Sunflower and other activists converged there this morning to protest a change in city rules that would cost community gardens legislative protection against housing developers. These rules will replace a 2002 agreement that allowed some gardens throughout the city to thrive over the last decade.
Garden activist Susan Howard says, "Contrary to the City's statements, the proposed rules are not identical tothe 2002 settlement agreement, which required the City to do a State Environmental Quality Review of the gardens before bulldozing and required the City to preserve 198 gardens under the Parks Department or land trusts. The proposed rules would violate this agreement and open all the remaining gardens to development. Since the agreement was reached in 2002, the City has destroyed over 130 gardens. Department of Housing Preservation and Development has moved all gardens under their stewardship to development, with only 20 remaining now pending development."