From The New York Shitty Inbox: Defend Greenthumb Gardens!
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The agreement between the City of NY and the NY State Attorney General that has been protecting community gardens for the past 8 years is set to expire in September.
The City of NY recently published Proposed Rules for community gardens under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development.
The AG’s agreement referred to itself as a “protocol for preservation and development of GreenThumb gardens” — some community gardens were given up for development, some were “subject to development” and 198 community gardens were “offered to the Parks Department or land trusts for preservation as community gardens or open space.”
The word “preservation” appears nowhere in the proposed rules. In a nutshell, the rules essentially make new NYC community gardens not owned by land trusts or Parks subject to development after a review process.
This is a sea change for community gardeners. Though the city has said they do not intend to develop community garden sites, this is little consolation for gardeners who fear the protections that allowed their community gardens to thrive for the past 8 years are being stripped away.
Green Guerillas has been supporting the untiring efforts of the NYC Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) as they have negotiated with the city, mobilized community gardeners, and made a strong case for why community gardens can and should be preserved.
Green Guerillas also mailed out 550 copies of the rules to community garden groups across the city and co-sponsored with NYCCGC an information session to help community gardeners understand the issues so they can mobilize support in their neighborhoods.
We could make an emotional appeal for why you should voice your support for preserving community gardens, but we would not do a better job than the New York Times – read their editorial HERE.
What can you do?
…Attend the upcoming public hearing: The city will be holding a public hearing on August 10th at 11 AM at the Chelsea Recreation Center at 430 W. 25th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) – closest trains are the C, E at 23rd Street or A at 34th Street. (To testify, you must notify Associate Counsel, Ms. Laura LaVelle at the Arsenal via telephone at (212) 360-1335 or e-mail at email@example.com by August 9, 2010.)
View and comment on the rules on the City of NY website HERE.
If you prefer to put pen (or ink cartridge) to paper, submit comments to General Counsel, Mr. Alessandro G. Olivieri, Department of Parks and Recreation, The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10065.
Call 311 and tell them you would like to comment on the Proposed Park Rules as published in The City Record.
As arduous and boring as this legalese is you should read it. Especially this passage:
Given tour Parks Person (and “Open Space Advocate”) has seemingly seen fit to obstruct Nick’s Garden/Red Gate Garden’s Greenthumb paperwork it makes one wonder who she’s serving. Is it the people using said parks? I think not.
The dead tree that graces the beginning of this post is a testament to her folly. It was one of the many trees planted by the Boy Scouts of America last April at her behest and due to neglect (no watering) and poor placement (being pissed on by humans and canines) died. They since have been removed. I suppose our “Parks Person” finds “carpet-bagging” concerts and fund-raisers more compelling? I can’t blame her. She has no public administration or horticultural knowledge at all. She formerly hails from Wall Street. It”s all about the money.
Which is, I can assure you, what this revision of the Greenthumb rules is about. Cashing in.