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Sigh: It's Housing for Seniors & Artists versus Community Gardens Again

This is what happens, time & time again in municipalities where community
gardens are not an officially recognized land use. 
There are over 10,000 vacant NYC owned lots in NYC and 500 endangered
community gardens. Rather than build on the 9,500 other NYC lots,
not-for-profits and charitable housing groups are steered by the city to
community garden sites for development.

Sometimes it gets ridiculous as well as sad. Two summers ago,  10 Harlem
gardens were bulldozed on blocks that had empty lots on them. When I  went
to a cocktail party at the Schomburg Library ( on 135th  and Malcolm X)
during the  holidays,  I took the time beforehand to visit some of the razed
garden sites. 

Predictably, there were no housing starts on the garden or adjacent empty
lot sites in Harlem. The sight was enough to break your heart. 

Friends, please learn from our stupid NYC mistakes and make community
gardens a recognized land use in your cities. We can have both low-income
housing AND community gardens: it's a matter of political will and
organizing. Do it before it gets too late.

Unfortunately, I won't be at the meeting referenced  below. 

I'll be at Community Board 4 tonight where I sit on Parks as well as Land
Use ( another meeting, next week.)  We're trying to save some gardens in my
neighborhood, plant some native American plants in a park we're renovating
and  reopen a swimming pool near Lincoln Center that has suffered benign
neglect because it's too close to  where some yuppies live ( those kids from
the project are just "too noisy.") 

Honestly, I'd rather be at home tonight, banging heads with my beloved
adolescent son,  listening to a little of that Ken Burns PBS  Jazz
documentary  after dinner, going through garden catalogs with my wife,
dreaming of summer corn. 

All the best to you all,


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	JKTHECAT@cs.com [SMTP:JKTHECAT@cs.com]
> Sent:	Thursday, January 11, 2001 4:18 PM
> To:	cybergardens@treebranch.com
> Subject:	CYBERGARDENS: CB 3: La Plaza and Peachtree Garden (tonight)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> News from the CYBERGARDENS mailing list 
> (cybergardens@treebranch.com)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Attention: Gardeners & Garden Activists
> Both Peachtree Garden & La Plaza Cultural are on
> the CB3 Housing Committee agenda this 
> Thursday, Jan. 11th 6:30pm
> 333 Bowery (bet. 2nd-3rd Sts.)
> 1st fl.
> -as you may know, both aafe (asian americans for equality)and the
> nuyorican poets cafe are trying to get site control of peachtree garden
> for senior artists housing, and LESCH (lower east side coalition for
> housing) has been trying to develop la plaza for years. Both are before
> the committee again this thursday.
> Please come out in support of these gardens and ask the committee to
> support the gardens of CB3. We have just learned that HUD is withholding
> funding for these projects until after the Attorney General's case is
> settled. It is also rumored that LESCH is in financial trouble.
> the video activism students PSA on the gardens will be shown at 6:30.
> -susan
> ===========================================
> To remove yourself from this list, please send a message to 
> "cybergardens@treebranch.com" with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the 
> subject of the e-mail.
> To receive a reference guide to this mailing list, send a message to 
> "cybergardens@treebranch.com" with the word HELP in the subject of 
> the e-mail.
> If you have any questions about or problems with this mailing list, 
> please send e-mail to the list moderator dave lutz at 
> "dave.lutz@treebranch.com".
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------------
> This list is operated by the Neighborhood Open Space Coalition and 
> Friends of Gateway. Visit http://www.treebranch.com on the web to 
> learn more about organizations sponsoring mailing lists and/or web 
> sites concerning the environment, open space, and related urban 
> issues in New York City.
> ===========================================

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