TH: news from NYC

 Reply-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com (Community Forestry) ---------

People who are planning/planting community gardens might want to take a
look at the Thursday New York Times.  On the front page of the Home
section (section C) there is an excellent article chronicleing the plight
of some of the most productive open spaces in New York.

It should be noted that gardens are in danger in NYC because the
leadership i.e. Giuliani does not view them as valuable.  The Parks
Commissioner would be happy to keep the gardens (although he is following
the Mayor's lead in much of his rhetoric).  Giuliani does not view the
neighborhoods in which most of the gardens are located at valuable either,
so this is of no great surprise.

The point which seems critical to me is that despite support from City
Council members, the Borough Presidents (somewhat akin to county
executives), the community boards (local boards which make land use
recommendations to the city), several commissioners, etc.  gardens are
still being bulldozed.  They are being dozed in neighborhoods with huge
numbers of vacant lots and abandoned housing.  There are gardens which
will be torn down which serve schools, half-way houses, community centers.

The only lesson I can draw at this point is that twenty years of care and
education in a neighborhood can be destroyed.  So be ever vigilant.