Just four days ahead of the expiration of the current “Garden Settlement” (a 2002 set of provisional rules governing the use of our fair city’s hundreds of wonderful community gardens) the powers that be announced yesterday a whole new set of rules about gardens—and the news isn’t good. I reached out to righteous urban warrior saints Time’s Up (themselves instrumental in the reclamation of vacant lots in the 80s) to see what they thought. Here’s what Time’s Up spokeswoman Barabara Ross had to tell me, in an email:
Despite overwhelming support by the community of New York to preserve our parks and community gardens, the City’s new rules fail to protect them, and in fact expose each and every one to development. New Yorkers love their parks and community gardens and for years have fought to protect them, preserve them and keep them open to the public. These green spaces play a vital role in the mental, physical and emotional health of our City’s residents and play an ever increasingly important role in our City’s environmentally sustainable future. The City needs to provide permanent protection for our community gardens and the people of this City will continue to fight until we win such protection.