Get back to your roots at Socrates on Saturdays - Queens Chronicle: Qboro: Arts, Culture & Living

Get back to your roots at Socrates on Saturdays

by Mark Lord, qboro contributor | Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2019 10:30 am

In an effort to create opportunities for connecting directly with the community and empowering healthy food choices along the way, Socrates Sculpture Park offers a new program called Back to Our Roots, which includes a wide array of workshops, demonstrations and other activities.

The park, located on the East River waterfront in Long Island City, is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. until sunset. No reservations are required for a visit.

Perhaps best of all, admission to the grounds and programs is absolutely free.

A cornerstone of the program goes by the name of Roots Saturdays, which, as the name implies, takes place every Saturday — from noon until 3 p.m., through Oct. 26.

“As an outdoor venue, we find it important to support local partners who are engaged in this type of work,” said Marketing Communications Manager Sara Morgan, adding, “We’re not pushing anything. We’re an available resource.”

Visitors to the park will learn about what they consume and where their food is coming from. According to Morgan, the goal is for families “to learn more about healthier diets.”

Roots Saturdays features the weekly participation of Hellgate Farm, a network of residential and rooftop gardens in the borough that promotes urban gardening and a permaculture lifestyle within the local community. According to Morgan, the farm sends local produce to the park, available for purchase. Other such vendors make periodic appearances, as well, and sometimes small-scale food-related demonstrations are offered.

Visitors to the park can also participate in weekly art workshops, held at the same time as the Roots activities.

In addition, the park currently offers an interactive art exhibition, “Chronos Cosmos: Deep Time, Open Space,” running through Sept. 2. The exhibit transforms the park into what is described as “a gateway to the universe, creating connecting points to time and space.”

Besides Hellgate Farm, the program’s local partners include Smiling Hogshead Ranch, a garden without a gate, created in 2011 by a group of Long Island City neighbors on a set of abandoned railroad tracks, ultimately leading to the creation of a non-profit urban farm collective. Another partner is big Reuse, which offers free compost drop-off at the site every day of the week.

The Connected Chef, Queens Beekeepers Guild and Queens Action Council are other partners in the program.

Roots Saturdays
When: Each Sat. through Oct. 26, 12-3 p.m.
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City
Entry: Free. (718) 956-1819,