Brooklyn College Plan to Tear Down Garden to Build Parking Lot Denied… For Now

05/26/2010 10:23 AM |

parking lot of sadness

  • Joni Mitchell should write a song.

This is a frustrating story. Late yesterday a state judge put a halt to the work of laborers hired by Brooklyn College to TEAR UP A GIANT COMMUNITY GARDEN in order to build a parking lot. Now, as an atheist (there goes my Senate run in 2022) I don’t really go in for the idea of “sin,” but I gotta say, whatever secular power the notion retains, destroying a garden full of food comes pretty close to sinful.

Sure, this story has lots of context, namely, Brooklyn College is trying to qualify for a certain level of NCAA status that requires them to build a giant parking lot, but the following quote, from Steve Little, vice president of finance and something else, is hard to take:

[The school] cannot jeopardize (its) core mission [which] necessitates the closure of the old community garden in order to accommodate a reconfigured athletic field which meets NCAA requirements.

The school’s core mission is not made clear by the Post‘s article, and though I’m not trying to rag on college athletics (I was a college athlete), I gotta say that whatever “core mission” necessitates the destruction of a community garden in favor of parking is just fucked up. The article goes on to talk about the lack of parking at Brooklyn College (as if that somehow mitigates the institution’s decision), a “deficiency” which strikes me as a great opportunity for any institution of higher learning to reexamine its core values. ‘Cause really, that’s where any given society’s “core values” should be tested, challenged, considered, adapted and, yes, improved. Higher learning. Think about it.