Bulldozer Alert at Cabo Rojo Garden
Encampment Is Full on! Come Support.
Thanks to all the magial beings who defended the Garden this
1 - Come and Stay Over night (very warm Casita) and or be
at the garden all this Week, Early Morning 5-6am Bulldozer
2 - Call Nos
Que Damos a once people's organization which has a strong ties to the
destructve plans + 15 other gardens close by.... 718 585 2323 - All Gardens
3 - Call Bloomberg transition team and tell them we need All
Community Gardens to be made Permanent + to Create More Gardens!
212 617 2001
4 - More Gardens! Tuesday meeting 12/11/01 at the Cabo
Rojo Garden. Bring food and wood(not painted).
Facts - Melrose Common, a neighborhood in the South Bronx, has 16
Endangered Gardens Amidst Hundreds of Vacant Lands.
Cabo Rojo Garden was
transferred to its present site in 1997 after being moved 3 times (see longer
story below). . Due to official beaurocratic error it was never written into
a GreenThumb Garden. There are copies of the transfer papers (enclosed)
and GreenThumb assuming it was a GT garden has been bringing soil,
and equipment(enclosed receipt) to the Gardener Luis. HPD employees have
threatened Luis with arrest and have said they are sending the bulldozers to
destroy the garden on Monday even though they haven't gotten permission
(ULURP) on through City Hall to build on it yet. We are also asking Nos Que
Damos a local organizers to make all 16 local community Gardens perserved as
part of the plan. South Bronx has the highest Asthma rate in the country (x14
national average). . We are also asking tMayor to be Bloomberg to once and for
all make all Gardens Permanent for the benefit of all New Yorkers.
is an absolute need of permanent low income housing (non in the last five
years) with open green community spaces.
Where: 159th St. and Courtlandt Ave., Bronx
Directions: Take the 2 or
the 5 to 149 and 3rd Ave. Take Melrose Ave. north to 159th St. Take a left one
block to Courtlandt St. to the garden.
Contact person: Aresh and Luis: (917) 518-9987 (212 533 8019
or JK Monday-212 633 2323)
More Gardens! 212-533 8019
The Long Story
Luis, a gardener and very gentle guy in the
Bronx, has had a garden named Cabo Rojo since 1986. But Cabo Rojo
has had to move 4 times, and on Monday the bulldozers were due to arrive
once again. Luis is willing to make a stand, and allow us folks to
defend his garden. It will be a chance to get gardens back into
the consciousness of the city and let the new mayor know how much the
people want and need them.
The history of Cabo Rojo (named after his home town in P.R.) is incredible.
Luis started the first garden in 1986 on 152nd between Melrose and
Collin Aves. It was a GreenThumb garden, and Luis was told
to leave in 1989. Then the land stood empty for 11 years!
(They finally built on it last year.)
Next, he moved Cabo Rojo to 153rd between Melrose and Elton Aves, in
1989, and again had a GreenThumb lease and classification.
In 1992, he was told to leave again. And that land was allowed to
rot away for 2 more years, till 1994 when they built something there.
In 1992, he put Cabo Rojo on 158th and Elton. 5 years later HPD came
and bulldozed the garden. No request to leave this time, they just came
and did their dirty work. At this point, Community Board 1 gave him
transfer papers to move his garden to 159th and Courtlandt. Even
HPD, at that time, gave him to understand that he would be okay there.
They said, "Just keep the place clean."
That's the site where Cabo Rojo is now. He also was given plants and soil
by GreenThumb, and had every reason to assume that the garden was
properly designated as a GreenThumb garden, protected by the
T.R.O. that Attorney General Spitzer obtained for all the
GreenThumb gardens after the loss of Esperanza in February of
2000. A few months ago, HPD showed up in Cabo Rojo and told Luis
to get ready to move out. They were threatening arrests. After
doing some investigation, he learned that there was a beaurocratic error
and that his garden was not covered as a GreenThumb garden after
all. So he had no way to protect it. It is important to realize
that this garden has not gone through the City administration's ULURP process
which looks at the merits of the land before it is built on. Thus the garden
will be destroyed and empty for at least 6 months in a worst case scenario,
like the other gardens he was at without a legal plan for its development.
Luis was ready to let it all go this time. He was talking about
moving back to Puerto Rico. Today he told Aresh about what the
garden was like in the summertime. It's near a school, P.S. 29,
and the third-graders had plant-boxes in which they put carrots, beans
and corn. There's also a daycare center nearby and the little
ones, 4 and 5 years old, planted as well. There were barbecues for
all the neighbors. Lots of trees, a large and beautiful
place. Celebrations and friendliness.
Well, now Luis is ready to take a stand for his garden and the other
gardens in the city. We drummed blessed and thanked the garden, Almost
all major TV stations covered the gathering of people and their rights to tend
the earth. A thorough legislative act is needs to make all Community Gardens
Permanent and create More of them in a city last in Open Green Spaces and
highest health (asthma) hazard in our children.