HANGING GARDENS

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New York City’s community gardens may not see the light of day much longer, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is keeping everyone in the dark about their future use.

On April 24, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s requested an “emergency hold” on 741 community gardens throughout the city–essentially a takeover–from the Parks Department’s Green Thumb project. The mayor could turn the sites over to developers, but he hasn’t made his intentions clear. On Friday the city was scheduled to finalize the deal-as activists rallied against the plan outside the opening of an exhibition of Giuliani’s cityscape photographs.

Open space advocates are asking supporters to call the mayor at 212-788-3000 to urge him to preserve the gardens. Steve Frillman, head of the Green Guerillas, also urged pressure on the City Council. “Even if the mayor goes through with the transfer, if enough council members fight it, the gardens can be saved,” said Frillman. For the address or phone number of your city council member call 212-788-7100.