E Village Gardens 3

This is the third in a series on a selection of some of the many community gardens in the East Village in Manhattan, New York.

The Creative Little Garden at 530 E 6th Street between Avenue A and B is an example of how New Yorkers can make the most out of any space. Opened in 1982 on the site of a former tenement building that burned down, this 24-by-100-foot garden, with 40 to 80 members at any one time, features a winding birch-chip path, eight sculptures, a waterfall, a wide variety of flora and fauna, and a collection of birdhouses. The path winds past azaleas, tulips, hydrangeas, ferns, rose bushes and bleeding hearts, ending at a slate patio under a willow tree. The Creative Little Garden is open every day.

6 & B Garden is a 17,813 square foot. lush, green oasis offering beauty, peace, education and entertainment to local residents and visitors of all ages. The Garden contains fruiting trees, flowering shrubs and innumerable herbs, flowers and vegetables. Members cultivate raised beds of soil (plots) and stage programs of crafts, horticultural/science workshops, culinary events, films, multicultural festivals, and musical and theatrical performances from around the world. The Garden serves as an anchor and working model of preservation for the City’s network of community gardens which have transformed the environment of the East Village / Lower East Side.

The Garden is operated by 6th Street and Avenue B Garden, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for- profit corporation and operates under the name “6th & B Garden”. 6th & B Garden is licensed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation as a GreenThumb Garden. GreenThumb provides programming and material support to over 600 community gardens in all five boroughs of New York City. Click to read the history of the garden.

Liz Christie Bowery-Houston Garden was the First Community Garden in New York City founded in 1973; it is located on the northeast corner of Bowery and Houston Streets in Manhattan. The garden has a 2.5-foot-deep pond and the fish and red-eared slider turtles live there year round. The garden also has wildflowers, wooden furniture, a grape arbor, a grove of weeping birch trees, fruit trees, a dawn redwood, vegetable gardens, berries, herbs and hundreds of varieties of flowering perennials. Sections are designed and tended by the garden members; general maintenance is shared. This natural place can be enjoyed in every season during the weekly open hours.

During the 17th Century at the corner of Bouwerie and North Street was the southern tip of a large farm owned by Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam.

In 1973 a local resident named Liz Christy and a group of gardening activists known as the Green Guerillas were planting window boxes, vacant lots with ‘seed bombs’ and tree pits in the neighborhood. In December went to the City to find a way to gain official use of the land. Volunteers hauled the garbage and rubble out, spread donated topsoil, installed a fence and began planting.

On April 23, 1974, the City’s office of Housing Preservation and Development approved the site for rental as the “Bowery Houston Community Farm and Garden” for $1 a month. Sixty raised beds were planted with vegetables, and then trees and herbaceous borders were added. In their second year this forerunner of today’s urban community gardens won its first Mollie Parnis Dress Up Your Neighborhood Award. The Green Guerillas ran workshops and planted experimental plots to learn how a wide range of plants could be grown in hostile conditions.

In 1986 the Garden was dedicated Liz Christy’s Bowery-Houston Garden, in memory of its founder. In 1990, after years of uncertainty and a ground swell of support, the local development group, the Cooper Square Committee, pledged to preserve the garden in its entirety in its renovation plans for our neighborhood. The 2002 agreement between the City of New York and the NYS Attorney General calls for the preservation of the Liz Christy Garden.

Albert’s Garden on the north side of 2nd Street between Bowery and 2nd Ave. A quiet shade garden with a goldfish pond framed against the south stone wall of The New York Marble Cemetery. Albert’s Garden is a Manhattan Land Trust property, and is maintained by neighborhood volunteer members.

E Village Gdns 3

Green Spaces
East Village Parks Conservancy
NYC East Village Community Gardens on Opengreenmap
NYC Parks Green Thumb
American Community Garden Association

10 thoughts on “E Village Gardens 3

  1. Anne Sandler 2016-05-20 / 2:04 pm

    As a kid, I lived in the Bronx. It would have been great to have these gardens then. What a nice escape for relaxing and meditating.


    • Sherry Lynn Felix 2016-05-20 / 2:34 pm

      They have them in the Bronx now too (see websites). I didn’t photograph those because I don’t live there. I did for a short while when I was 4 and 5.


  2. sandyjwhite 2016-05-20 / 10:22 am

    These gardens must be wonderful places of solitude in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherry Lynn Felix 2016-05-20 / 6:52 pm

      They are lovely places. They can be noisy and full of fun too. I did not photograph the parties and activates.


  3. Jet Eliot 2016-05-20 / 9:56 am

    Fantastic post Sherry. I liked learning the impressive histories of these gardens, hearing about residents and their spirit of working together to create peaceful and beautiful gardens. Wonderful photos to accompany, and great satellite overview as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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