simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: West Side Community Garden
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Thursday, 17 May 2007

West Side Community Garden

This is the West Side Community Garden, which spans between 89th and 90th Streets between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is one of the largest public gardens in the city. Click here for more photos. These blocks are home to a array of institutions: Ballet Hispanico, Stephen Gaynor School, Claremont Riding Stables (recently closed), and St. Gregory the Great School. During the 1970s, half the block facing Columbus Avenue was razed for new buildings. Inadequate funds led to an abandoned plot. By the time real estate developers were ready to build, the space had been transformed into a garden by local residents (many community gardens in the city have started this way). The community was aided in saving this space by Community board 7, The Trust for Public Land, private fundraising and developer Jerome Kretchmer, who included the garden in his development plan. “How could a green open space not be a good amenity?” Kretchmer asks. “I get my money’s worth a hundred times a year.” The garden officially opened to the public in 1988. There is a vegetable garden area with over 100 individual, private plots where vegetables can be grown and harvested. As would be expected for such a privilege in the city, there is a waiting list for vacant plots. Of course the primary focus is flowers - each spring, the garden is home to over 300 varieties of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and roses. Students of St. Gregory the Great school are responsible for the planting and maintaining of two plots. Gardens and parks are not only beautiful in their own rights, but also in juxtaposition to urban structures, providing necessary respite and sanctuary ...


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