The following is an article from the upcoming issue of The SBU Press, a publication by the South Bronx United Newspaper Club.
By Ayouba Swaray and Mohamed Kourouma
Audrey Wong, has lived in the Bronx for almost 40 years and is passionate about nurturing the beauty of her borough. She is one of many volunteers who helps keep New Roots Farm in Mott Haven thriving. New Roots is a non-profit community farm managed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) an organization that helps refugees all over the world.
Audrey said, “about eight beds belong to refugees. Many of the refugees come from cultures that are agriculture based and so it’s gives them a connection to the new world that they are coming into.”
Audrey is a retired museum educator with Chinese and Jamaican heritage. She spent many years teaching youth at the Bronx Museum. She loved her work but was troubled that students seemed to have little hope for their futures. Some would tell her, “we are not going to live to the age of 18.” Audrey explained that if you get to know the Bronx through the media you would think it was a terrible place. The reality is, it is just painted with the wrong kind of brush. Meaning, that others describe it to be worse then it really is.
The Bronx has many wonderful landmarks like Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo, the Botanical Garden, Fordham and Lehman College. Audrey said, “That’s what we need the young people to understand so they don’t internalize what the media says.”
With the assistance of her fellow gardener, Dena, Audrey plants things at New Roots that can be enjoyed by everyone. The farm is a point of loveliness that livens up the neighborhood and the passers by. It is just another reason why The Bronx is an exciting place to call home.