E Village Gardens 5

This is the fifth and last in a series on a selection of some of the many community gardens in the East Village in Manhattan, New York. Some of the gardens I photographed are gone or may be soon. Some of the gardens are not so pretty and are only used as places to socialize. The majority of the gardens that I photographed in this series still exist and are lovely tranquil gardens (captions are dated beginning by year month and day).

Lower East Side neighborhoods once had close to 60 registered community gardens but many were bulldozed as the area gentrified, supporters said. Although about 46 gardens remain, the area has the highest concentration of community gardens in the city.

Most of the gardens however, sit on city-owned land, leaving them vulnerable to development, the gardeners said. City-owned community gardens are still documented in city records as vacant lots and are subject to revocation at any time.

If the gardens are designated as parkland the law would require the state legislature to weigh in before the gardens could be removed. According to the Parks Department — which runs the city’s GreenThumb community gardening program — “the interim nature of the garden” is made clear when a group wins approval to start a community garden, a spokesman said. Once a garden is approved by the city gardeners must write a letter to the community board indicating that it understands that the garden is not permanent and that will not hinder development plans.

Hope Garden 193 East 2nd Street between Avenues A & B in Noho. Owned by DPR listed inain GreenThumb. The 1,987 square foot garden was founded in 1993. Open Hours Sunday: 10a-5p and Tuesday: 6p-9p.

20110604 Hope Gdn 2 St A-B 139
20110604 Hope Gdn 2 St A-B 139

Peach Tree 236-238 East 2nd Street, between Avenues B & C. Peachtree Community Garden was founded originally in 1982 as The East 2nd Street Block Association Garden, an official Greenthumb garden by Scott Bart on, Benito Claudio and Jill London. Together, they planted the original peach tree which now lends its name to the garden. Since then, it has been used for gardening and to hold regular community meetings. The original members of Peachtree Community Garden were instrumental in forcing the drug dens off our block.

Le Petit Versailles 346 East Houston between Avenues B & C. Le Petit Versailles is a unique marriage of a verdant oasis and an electrifying arts organization, offering a range of quirky performances and screenings to the public.

East Houston areas of interest.

Clinton Garden and Committee of Poor People of the Lower East Side 171 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002. A small Green Thumb garden created in 1993. With places to sit and read or listen to music. Often there are barbeques on weekends and special occasions.

Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Garden 174 Suffolk. Established in 1980 and originally named Iglesia Pentacostal Arca de Salvacion. This 2385 Square foot garden was cleaned up in 2002 by volunteers from “Ground Force” – a BBC America television production – and New York Restoration Project (NYRP) staff.

The garden is cared for by community residents, many of whom grow tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables there, including peppers and eggplant. Featuring a casita – a garden structure common to Puerto Rican gardens that includes a small porch for community activities and storage space – this shared green space provides a picturesque setting for barbecues and many other gatherings. In addition, the neighborhood hosts street fairs, with the garden providing a focal point for these celebrations.

The Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Community Garden received a generous grant from the Dorothy Strelsin Foundation to add a performance area – which includes seating and a bluestone patio – and storage space, both located at the back of the property. Commissioned by NYRP, photographer and furniture designer Eric Slayton, in collaboration with Susannah Drake of dlandstudio and Annette Wilkus of SiteWorks, LLC, worked with community members and NYRP staff to create a versatile design to accommodate both performance and community needs.

Children’s Magical Garden (CMG) on the corner of Norfolk & Stanton Streets has been used continuously for over 30 years providing food, education and soul-nourishment to the neighborhood’s children and people of all ages. In May 2013 a developer tore the garden in two by putting up a fence in the middle.

EV gdns 5

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

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