‘If you wait for the city to do it for you, you’re going to be waiting forever,’ Mike Young, founder of the Padre Plaza Community Success Garden. ‘Why are we waiting for someone else to be resourceful for us?’
Some community gardens have been slow to accept new rules for participating in the Parks Department’s GreenThumb program, but others say the city’s support is crucial to navigating the impact of development on space and sunlight.
From community gardens between high-rises to an island in the middle of the harbor to abandoned underground chambers, there’s no shortage of ideas for where a growing city might find room for a little green. The question is whether the political will exists to fund spaces that will be accessible to all.
Thanks to city policy, $3,200 in tax arrears became a $500,000 debt and a community garden was ravaged. A sale of similar tax liens is scheduled for this week.
For months volunteers at dozens of community gardens have wondered which ones might be targeted for affordable housing. Our partners at Brooklyn Deep were in the room when gardeners learned the fate of their neighborhood plots.
The city has identified 181 small city-owned sites for potential affordable-housing development. Eighteen currently have community gardens on them. Ten of those gardens are in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
On a list of 100 parcels the administration has targeted for affordable housing development, community gardeners say 17 are “active, thriving” open spaces. Updated!