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Spring in the Bronx: The Courtandt Garden in Melrose, Bronx.

  • Subject: [cg] Spring in the Bronx: The Courtandt Garden in Melrose, Bronx.
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 08:13:26 EDT

Friends,

The Courtlandt Garden in the Melrose section of the Bronx, is getting into
full swing. After last year's destruction of several gardens, and merger of
plants and people in a few remaining sites, the people and plants are coming
together, albeit in fewer gardens, that, according to the Court Settlement
will be
made permanent.

Garden destruction or "consolidation," takes its toll on the gardeners, many
of whom spent decades saving lives though having safe havens for kids to go to
after school in which spades and hoes instead of firearms were the
recreational tool at hand.

No feral gang members monopolizing a concrete basketball court, throwing
balls around as camouflage, marking the area with spray paint, drug detrius,
and
urine.
The Bronx community gardens continue to save our children and provide a safe,
neighborhood created public space for seniors and families.

The Melrose area remains  one of the poorest in America. The investment
property "townhouses" that have been built or are being built on former garden
spaces are filled now with "Section 8" clients instead of "urban pioneers," as
originally advertised.

The bet, now,  is on whether the new houses will serve better, or even as
long as the neighborhood's old style tenement housing or housing projects -
the
complaints about things falling apart due to shoddy construction are already
filtering in.

A commitment to cleaning up the air in that part of the Bronx is occasionally
mouthed by politicians walking through, but when NYC's Health Dept cuts back
on moneys earmarked for asthma education and clinic staff in favor of glossy
anti-smoking advertisements that get ignored, one has to wonder...

With rife underemployment, atomized families, street gangs, and a drug
culture that continues, almost unabated in the face of policing that has
brought
crime down to thirty year lows in other parts of NYC, one has to scratch one's
head at the destruction of so many community gardens in the area.  And with
gardens in other part of the Bronx up for real estate development, for
"pioneering."

Yet the settlement has saved at least a few of these oases, permanently, and
they will save lives.

From an area in the South Bronx, where the Yankees, the richest baseball team
in America, has its stadium and hasn't uplifted the area an inch, I wanted to
share with you the context from which this rather prosaic reading "More
Gardens!" message below was sent.


Everbest,
Adam Honigman.
Volunteer
Clinton Community Garden
NYC

From Zack Schulman,

So I got my act together a little and have now managed to send out a
weekly Courtlandt Garden calendar of events.  Kids in the neighborhood -
both the old regulars and some new ones - have again started regularly
spending time in the garden after school and on the weekend. The
forsythias, tulips, and daffodils are all in full bloom right now, too.
Come to the garden, enjoy spring, and help the garden grow.  Here's the
lineup for the week:

Tuesday April 19 and Thursday April 21: 11am until around 6pm.  Work on
the greenhouse roof, rebuild compost bins.  neighborhood kids will be
probably be coming in and out of the garden from 3pm on, so during those
hours there may be a mix of chillin with kids and construction work.

Saturday April 23 - Noon until around 6pm.  Kids day and garden work.
Chill with kids in the garden.  There will be face painting for kids of
all ages and a fire if people want to bring food to grill on it.  We will
continue work on the greenhouse and compost bins as well.

NOTE:  Are you someone who has been getting these emails and has wanted to
work in the garden, but because of time conflicts has never (or rarely)
been able to get yourself there?
Most of the folks who work in the garden are not married to our general
garden schedule of tues-thurs-sat.  We can shift workdays to when it works
best for people.  Drop me (Zack) a line at z.schulman@gmail.com or call me
at 914.275.2598 and let me know what's holding you back from this cool
little patch of green in Melrose.

Directions: Courtlandt Community Garden is located on East 158th St.
between Melrose and Courtlandt, Bronx. Take the 2/5 to 3rd Ave-149th St.
or the 4/D to 161st. St-Yankee Stadium

The More Gardens! Coalition is a group of community people, gardeners, and
environmental and social justice activists committed to revitalizing and
enhancing existing community gardens and making more gardens!
_______________________________________________
MG mailing list

Post: MG@lists.mayfirst.org


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