21/18

Look To The Stars
Bette Midler And Michael Kors To Attend Grand Opening Of NYRP’s Essex Street Community Garden
June 20, 2018

On Thursday, June 21, New York Restoration Project, which has spent more than twenty years transforming open spaces in New York’s under-resourced communities to be safer, healthier, and happier, will be joined by its founder Bette Midler to celebrate the Grand Opening of Essex Street Community Garden with a Summer Solstice Block Party in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.

Generous supporter of NYRP and the Essex Street Community Garden, Michael Kors, will help lead the festivities. The event – free and open to the public – will include a ribbon cutting-cutting, remarks by Bette Midler, Michael Kors, and NYRP Executive Director Deborah Marton, and will commence with a block party on Fulton Street with food trucks, face painting, live music, and more.

The 3,200 square foot garden has been updated and renovated to include an off-grid solar system with low-voltage lighting and a vertical screen for projecting outdoor movies. The site is also able to support a local WiFi network. Eleven raised garden beds have been installed along with an irrigation system, which collects rainwater from the neighboring building’s roof in a large storage tank. The centerpiece of the garden is a large beautiful shade structure and a patio with permeable pavement. Community members grow everything from peppers and tomatoes to eggplant and oregano. A circular planter and seat wall is constructed of stone salvaged from the site. Essex Street Community Garden was established in 1996 by local gardeners and is located within a few short blocks of five different public schools.



Michael Kors and Lance Le Pere

New York Restoration Project believes nature is a fundamental right of every New Yorker, and we work to manifest that right by partnering with local communities, public agencies, and the private sector on a daily basis. We aspire to expand our footprint and impact in all five boroughs to make a safer, healthier, and happier city. Read More

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Bette Midler Wants Donald Trump to “Open His Eyes for Once”

Vanity Fair
Bette Midler Wants Donald Trump to “Open His Eyes for Once”
JUNE 13, 2018 6:35 PM

Just a few days after Donald Trump skipped a G7 session on the environment, one of his former Twitter targets was out in New York to advocate for it. Bette Midler, whose nonprofit, New York Restoration Project, cleans up parks and gardens throughout New York City, hosted the organization’s 17th annual Spring Picnic gala at Harlem’s Rodale Pleasant Park Community Garden on Tuesday. And maybe it’s the early summer weather, or her imminent return to Broadway as the fearlessly optimistic star of Hello, Dolly!, but Midler was in a more conciliatory mood than Trump usually is.

“Holy cow, I could go off. I’m saying nice things tonight, so I’m biting my tongue,” Midler said when asked what she would say to Trump to persuade him on the environment. “I will say: no administration lasts forever. That’s the only positive thing about all of this.”

Midler’s and Trump’s Twitter sparring goes back to 2012, when he devoted no fewer than five tweets to personally insulting her. Midler continues to keep up her end of the conversation, including this June 7 tweet:

Bette Midler
#Satan is jealous of #Trump.

10:52 AM – Jun 7, 2018

Midler, who fell in love with nature while growing up in Hawaii, is perplexed that the president and White House officials are ignoring the rise of natural disasters and studies stating that climate change is increasing the risk of extreme-weather events, including droughts, flooding, and heat waves.

“Something is going on. Some of the fires, the hurricanes, the snow storms, the gigantic floods, and natural disasters that happened all over the world show that things are not the way they were. He needs to open his eyes for once,” Midler said. “If you are old as I am—and I’m pretty old—you know that something has changed. We need leadership with an intellect, [that] has a vision, and believes that we have to accomplish in solving these problems.”

Blondie singer Debbie Harry, a supporter of the project, echoed Midler’s sentiments. She finds it “scary” that Trump doesn’t care about the state of the environment, and that business takes precedence over the natural world.

“He’s senseless, and I doubt he has any emotional depth of any sort,” said Harry, who led a sing-along of the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” with Midler during the gala’s dinner. “It’s tragic that he doesn’t care about the environment or anything else except himself. I find it unbelievable. What Bette is doing is helping everyone. The more green spaces we have, people are happier and feel better. He can learn a lot from her.”

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bette Midler Has The Green Fingers New Yorkers Love

Out Magazine
Bette Midler’s Green Fingers
JUNE 13 2018 12:00 PM EDT

Bette Midler, Shovel, Tree

New Yorkers will tell you they would literally kill for a bit of outdoor space.  Parks and community gardens are a precious commodity in this town, and a lifeline to stressed hot city dwellers both young and old.  Luckily the Big Apple has a seed-planting superhero in the one and only Bette Midler, who hosted a perfect summer evening picnic in East Harlem at one of the sites she helped rescue, and partied with Debbie Harry and Michael Kors and a room of generous benefactors.

Miss M. started the New York Restoration Project in 1995 with a goal to nurture and protect green spaces in low-income areas of all five boroughs.  “NYRP bought 52 plots from Mayor Guiliani, most of which had squatter gardens since the seventies. He was going to put them up for sale to developers, which I thought was unacceptable and I bought all 52.”  Along with executive director Deborah Marton and a truly dedicated staff, they are finishing up the last of the 52 spaces this year. “It’s been Read More

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Video & Photos: Bette Midler’s 2018 Spring Picnic With A Little Help From Blondie’s Debbie Harry And John Pizzarelli – Lots Of Fun Had!

Bette Midler, NYRP, Spring Picnic, Banner


Once again, Bette Midler throws a fundraiser for the New York Restoration Project to restore and create parks and green spaces in NYC. Bette Midler, Michael Kors, Debbie Harry and Trudie Styler are just some of the celebs who are spearheading the efforts to bring nature to lower-income areas, to keep gardens from being sold to developers and to turn abandoned lots into beautiful public spaces for all of us to share. What an inspiration! But that’s our Bette!


Bette Midler, Debbie Harry, Spring Picnic 2018


Bette Midler, Debbie Harry, 2018, Spring Picnic


Bette Midler, Michael Kors, Spring Picnic, 2018


Bette Midler, Spring Picnic 2018

Bette Midler, Spring Picnic Performers, 2018


Bette Midler, Spring Picnic 2018

Bette Midler, Debbie Harry, Spring Picnic 2018

Bette Midler, Debbie Harry, Michael Kors, and Deborah Marton

Bette Midler, Debbie Harry, Michael Kors, and Deborah Marton



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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Susan Sarandon Does A Little Digging And Planting For Bette Midler’s NYRP

Times Ledger
Susan Sarandon returns home to Queens to plant trees
By Naeisha Rose
MAY 10, 2018

Susan Sarandon, Planting Trees

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.

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