Swale, ongoing | Website Link: www.swaleny.org

Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free.
Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2017 Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2017 Swale, 2017 c. Strongbow/Cloudfactory Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2017
Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free.
Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, c. AP Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, c. AP Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, c. AP Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2017
Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free.
Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2017 Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, c. NYTimes Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2017 Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2017
Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free.
Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Governor's Island, 2016 Swale, Governor's Island, 2016
Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free.
Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2016 Swale, Governor's Island, 2016 Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2016
Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free.
Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2016
Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free. Swale is a public floating food forest in New York City on a barge, founded by Mary Mattingly to assert food as a commons. People can visit Swale to pick fresh food for free.
Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Concrete Plant Park Bronx, 2016 Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2016

What if healthy, fresh food could be a free public service, and not just an expensive commodity? Swale is a collaborative floating food forest dedicated to rethinking and challenging New York City's connection to our environment. Built on a 130-foot by 40-foot floating platform, Swale contains an edible forest garden. Functioning as both a sculpture and a tool, Swale provides free healthy food at the intersection of public art and service. With Swale, we want to reinforce water as a commons, and work towards fresh food as a commons too.

I grew up in an agricultural town where the drinking water was polluted. That framed my understanding of water as a precious resource that needed to be protected.  So Swale came out of a need to connect with New York's waterways and public land in order to better care for it, and by proximity each other. Because not everyone has access to healthy food in New York, I see Swale as a tool to advocate for policy change. Since marine common law is different from New York City's public land laws, Swale can pave a pathway to create public food in public space.

Documents:

Swale and Urban Field Stations: NYC and NYS Parks "Art, Data, and Ecology at New York State Field Stations"

Pratt Institute "A Network of Urban Field Stations in the City" documents

A Blade of Grass, Swale's first granting organization, produced this video of Swale in its first year:

CUNY produced an episode of Science & U on Swale in year 2:

 

CBS News documentary about Swale in 2017, interviewing Naseem Haamid from NY State's Summer Youth Employment Program:

 

CBS New York on Swale in 2018 at the Brooklyn Army Terminal:

 

CNN Going Green about Swale in 2017, with the launch of NYC's first Foodway at Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx:

 

In 2018, Steve De Sève visits Swale with BRIC TV:

In 2017, Swale was kept alive through a sponsorship with Strongbow Ciders:

Voactive keeps Swale alive financially through filming on Swale in 2017/2018:

During Swale's first year, news orgs help spread the word:

 

Amanda McDonald Crowley films Swale's first celebration:

  

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