Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Dueling notes at the Miracle Garden on 3rd Street



An EVG reader shares these photos ... the above "Dear Garden Ladies" sign arrived at the Miracle Garden on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B ... stating:

We love this garden.

Please open it up for us. Its [sic] unfair to tease your neighbors by locking this special sanctuary.

Love your neighbors.

Someone from the garden (presumably) responded with the following letter...



...stating that "unfortunately not everyone had the respect we assume you have for the Garden & there has been severe damage (furniture broken, furniture stolen, plants trampled, plants pulled up & thrown everywhere .. etc. etc.) so for protection, we need a member around to make sure this doesn't continue."

Anyway, the letter goes on, ending with "We would love for the neighborhood to actively become involved and help."

Their monthly meeting is tonight at 7.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

The garden members are correct I am active with my local community garden and yes someone has to be there when the gate is open. I hope the person(s) that wrote the first note are interested beyond taking a 90 second spin around the garden then heading to brunch and will volunteer which may expand the open hours.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if any of the damage is a result of the mayhem that is Lower B.

Anonymous said...

This is the problem with many (all?) community gardens... we neighbors want to go in and enjoy, but we don't know (--because it's rarely posted--) when a given garden is open. Usually when we walk by, it is closed.

It's frustrating...but the reason is exactly what the response says.

Also the gardens in general could do a much better job of communicating.

And I suppose residents could do a better job of participating/volunteering/making it happen!!

Anonymous said...

The fact that some jackasses (allegedly) damaged the garden does not justify converting it into a private space accessible only to garden members, and this policy is likely illegal. Most community gardens are owned by a land trust (ie the manhattan land trust), and are required to be open to the public at regular hours multiple days a week. Albert's garden on 2nd was closed to the public and used as a private garden by the neighbors for years before I made a stink to the manhattan land trust and brought up the bylaws. While I sympathize with anyone whose hard work has been ruined by assholes trampling plants, it doesn't mean you can steal the land from the public and turn it into gramercy park. The notion that it can only be open when a member is present is nonsense; most of the community gardens in the neighborhood are opened by a member in the morning and then locked by a caretaker at night, and they do just fine.

Giovanni said...

Unfortunately if the gardens are not kept locked the gardens would all be gone. I see so many kids from the LES in East River Park destroying the plants, pulling leaves off of trees, even pulling up the sprinkler systems, and the parents do nothing about it. They seem to think this is funny, and don't seem to understand thhat plants are living things that do good things for the environment. Those plants also take time and work and cost money to plant and maintain.

If you ask the kids why they are doing it they will say they are "bored." If you're bored, go read a book., Get a hobby. Don't destroy the plants. It's no wonder everyone has to keep the gardens locked because many kids either have no respect for the plants, or have so much pent-up aggression they have to destroy things. A lot of these same kids also abuse their animals. I had to stop one of them from kicking his dog when he thought no one was looking. But that's another story.

It's a good thing we don't depend on these kids for our food, These kids would make really lousy farmers because they would destroy all the crops before they are ready to eat. If Whole Foods depended on these kids to grow their organic vegetables, they would need to change their name to No Foods.

Anonymous said...

People do not always have any respect in the garden & do trampl on peoples hard work but I believe the gardens are legally required to be open a certain numbers of hours per week. Many are not. They are not supposed to be private gardens.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear, 1:55 p.m.

Anonymous said...

any garden under green thumb must post opening hours, I don't know this particular garden so I will stay out of this one. there is always someone that is clueless about plants the effort and cost that goes into keeping them alive and it's not just bad children, I've adults dig up flowers to take home, young adults put their dogs in well kept tree wells for potty time, drunken bros throwing bottles and cans in tree wells and one pyromaniac teen that if not watched sets the furniture on fire when he manages to sneak in.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's a tricky balance. You do want to have a member on hand, as it's not just people being precious about their plots -- some gardens have problems with drug abusers, people with mental health issues, water hazards, etc. But keeping open hours (preferably most daytimes) is the rent we pay for occupying these spaces, which could be used for affordable housing (I know, but that's what a developer would tell the city, and the city is looking to build as many units as it can right now). They're really little public parks operated by private citizens. They need to serve the community and not the gardeners.

Anonymous said...

I think that part of the issue with the Miracle Garden, is that frequently key holding member(s) of the garden go in and then lock the gate, therefore treating the garden as their own personal private garden space. I walk by this garden on a daily basis and have witnessed this type of situation more than once. If a garden member is in the garden, the gate should be open.

Anonymous said...

They only need to be open 10 hours/week, not "regularly posted hours." As the note said, the garden is run by people with jobs and lives.

Anonymous said...

I've lived by Miracle Garden for many years and have seen it open to the public plenty and almost never closed with someone inside.

Anonymous said...

you can ask for a key. it's city property

Scuba Diva said...

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous said...

They only need to be open 10 hours/week, not "regularly posted hours." As the note said, the garden is run by people with jobs and lives.

Most gardens are open on weekends, and for special events—some gardens host more events than others do.

In Chinatown, it's necessary for the city to post bi-lingual signs telling people: "Please do not spit/throw cigarette butts/food in the garden." (And this is city property.) People cannot be trusted to supervise themselves.

I only know of one garden that accepts food scraps for compost—although there may be others—so I make it a point to take my scraps there the one day a week they're open. The gardeners cannot leave the gardens unlocked and unsupervised, because history has shown people will use them to shoot up or do drugs, and as Giovanni said previously, trample the flowers and pull the leaves off trees.

Several years ago, a woman whose name I won't disclose decided to give the keys to the garden she belonged to to her teenage son so he'd have "a safe place to drink with his friends." Well, as you might suspect, they trashed the flower beds and watered the plants with their own urine, because boys will be boys.

Gardens need supervision: end of story.

Anonymous said...

Certain classes are welcomed and Privatised for special events like Roots & Bones. A Don't ask Don't tell policy. Members only for parking bicycles,walking their dogs, and personal work space. No hours are posted nor minutes of meetings. Assigned plots not recommended nor record keeping avised. Commercial Space availability that this Garden's entrepreneurs has only benefited with those that can only manage it by voluntarily volunteering those that can be exploited for their generosities. It a commercial Gold Mind in the mix.

Anonymous said...

I think that we should all give this place a chance before judging :)

Anonymous said...

A wonderful plea and a wonderful reply.

Gojira said...

Scuba Diva, El Sol Brillante Garden on 12th and B has a compost program, and they have a year-round bin to put your food waste-veggie scraps, dairy, meat, they take it all-in. The corner plot is a little garden with hurricane fence, right behind the gate is a big gray trash bin marked "Food Waste Only". The gate is chained shut but loose enough to allow you to pull it open and throw your compost in. And as I said, it's always there.

Scuba Diva said...

Thank you, Gojira—I'll check it out.

Anonymous said...

You people are buggin. They work hard to make that garden beautiful. Just like a lot of the other gardens. Anyone that knows the hood knows this is the way it is, you're not entitled to the garden at all times like a city park. I actually kind of like being surprised and not knowing when I'll pass a garden with an open gate. There are a lot of douchebag brunch frat drunk types, as well as hood rat children that never learned rules or respect. The gardens need to be respected. Just appreciate when they are open! That sign is so clueless and is clearly from a new person unacquainted with the neighborhood.