Silver Releases Statement on Community Garden Rules

This afternoon, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is out with a statement on the final rules submitted by the NYC Parks Department on community gardens:

“The new rules put forward by the Parks Department provide important protections for the community gardens that mean so much to our neighborhoods. Those who dedicate their time and enormous effort to creating and maintaining these gardens deserve to know that as long as they adhere to certain standards, the fruits of their labor will be protected. The residents of my Lower Manhattan community deserve the vital green space that these gardens provide. We must remain vigilant in making sure that these protections are maintained so that future generations can continue to enjoy these urban oases.”

Guest Post: Finding Inspiration in LES Gardens

9th Street & Avenue C Community Garden & Park. All photos by Matthew McDermott

As we reported a few minutes ago, the NYC Parks Department has agreed today to strengthen protections for the city’s community gardens.  An earlier version of proposed rule changes did not sit well with many neighborhood activists, who feared the city might be tempted to sell the garden sites to developers.

Coincidentally, we recently discovered a beautiful (and as it turns out, a very timely) collection of photographs documenting some of the community gardens in and around the Lower East Side.  The photos were taken by East Village resident Matthew McDermott, senior writer for and We asked Mat to send us some of his favorite photographs from his series and to tell us a little about what inspired him to document the gardens. His story and the photos are featured after the jump:

City Strenthens Protections for Community Gardens

9th Street & Avenue C - Community Garden. Photo by Matthew McDermott.

A short time ago, NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, with elected officials and neighborhood activists at his side, announced the city is making some concessions to more fully protect the city’s community gardens.  Protesters had strongly opposed the city’s proposed new rules, which they argued would have made the gardens more susceptible to development.

Dog Run Improvements, Building Issues to be Discussed Tonight

Corlear's Hook Dog Run. Photo by Jennifer Strom.

Three stories we have been following will be the subject of community meetings on the Lower East Side tonight. First, a fledgling group hoping to improve the dog run at Corlear’s Hook Park will hold an organizing meeting. It’ll take place at 6pm, at the dog run (the park is located at Cherry and Jackson streets).

Good Morning: Community Gardens Deal, Post Seizes on Bialystoker Controversy, Spoon Plays on LES Today

6th & B Community Garden. Photo by Matthew McDermott

At 10:30 this morning, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe is expected to announce a compromise presumably ending a dispute that erupted this summer over the future of New York’s community gardens.