Melissa joined Speaker Christine Quinn and the NYC Community Garden Coalition for a press conference yesterday to call for greater protections for our city’s gardens. Community gardeners have expressed serious concerns with a set of rules recently announced by the City, which they feel do not go far enough to protect these spaces from development.
Video from yesterday’s press conference:
There will be a public hearing on August 10th at 11:00 a.m., where Melissa will provide testimony expressing her support for community gardens and her concerns with the rules as they stand. The hearing will be held at the Chelsea Recreation Center (430 W. 25th Street). Click here for more information.
Next month, the agreement between the City and the NYS Attorney General’s Office, which has protected gardens since 2002, will expire. A new set of rules promulgated by the City will provide critical short-term protections, as Speaker Quinn, Melissa and gardeners work together with the Bloomberg administration to identify a long-term preservation strategy.
“Community gardens provide vital open space and sources of fresh produce in neighborhoods across our city,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I remain very concerned that the proposed rules by the administration do not go far enough to provide the strong protections that our community gardeners deserve. While we will continue to work toward long-term preservation strategies for the gardens, it is my hope that additional language can be added to the current rules that will offer greater security to ensure that our communities do not lose these important spaces to development.”