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
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 Stay!
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
Facts - Melrose Common, a neighborhood in the South Bronx, has
16 Endangered Gardens Amidst Hundreds of Vacant Lands.
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
There 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
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.