Lots to Grow is a deep dive into New York City's community gardens, unique open spaces created and maintained by neighborhood volunteers. As NYC grows and develops, how are gardens and their caretakers adapting to the new challenges that come from neighborhood change? Through interviews with more than 35 individuals, New Yorkers for Parks catalogues the history of gardens, their present day functions, and how they are dealing with issues ranging from cultural clashes to losses of land to their complicated and sometimes temporary status.
Community gardens in New York City serve the public in a variety of intersecting ways. From providing greenery and increased property values to enhancing social networks and ecological resiliency, they are strong models for open community space. Despite this, they exist in temporary status, and their volunteer caretakers struggle to prove their worth in measurable terms. How do gardens create impact and how can their volunteer caretakers prove it? On the second episode of Lots to Grow, we explore community gardens’ current functions and the research that captures their value.
New York City suffered an economic crisis in the 1970s. Residents took over vacant lots, where buildings had burned, and transformed them into gardens. For decades, these gardens flourished as healthy spaces cherished by their communities, cared for exclusively by volunteers. In 1999, 114 gardens were listed for auction by Mayor Giuliani, which made all gardeners reckon with the temporary status of their gardens and mobilize citywide. In the first episode of Lots to Grow, we explore this history and how the dramatic protests gardeners launched affected gardens citywide.
Coming July 24, 2019 - a podcast about gardens and communities in New York City by New Yorkers for Parks. Featured in this teaser are the voices of Greg Anderson, Gil Lopez, Kofi Thomas, Sara Jones, and Jessica Saab. The song is "The Garden State" by Audiobinger.