This website is called TreeHugger, picked ironically by founder Graham Hill to poke fun at the stereotype. But that doesn't mean we don't love trees and in particular, those green urban spaces that enrich our cities. We recently covered a study that showed that "green space is more important than money. A poor person living near greenery was even more likely to have a self-reported higher level of peace and happiness than a wealthier person living in an area with less greenery."
On 5th Avenue in New York City, money is more important than green space. Charles Birnbaum, President of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, fights to preserve those green spaces that not only beautiful but are historically important, and deserving of preservation. One of them is the garden designed by British Landscape Architect Russell Page at the Frick Collection on 5th Avenue.
The New York Times and others downplay the importance of this garden, calling it "gated and not open to the public." Birnbaum writes in Huffington Post that it "is depicted as under utilized, or worse - in an era when just about everything is monetized - under performing." In fact, the garden was designed to be viewed, " from the street or through the arched windows of the Reception Hall -- like an Impressionist painting."
One of the wonders of the Frick is that it doesn't fill up its site, that it has a bit of room to breathe. One of the problems with green space is that it is often just seen as "inherently ephemeral and too often viewed as places to "put stuff." Unless it is deeded as a park, it's just real estate with some plants stored on it. Birnbaum concludes:
As the Frick's horticulturalist notes: "Page's garden is designed to slow, or stop, a busy New Yorker, to pause for a moment -- a respite from the city." It's an oasis everyone can enjoy.
Until it is monetized, of course. More in Huffington Post.