Last night was the New York City Community Garden Coalition’s monthly meeting. Word of disclosure: I’m on the board of directors. In the summer, we hold them outside at community gardens in different parts of the city. Last month the meeting was at Papa and Mama John’s Historical Garden in East New York, Brooklyn. Next month it will be at Brook Park in the South Bronx. But last night it was at the Carrie McCracken Garden in West Harlem. As always, this was a bustling meeting, with lots of news, energy, and good ideas for garden activism.
And West Harlem has changed so much. It’s been a while since I had been there, and I was amazed by the bustling, high-end restaurants and the fancy apartment buildings. To be sure, all that clearly co-exists with persistent poverty and unemployment. The Carrie McCracken gardeners reported last night that they succeeded in transferring the garden to the Parks Department’s land portfolio only last fall, and that developers were lobbying hard to get their clutches on it. With the in-your-face gentrification, it’s clear why.
It’s a lovely garden, that is lovingly maintained. Congratulations, Carrie McCracken Community Gardeners.