hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
New Trillium species discovered

Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

RSS story archive

Building Communities & Gardens: A Heartwarming NYC Bulldozing Story

  • Subject: [cg] Building Communities & Gardens: A Heartwarming NYC Bulldozing Story
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 08:33:51 EST


[Sorry, this is a rather long message, but its a hell of a story]

On his way to the Clinton Community Garden, last September, Jon Rowley and 
his lovely wife came upon the Oasis 1 garden in Hell's Kitchen. When he got 
to the CCG, I explained that the pending bulldozing of the garden was not 
going to be a bad thing -- being the gentleman that he is, he probably 
thought I had misspoken (a not unusual thing). No, we ended up with a good 

Actually, this is about the Hell's Kitchen garden merger that I've talked 
about in the past, where we're going to be able to build 84 low income units 
for seniors on the site of one garden,  expand another garden by expanding 
the auxiliary space of a building being renovated for low income housing, 
and, in a few years, tear down a one story garage to create a permanent 
community shade garden a block away.  

The Oasis Gardeners hung tough but were also savvy enough to sit down to 
negotiate with their neighbors, especially when many of them wanted the 
garden gone.  The stubbornness of Nancy Kyriacou, gardener and housing 
advocate, is legendary in Hell's Kitchen. If there's a picture on "hanging 
tough" in the dictionary, it's of Nancy with the Oasis Gardeners. They knew 
when to hold and they knew when to fold. We wouldn't have more housing and 
community gardens in Hell's Kitchen without their determination and good 

The political land use deal that the Hell's Kitchen community has worked out 
is unique: we get affordable housing for low income seniors and two 
renovated, permanent community gardens -- no net loss of gardening space.  
I've toured with a few of you in the area - Anna Wasecha, Corrie Zoll, Tom 
Kerr, Pratt Remmell and Diane Dodge immediately come to mind --  trying to 
explain how we managed to do this in the shadow of midtown skyscrapers. 

The best explanation I can give is that Hell's Kitchen gardeners looked 
outside of our garden gates, worked to make coalitions with neighborhood 
groups, served on the community board, worked to elect our city 
councilperson,  State Senator and Assemblyman and drank an awful lot of bad 
coffee at neighborhood planning and Community Board 4 meetings, hammering out 
a compromise. 

Manhattan Community Board 4 has been instrumental in bringing the groups 
together in the Clinton Renewal Area.  A special mention has to be made 
acknowledging former CB4 Board (and Clinton Land Use and Zoning, "CLUZ") 
Chair Katherine Gray for her work on the board and as an Oasis gardener to 
make this become a reality.  The continued work of CB 4 Chair Simone Sindin 
on both the full board and CLUZ furthered the process. Current CLUZ Chair 
Anna Levin has continued the process -- it's a small world, Anna is an old 
friend of ACGA founder Tessa Huxley. 

I am proud to say the Clinton Community Garden and the Manhattan Botanical 
Garden were part of this solution which predates the NY State Attorney 
General's Community Garden settlement. We threw our two gardener -- community 
board members, the example of our work at the CCG, Pier 84 and DeWitt Clinton 
Park, organizing. technical assistance, postage and advocacy into the pot. 

Edie Stone and Edie Kane of NYC Greenthumb have done remarkable work on this 
project -- some of it advisory and technical, much of it 
talking to gardeners who weren't talking to each other and nudging them 
forward. It is amazing how much good work gets done by this underfunded and 
embattled city agency. 

I cannot say enough about Sister Elizabeth Hasselt of the Encore Center, 
which has been serving low income seniors in the Times Square area and Hell's 
Kitchen for over 25 years. She has been a tough, fair and honest negotiating 
partner. She started by advocating for her seniors and ended up an advocate 
for affordable housing and community gardens.  By working with the community 
and negotiating in good faith with community gardeners, our neighborhood will 
now have both housing for low income seniors and community gardens, a 

I have attached an invitation for a rather  unique event: a farewell party 
this coming Saturday,  for a community garden which is going to be bulldozed, 
at which the gardeners, the not-for-profit developer, community board 
members, representatives from NYC gardening groups and community gardens will 
be present and toasting each other through a few tears and many smiles.  

Here is the text from the invitation that was printed and mailed to 
interested members of the community by Sr. Elizabeth Hasselt of the Encore 
Center and the Oasis I Gardeners:


Date: Saturday, November 9th, 2002

Time: 1PM - 2PM

Place: Oasis 1 Garden, 10th Avenue (between 51st and 52nd Streets)
Refreshments will be served

After 20 years, the Oasis 1 community garden will merge with our companion 
Oasis 2 on 52nd Street. The expanded Oasis 2 has been made a permanent garden 
and will remain in the NYC Green Thumb Program.  Both gardens have won 
numerous Molly Parnis Dress Up Your Neighborhood awards and are designate 
Wildlife habitats.

The Clinton Seed Fund and Encore Community Services have contributed funds 
for the relocation of Oasis 1 and the redevelopment of the new Oasis 
Community Garden on 52nd Street.  Their help guarantees that the Clinton 
community will continue to have a tranquil oasis in the midst of a rapidly 
changing, built-up area.

Encore Community Services will begin building 84 units of housing for 
low-income seniors on the former Oasis site.  The 8 - story Encore West 
Residence is being financed by a $8.4 million grant from HUD. Encore West 
Residence is a nonprofit agency dedicated to serving the elderly. Founded 25 
years ago, Encore provides health, nutrition and social services, assistance 
for the homebound and housing. 


For more information contact:

Encore - 
Sr. Elizabeth Hasselt
(212) 582-2910 (ext. 227)

Oasis -
Nancy Kyriacou
(212) 541-5596 (ext 17) "

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

 © 1995-2017 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement
Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index