Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New community garden rules lack preservation, permanence

Above, Esperanza Community Garden bulldozed in February 2000 on Seventh Street near Avenue C to make way for the East Village Gardens condo.

Time's Up! has released a statement on the city's new garden rules:

The same week the Parks Department cut down 56 trees to make way for Fashion Week, the City released new garden regulations with almost no notice, no community support, and no commitment to permanently preserve the community gardens. Despite overwhelming community support to preserve our parks and community gardens, the City's new rules fail to protect them, and in fact expose each and every one to transfer and development. New Yorkers love their parks and community gardens and for years have fought to protect them, preserve them and keep them open to the public. These green spaces play a vital role in the mental, physical and emotional health of our City's residents and play an ever increasingly important role in our City's environmentally sustainable future.

Importantly, the new rules violate the City’s 2002 agreement with the Attorney General. The City has ignored the permanent status of 198 gardens and has not done a State Environmental Quality Review of the gardens, both required under the 2002 Settlement Agreement

Under the new rules, you can lose your garden for a myriad of reasons — noise complaints, incidents that occur adjacent to gardens, and or failure to maintain "good standing". Gardens can now go into accelerated default for breaking any city, state or federal rules, or failing to renew their license, or registration.

These new rules police the gardens and chill the community’s ability to hold events. Already, gardens are reluctant to hold events for fear of noise complaints. Under the new rules, you can go into accelerated default for playing guitar and having a beer, yet you can enjoy a glass of wine on the great lawn in Central Park while listening to an orchestra.

The new rules establish a division between gardens in good and bad standing, establishing a mechanism for the hyper-regulation and control of public space. Before these new rules, you just needed a license, now if you do not have one, your garden can be bulldozed.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, enjoy the city demolishing various community gardens...


Laura Goggin Photography said...

Yeah, I didn't really get that anything has changed...gardens not currently protected by the parks dept are still up for grabs and these are the ones we really need to fight for.

If you can't tell if a garden is part of the Parks Dept, you can just look at the sign on the front gate. If it's one of those green/white signs with the leaf on it, it's safe. If not, it needs your help.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Sorry, OUR help...