[Hope Garden on East 2nd Street]
Via the EVG inbox yesterday morning…
If gardeners have their way, Community Board 3 (CB3) will soon be the recipient of a Community Gardens District that will include all 46 remaining community gardens located within its boundaries; a plan spearheaded by the Coalition to Establish a Community Gardens District. They aren’t talking about the manicured version associated with the New Orleans Garden District but, rather, the home grown, gritty version we all know and love that’s particular to everything East Village and Lower East Side!
On Thursday night, CB3 voted overwhelmingly in favor of establishing of this plan with a vote of 28 to 1.
The Coalition says community gardens have a deep rooted history in CB3 and the distinction of having the very first one in the City started in CB3 by resident and visionary environmentalist, Liz Christy, in 1973. Christy’s name is legendary in the national and international greening movement. She reclaimed and repurposed hundreds of vacant lots through her leadership and work with the Green Guerillas, which she co-founded and is the City’s oldest gardening organization, and the City’s Council on the Enviornment, which she founded and headed and is now known and branded as Grow NYC.
Once there were over 60 community gardeners in Community Board 3 but only 46 remain. Of those owned by the City, the Coalition says none are permanent or receive dedicated budgets to address infrastructure needs. Gardeners and their growing list of supporters, want CB3’s community gardens mapped and designated as park land — which would then take an act of the state legislature to be used for any other purpose; designated as a special district to acknowledge their unique and well-earned place in the City’s history; and management left in the hands of community based volunteers which has proven to be a successful model of operation for over 40 years.
The District plan will next go before City Council. You may still show your support for preserving community gardens by signing this petition.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Your chance to help create a Community Gardens District