Clinton Community Garden Fun Facts
We had a producer from the "Million Dollar Pyramid" visited us yesterday and
collect one of our "Fun Fact Sheets" ( we tried to sell him one of our CCG
t-shirts, coffee mugs, baseball hats, or classic designer water bottles, but
it didn't quite work out) as he toured our urban/bucolic splendor.
Figuring that one of our facts may end up on the show ( these folks are
nothing if not resourceful, though cheap in real life) I though that it
would only be fair to give you all a leg up. We all could use some spare
change, some fancy bulbs, Swiss made clippers???
Clinton Community Garden Fun Facts
1. The garden was established in 1978 on the site of a vacant lot that had
been abandoned for over 28 years. It measures 100' x 150'.
2. The bricks that make up the paths in the front and west gardens were
retrieved from the rubble in the vacant lot.
3. There were originally 20 5' x 8' individual garden plots in the rear
garden which were expanded in 1980. At the same time the center garden was
4. Two years later the east garden was created which expanded gardening
opportunities to the current total of 108 plots.
5. With the threat of a property auction, funds were raised by selling
"square inches" of the garden for $5.00 with the hope of purchasing the
The inch worm mural, painted by Mallory Abramson, one of the founders of the
garden, still remains on the east wall It marks the progress of the square
6. On November 16, 1984, just one month before the scheduled auction, Mayor
Ed Koch transferred the garden land from the Housing Department to NYC's
Parks & Recreation making Clinton Community Garden the first GreenThumb
Garden to go through the licensing program and to be transferred to
7. Clinton Community Garden is one of the few community gardens which has a
public lawn that is open to all 7 days a week from dawn till dusk. The front
area is composed of 17 volunteer beds that are maintained by approximately
8. The all-volunteer garden is managed by an elected 13-member Steering
Committee. Anyone that works or lives in the neighborhood (West 34th up to
59th and 8th Avenue over to the Hudson) can get on the Waiting List for one
of the 108 garden plots.
9. The herb and edible flower bed has over 75 varieties of medicinal and
culinary herbs and edible flowers that are available to the public for
10. The Native American Serpentine Path, created in 1995, was designed to
allow one to have the feeling of walking through a miniature woodland and
emerging in an open sunny field. To Native Americans the snake was the
of life, healing and transformation. This bed contains approximately 100
species, indigenous plants to the East Coast and North America which were
used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes.
11. The bed includes 5 major magical plant spirits. Upon entering the path
one first passes the mother spirit of the garden - the Elder - ruled by the
element water. Here you may make a wish as she is the wish granter and
healer. Continuing on the path you next pass the Mountain Ash or Rowan -
ruled by the element fire which is the protection spirit of the garden.
Thirdly, walking under the honey suckle arbor - ruled by the element earth -
adds prosperity and good luck to your journey. Fourthly, one passes by the
Hazelnut - ruled by the element air - which is the tree spirit of wisdom.
finally upon completing the Serpentine Path at the snakes head is the
Hawthorne - ruled by the element fire - which is the spirit of joy and
happiness. Tradition has it that ribbons were attached to the Hawthorne as
prayer flags in hopes that the spirit world would answer them through the
medium of the tree and the wind.
12. The Native American Bed is also home to our beehive. The CCG beehive is
populated with thousands of Italian Caucasian Honey Bees. In the fall we
harvest approximately 80 to 100 lbs of Hell's Kitchen Honey which is sold at
A lifeline can be arranged....
Bowne Publishing Division
345 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
Tel: (212) 414-8933
Fax: (212) 229-3421
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