The community gardens that give us so much pleasure are in danger again of being sold to developers - question: Must every square inch of space in New York City go to make a profit, or is there room in this city for air and space for its citizens?
In 2002, after then Mayor Rudy Guiliani tried to get rid of many community gardens by selling them off to private developers, rules regarding the use of community gardens were created which protected gardens from being used by private developers for eight years. That agreement is about to expire - and though the Parks Department is drafting new rules that will protect our beautiful green spaces, will they go far enough to protect community gardens permanently, or just until political will runs out?
Often community gardens like the Urban Meadow and our other beautiful neighborhood gardens are the only green spaces in a community. This is true of the Columbia Waterfront district, which has two playgrounds, but a lack of green.
The Working Families Party has created an on-line petition that urges the City to draft legislation that will protect the gardens forever. The petition says "Our community gardens need permanent protection so they can keep making New York City stronger, greener, and friendlier. Please create new community garden rules that protect our existing gardens from developers and encourage the creation of more!" Go here to add your name: http://action.workingfamiliesparty.org/communitygardens
This piece in the New York Times gives some good background about the issue - New Rules Worry Community Garden Advocates, July 6, 2010