Digging Together: NYC's Community Gardens

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Community Garden 6th and B Community Garden in New York (Mat McDermott/flickr)

There are more than 600 community gardens throughout New York City, and we’ll discuss the history and the future of community gardening here. We’re joined by Paula Segal, Executive Director of  596 Acres, a non-profit group that helps people identify vacant land in their neighborhoods, and turn them into gardens; Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director of  the NYC Community Garden Coalition; and Steve Frillman, Executive Director of Green Guerillas, who started some of the very first community gardens in the city. They'll also take calls about how to start a community garden in the city.


Aziz Dehkan, Steve Frillman and Paula Segal

Comments [16]

Ralph Feldman

Decolores community garden caused large termite damage to adjacent property owners Gardeners are irresponsible

Oct. 21 2014 02:06 PM
jf from BROOKLYN


Jun. 17 2014 08:27 PM

I must emphasize that everyone--but EVERYONE--in the neighborhood whom I talk with feels betrayed by our supposed community leaders in their shameless acquiescence to NYU's proposed destruction of our Village.

That's the primary reason I voted against Quinn, and will vote against all who cow-towed so inexplicably--completely against the wishes of their ostensible constituents--to NYU on this.

I don't know what must have gone on behind the scenes on this--but whatever happened, I strongly suspect it was DESPICABLE.

Jun. 17 2014 02:19 PM
pliny from soho

thank you for covering this issue of the "la guardia corner garden"
WNYC gives a lot of air time to people from NYU
so its nice to see them covered in a more realistic light

Jun. 17 2014 02:00 PM
jiwon choi from Brooklyn

Our community garden has been on Flatbush and Pacific since 1985 and is still going strong despite developers like Ratner who expect the city and its inhabitants to pay for his awful developing mistakes. His monstrous arena, across the street from us, was plopped down there against the wishes of many neighborhood families and residents. His corporation talks a lot about wanting to listen to residents' fears and concerns and wanting to be a positive part of the community, but his actions say just the opposite. There are quality of life issues that impact negatively on the community and Ratner and his politico/business friends need to listen to them.

Jun. 17 2014 01:53 PM
Roman from Brooklyn

I wonder if your guests know how we can protect the trees being planted in the Million Tree campaign. Two trees next to our building were run over by tractor trailers coming and going from a warehouse across the street. I've reached out to several City entities and to the local Council member, and nothing was ever done. We cared for these trees and it's very unpleasant that this happened.

Jun. 17 2014 01:50 PM
Philior from Brooklyn

I was surprised that you brushed off my question as not pertinent to the topic, which I think very much is. The question was whether it is healthy to consume food grown next to the roads with heavy traffic emitting exhaust fumes allegedly making plants poisonous for human consumption.

Jun. 17 2014 01:41 PM
Rhoma from South Village

Community gardens allow for participatory greenspace in particularly underserved neighborhoods.

As a community gardener, I have been involved (with so many others) in the daunting task of trying to preserve our community garden, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, from NYU's predatory expansionist plan.

Sometimes the only real apples children will ever see are on our apple tree, and they can watch the apples grow throughout the season. In increasingly dense urban areas, community gardens provide a way of developing empathy for the natural environment in the young, as well as air, light, shade, and beauty.

Jun. 17 2014 01:01 PM

I recently discovered a wonderful aspect of the LaGuardia gardens: they have attempted to populate an area with native species c. 1600, before the settlers.


Jun. 17 2014 12:36 PM
Penny from Downtown

The Parks Department and city should map in and build large, strictly-vegetable community gardens as a portion of any post-Sandy buffering Parks land or berm, along with ball fields and playgrounds. If they are washed out in a storm, the Parks plan and agreement with the gardeners would be to rapidly rebuild them with simple raised beds and new soil, compost bins, and a new basic tool shed and tools. Perennials and trees would be discouraged in a flood plain and their replacement would be on the gardeners, similar in idea to rational building-insurance zones. A mindset to create additional active-use gardens would also encourage preservation of existing community gardens, and a change in designation for all the gardens from passive to active enjoyment. New GreenThumb head Nancy Cohen is the one to facilitate this, given her past work on nutrition in schools in Philadelphia.
Penny Jones, Liz Christy Garden

Jun. 17 2014 12:21 PM
DD from NYC

every neighborhood deserves a community garden.

Jun. 17 2014 12:03 PM
Hubert J Steed from Greenwich Village, NYC

Mayor De Blasio, as Public Advocate, opposed the NYU2031 Plan that would destroy community gardens & park land. Why as Mayor is he supporting the NYU Plan court appeal to re-instate the Plan?

Jun. 17 2014 11:38 AM
Norma Weisberg from Greenwich Village

LaGuardia Gardens is a beautiful oasis. We cannot let it be destroyed.

Jun. 17 2014 10:29 AM
Margaret from SoHo

LaGuardia Corner Gardens in Manhattan is delightful, providing beauty, green space, colorful space, and respite for both visitors and neighbors - and yet our large neighbor wants to gobble us up! Please help preserve us.

Jun. 17 2014 10:04 AM
Pamela from Melrose

We lost our garden in Bronx a few years ago I wish there was a law back then to protect our rights and land the children form the schools used.

Jun. 17 2014 08:17 AM
Boris from Coney Island

Our garden in Coney Island was bulldozed by developer. We need a law to keep all our community gardens preserve. Please ask how that can happen, we need it.

Jun. 17 2014 08:02 AM

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