Over the past three decades New York City residents have reclaimed
neglected rubble-strewn empty lots and turned them into living green
oases where people meet and children play.
Most of New York's community gardens were created by working class
residents in struggling neighborhoods where criminal landlords would burn
down buildings to collect insurance money, vacant lots were allowed
to become hazardous dump sites, city services were severely cut, and city administrations built incinerators,
power plants, dumps and highways.
Despite the success in the spring of 1999, when more than one hundred community gardens were rescued from the auction block, over five hundred are still threatened.
Vibrant community gardens in the South
Bronx combat the highest incidence of asthma in the United States, while
community gardens in Brooklyn provide some of the only open spaces in the
borough that has the least amount of green space in the city. These tiny
green living spaces are the start of a revolution where land has been
reclaimed with no heroic assumptions.
Community gardeners have freed the land from its
manmade confinement, pushed away the danger, crime and other destructive
elements to create a place for residents of all ages to relax, play, and
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