Garden Preservation Update!
April 1999 

Most of the 800 community gardens throughout New York City were transferred from Greenthumb / Parks Department program to HPD (Housing Preservation and Development ) last April 1998, placing the gardens under increased threat awaiting development plans for these sites. Current plans to auction 114 gardens this May 13th and 14th, 1999, to real estate speculators has galvanized the growing garden preservation effort. Gardeneners and residents throughout New York City have joined together to halt plans to auction and destroy the community gardens, that will have disastrous permanent effect on the quality of life and the ecological and cultural resources these neighborhoods have struggled to create for themselves over the past 25 years. 

On Wednesday May 13th, Young Mother's Garden (Bronx, Block 2923, Lot 26) will be up for auction. The other 113 gardens will be sold on Thursday afternoon. 

The community gardens of New York City are an ecological treasure and exemplary model of urban improvisation that could become a plan for future cities in the 21st century. However, they exist under the impending threat of destruction by development plans. The gardens provide needed open space, fresh air, a habitat of a diverse species of plants, insects, and birds, as well as outdoor environmental, educational, cultural, healing, spiritual, and community centers. The gardens have also reduced crime by attracting children on the streets and engaging them in a positive life affirming activity. Tensions that exist between the diverse cultural and special interest groups are relieved by uniting people through nature to get to know one another and discover their common interests and goals. As the New York City administration further slashes the budget for social services, it makes little sense to destroy the gardens that are providing millions of dollars worth of services to the community, free of cost to the city. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: 

CALL, FAX, E-MAIL, SEND LETTERS, AND CALL CITY & ELECTED OFFICIALS. ASK THEM TO HELP REMOVE GARDENS FROM AUCTION. 

You can ask them to help remove gardens from auction and support the following proposed garden preservation legislation including: on a state level s.2127 (designating gardens as park land) and s.2711 (making gardens eligible for Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act funds to purchase and improve gardens). On the City Council Level, Intro 522, Sponsored by Councilman Fisher at request of Brooklyn Borough President Golden, will amend city charter to stop sale of gardens and require that their disposition be approve by the City Council. Intro 519, sponsored by Council Member Carrion at the request of Bronx Borough President, Fernando Ferrer also prevents the sale of gardens. Resolution 631, Introduced by Council Members Carrion and Fisher asks to revisit ULURP (land review) decisions. 

KEY OFFICIALS TO CONTACT: 
ASK THEM TO HELP REMOVE THE GARDENS FROM THE AUCTION 

Deputy Mayor Joseph Lhota 
City Hall 
New York, NY 10007 
Phone: (212) 788-3137 Fax: (212) 788-3127 

Peter Vallone, City Council Speaker 
250 Broadway New York NY 10007 
Phone : (212) 788-7210 * Fax: 788-7207 
E-Mail: Vallone@citycouncil.nyc.ny.us 

Wendell Foster, Council Member & Head of Parks Committee 
1377 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452 
Phone: (718) 588-7500 * Fax: (718) 588-7790 
E-Mail: foster@council.nyc.ny.us 

Sheldon Silver, State Assembly Speaker 
Legislative Office Building, Room 932 
Albany, NY 12247 
Phone: (212) 312-1420 * Fax: (212) 312-1425 
E-mail: speaker@assembly.state.ny.us 

George Pataki, Governor of New York State 
Executive Chamber 
State Capitol 
Albany, NY 12224 
Phone: (518) 474-8390 
E-mail: gov.pataki@chamber.state.ny.us 

YOU CAN ALSO TRY TO URGE THE MAYOR TO CHANGE HIS POSITION ON DESTROYING THE GARDENS: 

Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor of The City of New York 
City Hall, New York, NY 100007 
Phone: (212) 788-3000 * Fax: (212) 788-8123 
E-mail: giuliani@www.ci.nyc.ny.us 
Web site: http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us