Members of a citywide community garden group and the City Council speaker,Christine C. Quinn ,called upon the Bloomberg administration on Wednesday to help make permanent hundreds of community gardens scattered across the city, according to the New York Times.
About 75 members of the group, called the New York City Community Garden Coalition, gathered on the steps of City Hall, some waving signs, others holding aloft beets, bunches of carrots, eggplants and ears of corn. They said that rules recently drafted by the Department of Parks and Recreation and theDepartment of Housing Preservation and Development did not offer enough protection to some 300 city-owned gardens spread across the five boroughs.
City officials vigorously disagreed, saying the rules proposed by the agencies were meant to benefit the gardens, but added that the language in those rules could perhaps be adjusted to assuage concerns.
Ms. Quinn and Melissa Mark-Viverito, a councilwoman representing districts in Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx, joined the gardeners.
“We are here today to say that we want our community gardens to become a permanent part of New York City,” Ms. Quinn told the crowd. “We want to end garden existence in a state of limbo.”
Both Ms. Quinn and Karen Washington, the president of the garden coalition, praised the city for its willingness to have an open discussion about the future of the gardens.
“However,’’ Ms. Washington said, “the consensus of our coalition membership is that the proposed rules and regulations don’t go far enough in protecting and creating more community gardens.”