Carver Community Garden, Harlem, New York. Photo: Mat McDermott
Last summer the battle in the New York City community gardens scene was to ensure that the 600-odd community-run green spaces across the City's five boroughs got a fair deal as the regulations governing them got renegotiated. Permanency was the watchword, ensuring that the battles over them that occurred in the Giuliani administration didn't happen again and people remained in control of the spaces which they tend.
Now three non-profit organizations are taking community control to another level. For the past decade or so The Trust for Public Land has managed 69 of these spaces--so the fate of these was more certain no matter what happened last year, true. These spaces total about 8 acres, with 40 of them in areas of the city where the nearest other green space is more than a 10 minute walk away.
That's the background. What's happening now is the TPL is turning over all these gardens to the Bronx Land Trust, the Manhattan Land Trust, and the Brooklyn-Queens Land Trust.
39 of the properties in the Bronx and Manhattan have already been turned over, with the remaining parcels in Brooklyn and Queens expected to be turned over this fall.
The Carver Community Garden, on 124th Street in Harlem and pictured above, is a great example of the vital role these gardens serve in their neighborhoods.
In the four lot parcel, seven community groups serving children with special needs, immigrant children and their families, people in drug treatment programs, as well as individual family gardeners come together--spanning various demographics, united by a common love of gardening--to grow food, congregate and avail themselves of much need respite in planted space.