Landscaping is a great way to increase the value of your home — spending as little as 5% of your home value can get a return on investment (ROI) of 150% — and enrich your community.

This fact was made clear in several major cities this last week, including East Harlem, New York City, when Project Evergreen introduced two new projects with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen, oversaw the renovation and restoration of the Neighbors of Vega Baja community garden as part of the “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.” Program.

“With more than half of the population living in urban areas, it’s critical that neighborhood parks and community gardens are available for the health benefits and social well-being of kids and adults. Additionally, green spaces in cities work to sequester carbon and create oxygen for those living in the community. Project EverGreen works collaboratively with individuals, businesses and like-minded groups to renovate and restore green spaces.”

The project had many phases, and many different companies and donors interested in its success. It started with a donation of gravel and topsoil from Artisan Gardens Landscape, used to fill larger planter boxes, and then a truckload of mulch to the open garden center area.

Following this, there was 30 hydrangeas, fruit-bearing bushes, and new apple trees supplied by Plant Detectives, Inc.

There were over 350 additional vegetables, decorative and ornamental flowering shrubs and herbs donated by Plant Detectives, Inc. and planted by ConEd employee volunteers prior to the dedication ceremony.

According to Project EverGreen, more than $15,000 in materials and services were donated for this project by both individuals and companies interested.

Carlos Martinez, deputy director, GreenThumb (NYC Parks), was excited about the educational opportunities presented by the new parks and their renovations.

“Community gardens, such as this, change the trajectory of knowledge and way of thinking. For the kids of NYC, growing vegetables is a new experience. Our job is far from done.”