Community Garden Advocates Rally at City Hall

Monday, August 02, 2010

Activists from the environmental group Time’s Up! protest in front of City Hall in support of community gardens. (Janaya Williams)

Advocates for New York City's community gardens delivered fresh produce to the steps of city hall Monday.  They delivered the fruits and vegetables in protest over the expiration of the Garden Settlement of 2002, which protected community gardens from real estate developers.  The temporary provisions expire next month.

"We're here today because we love the community gardens, and we have a simple message for New York City: Protect and preserve the community gardens for our children and for our children's children," says Benjamin Shepard, a volunteer with Time's Up!, an environmental group seeking increased protections for the gardens.

There are over 600 working community gardens in New York. Some are managed by the Parks Department, and a small number are overseen by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

“Mayor Bloomberg has done a great job articulating a vision of green New York City,” Shepard says.  “A green New York City will reduce global warming, and will be a model global city. The simplest way to keep New York City green is to preserve the community gardens.”

The Parks Department said in a statement that the new rules are intended to protect the gardens when the current temporary agreement ends. A public hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday, August 10, at the Chelsea Recreation Center.


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Ellen from Manhattan

There's another press conference tomorrow!

Sowing Seeds of Justice on the Steps of City Hall

TIME: 10:00AM
CONTACT: Sean-Michael Fleming (347) 933-4523 or

On Wednesday morning, August 4, 2010, New York City Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) will be joining together with fellow greening and gardening groups from across the city, bringing an optimistic and colorful congregation to the steps of City Hall to represent the city’s 600+ gardens of all shapes and sizes.

Unhappy with the recently published Proposed Parks Rules (the subject of a public hearing on August 10), which they feel do not provide the same protections for gardens as the expiring 2002 Memorandum of Agreement between the NYS Office of the Attorney General and the City, they will be asking Mayor Bloomberg to join them in writing a just and supportive set of Parks Rules that states: "All gardens in good standing will remain as community gardens."

NYCCGC President, Karen Washington, explains: ”The consensus of our membership is that the proposed rules and regulations don't go far enough in protecting and creating more community gardens. With that said, August 10 will be a time for all New Yorkers and greening advocates to tell City Hall that the time has come to see to it that community gardens are protected, preserved, and recognized as a integral part of New York City’s diverse neighborhoods.”

The event promises to be a festive gathering of community gardeners hailing from East New York to the South Bronx.

Aug. 03 2010 04:29 PM

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