Half of the largest network of community gardens in the U.S. — 69 parcels totaling more than eight acres in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn — is set to change hands next week, according to an announcement from the Trust for Public Land, which currently holds title to them.
The Trust purchased the gardens from the city for $3 million in 1999; they are now valued at $7 million.
The first batch of gardens, which includes 32 parcels, will be deeded over to the newly-formed Manhattan and Bronx Land Trusts on Tuesday at a ceremony at East Harlem’s Carver Garden, on 124th Street between Second and Third avenues. The rest of the Trust’s gardens are expected to be acquired by the Brooklyn-Queens Land Trust in the fall.
Per the announcement, Carver Garden was chosen for its “especially colorful history, as it flourished through the weeds of a former crack laden avenue only to then be overcome with a plague of rats due to building construction just two years ago. But, committed gardeners cultivated past the bad seeds and today Carver Garden is a green oasis once again, utilized by individual gardeners and community organizations alike.” — Sarabeth Sanders