The Lower East Side Ecology Center Turns 25!

I turned in the first draft of my cookbook yesterday, woo hoo! Now I get to go back to the kitchen — for a good cause! Tomorrow is the Lower East Side Ecology Center’s 25th anniversary party, and I’m cooking up a batch of strawberry-rhubarb compote to help support this wonderful non-profit. Does an outdoor soiree on the East River with food, cocktails, and live music sound fun to you? If so, read on…

Aurelia Kaelin of LESEC, gracious hostess of the Union Square compost drop-off

If you’ve ever dropped off your compost at the Union Square greenmarket over the last twenty-five years, it’s because of the dedicated work of the folks from LESEC, who’ve saved the city countless tons of waste by turning food scraps into rich compost that then goes back to nourish plants and flowers. Because of them, the city is a cleaner, more sustainable, and more beautiful place.

Christine Datz-Romero at the Union Square compost drop-off

Christine Datz-Romero is one of my heroes. She is the Executive Director of LESEC, which she co-founded a quarter century ago, when NYC citizens were just starting to take over trash-strewn empty lots and turn them into oases in the city. LESEC came out of  that “grassroots” movement, and since then has taken composting operations from a garden on the Lower East Side to a huge processing facility on the East River that’s endorsed by the city and supported by grants. This past year, LESEC also launched a year-round electronics recycling campaign, providing a responsible way for New Yorkers to dispose of the toxic materials inside of computers, cell phones, and other equipment.

But back to tomorrow’s party. It’s a fun way to celebrate everything that LESEC has helped to achieve. There will be beautifully prepared, locally grown food, wine, and live music. The best part is that the gathering is right on the East River in the Amphitheater, a special and dramatic place to hang out for an evening, and a corner of the city that most people don’t get to very often. So please come on down and party with us for a good cause, to help keep LESEC growing and innovating, and making NYC a better place to call home.

LESEC’s 25th anniversary party is Saturday June 9, 5-8 pm. Go here for info and tickets to the event.

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