Saturday, August 17, 2019

City extends deadline for community garden licensing; Monday's City Hall rally cancelled

The city has extended an olive branch of sorts to community gardeners.

As reported yesterday, community gardeners across NYC planned to a rally on the steps of City Hall on Monday against what they're calling a new one-sided license agreement to operate their volunteer-run green spaces.

This morning, Bill LoSasso, director of the NYC Parks GreenThumb, sent the following letter to the GreenThumb gardeners:

As you know, we are in the process of relicensing GreenThumb community gardens operating on NYC Parks property. As we near completion of that process, we are extending the deadline for submission of the relicensing documents until Friday, September 20, 2019, and also making several updates to the Gardener's Handbook to better support our network of gardens and gardeners.

Please review the details in the attached letter. Your GreenThumb Outreach Coordinator will be happy to speak with you about any questions that you might have.

I hope that your gardens are doing well and in full bloom, and I look forward to seeing many of you again soon. Enjoy your weekend!

As a result of the extension and updates, Monday's rally has been cancelled. Here's a statement to us via Charles Krezell, head of Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens (LUNGS):

We are very happy that GreenThumb has extended the license agreement deadline to Sept. 20.

We hope to continue negotiating in good faith. We all love our gardens and want to continue to have a
good relationship with GreenThumb and the Parks Department.

In light of the new deadline we are canceling the Rally scheduled for Monday at City Hall.

We are very grateful for the vigorous support of our community gardeners. We continue to recognize that our strength is in unity; and our goal is to continue to help New York grow.

H/T Stacie Joy!

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