Call Councilperson Gerson and Join the Garden....Rally Saturday 16th 4.30pm to "Preserve Children's Magical Garden"
Minutes from the Town Meeting with Councilmember Gerson's representatives Regarding the Future of the Children's Magical Garden de Carmen Rubio
ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street
May 2, 2007
In attendance (around 50 people) including
Children and Adult Members of the Children’s Magical Garden
Alfredo Feliciano, Co-Director of the Children's Magical Garden
Representatives from Alan Gerson's Office
Members of Time's Up!
Members of More Gardens!
Green Map Director Wendy Brawer
Members of Harlem United Gardeners
Block Associations from nearby blocks
Garden members from, Peachtree Garden, el Paradisio, La Plaza Cultural, 6BC Garden, Nuevo Esperanza Garden (E Harlem), RING Garden (Inwood)
Reverend Billy and Savatri
Other interested members of the community
(Names were collected on sign in sheets by Gerson Representatives)
Michael Ragolia from Alan Gerson’s office announced that Alan regretted not being there due to a medical emergency with his mother and that he would keep his promise of preserving the city lots if the community chose to do so. He opened the meeting with introductions and questions.
A short video of the Halloween Party in the Garden was shown in which Alan Gerson states that he will support saving the garden. in its present location.
The Garden Directors Kate and Alfredo made it clear that they will not move to another space. Alfredo made a passionate and moving speech about the history of the garden and importance of safe open space for children to play which the garden has provided. time. He pointed out that we should fight the gentrification and racism that the threat to this garden embody. Alfredo also stated that he would physically block the bulldozers if they come to damage the garden, many in the room pledged they too would join him if it came to that.
Kate Temple-West wrote a moving statement that was read aloud emphasizing the importance of a permanent place for the children and the importance of the trees (apple, peach and mango) to teach the cycle of life and origin of food to young garden members. Some of these trees, she stated were planted by those who have now passed on.
When Councilmember Gerson's representative presented with the choice of
1. Moving to another space and asking for concessions or
2. Having the Garden on 2/3rds of the space and construction on the other 3rd.
The community members asked for a 3rd choice, to keep the entire garden and ask the developer to move. Several creative ways were suggested that Councilmember Gerson could achieve this goal by obtaining the lot privately owned by:
• Invoking Eminent Domain
• Exchanging the lot with an HPD lot
• Involving the State in Urban funding so as to purchase the developer land as well as over riding the Mayor
• Purchasing the land with assistance of a Land Trust
• Condemning the private lot retrospectively, because the lot had not been maintained
• Convening a research group of interested community members to come up with other creative solutions.
• Involving Mayor Bloomberg in influencing the developer, as part of his new Green NYC campaign. It was pointed out that it would embarrass him if press showed his administration destroying gardens in light of his new green initiative.
• Including the Community Board, who have voted to support the garden
• Making Gerson's position on the permanence of the Garden, at its present location known to HPD.
The meeting ended with the community asking for the following to happen:
• A written statement from Alan Gerson be circulated on his current position on the Garden.
• Alan Gerson meets with HPD to discuss the Garden and his position to preserve it at its present location.
• The city-owned lots of the Garden be placed permanently under Green Thumb jurisdiction immediately.
• The Community be informed whenever this issue comes up in front of the City Council or its committees.
Several members of the Community went back to the Children's Magical Garden for a ceremony and ritual under the full moon.
WHEN: Wednesday May 2nd 7pm
WHERE: ABC No Rio
156 Rivington Street
B/t Suffolk and Clinton Streets
WHAT: Council Member Alan Gerson has called a Town Hall meeting to see if
the community wants to save the Children's Magical Garden, ask Serge Hoyda, the developer who owns 1/3 of the garden to keep the existing garden as is by donation or exchange for the land, making all the children very happy!
if we'd be just as happy to have the garden bulldozed by Serge, and replaced with an apartment building with over 70% luxury units.
1. come to the meeting
explain the importance of green space, healthy food, beauty, education, kids safe play area, etc
2. ask for the city owned land on the community garden to be transfered into the Parks Department, no matter what the developer does
3. ask for the land owned by the developer to be kept as a community garden - by donation or using city and state money for this
4. bring a written testimonial, art work, or ....
Alan Jay Gerson's office (212) 788-7722, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is our chance to make the garden permanent by voicing our support of the garden to Gerson and each other.
Any questions please call Alfredo at (212) 677-4291 or email Kate at email@example.com
check out www.kidsmagicgarden.net to learn more about this important Lower East Side children's garden.
Also work and planning day
Sunday April 29th 2-6 PM
Children's Magical Garden planting day and
garden-saving strategy meeting (3 PM)
at Children's Magical
Norfolk and Stanton Street, LES
Subway "F" to Delancy, walk 2 blocks north.
Co-director Kate will have her cell on! 314-249-3438
The Magical Children's Garden is working towards Preservation! Update:
Check out their website: http://www.kidsmagicgarden.net
The gardeners , the magical children, and many supporters testified their love for the garden at the community board meeting. There was much applause and obvious board support. The proposal to give the land to the developer was not voted on and the developer is asked to meet with the gardeners to find a solution. Many supporters urged the developer to donate his lot (the other two lots are city held land) so as to make the whole space a parks or land trust community garden. there will be a meeting with councilmember Gersin next month to find best solutions.
To Do: Call/Email Allan Gersin - The Council Member - (212) 788-7722 and
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ask him to support the Magic!
The Children's Magical Garden is endanger of development!
Created by Carmen Rubio and Alfredo Feliciano in 1980, the Garden is owned on both private and city owned land.
The current land owner, Serge Hoyda bought the land for $7,500. in 1982. There are also two narrow strips of city owned property one that runs along the stanton street side of the garden and one strip along the back wall.
The develper tried several times over the past 5 years to destroy the garden, but his fences magically disappeared. The developer offered to sell the garden to NY Restoration for $300,000. but NY Restoration said they could not afford it and the owner would have to come down in price.
Contact:Kate @ 212-505-3026/ Alfredo@ 212-677-4291 for any questions or to pledge your support!