THE CITY OF NEW YORK MANHATTAN COMMUNITY BOARD 3

5 9 E a s t 4 t h S tr e e t - N e w Y o r k , N Y 1 00 0 3 Phone (212) 533-5300 - Fax (212) 533-3659 w w w . c b 3 m a n h a t t a n . o r g – i n f o@ c b 3m a n h a t t a n . or g Gigi Li, Board Chair June 26, 2013 Hon. Veronica M. White, Commissioner New York City Department of Parks & Recreation The Arsenal Central Park 830 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10065 Dear Commissioner White: At its June 2013 monthly meeting, Community Board 3 passed the following resolution: WHEREAS, Children's Magical Garden is located at 129 Stanton Street (Block 354 lot16, 18 &19) and is a beloved community garden that has served the Lower East Side for 31 years; and WHEREAS, in 1982 committed local community residents, after the burning down of the previously existing housing, cleared the rubble, garbage and chased the drug dealers off the block; and WHEREAS, community residents started the Children's Magical Garden as a children's community garden; and WHEREAS, collaborative gardening projects provide free mentorship and nature-based education for hundreds of children growing their own food; and WHEREAS, the community garden provides community composting and water runoff mitigation; and WHEREAS, community gardeners work currently and for many years with four adjacent schools: P.S. 20, Marta Valle High School, School for Global Leaders, Lower East Side Prep High School, and many other educational after school programs, and the Community Board has received support letters from the principals of all four schools asking for this resolution, as well as many support letters from principals of previous years, teachers and students; and WHEREAS, the Lower East Side below Houston Street has well below the open space planning goal established for NYC of 2.5 acres per 1,000 residents; and WHEREAS, 2,500 community members have signed a petition, the majority from zip codes surrounding the community garden, asking for support of this resolution; and Susan Stetzer, District Manager

WHEREAS, on May 15th, 2013, the developer Serge Hoyda, citing insurance reasons, installed a fence that goes through the vegetable beds of the children, preventing children and community gardeners from accessing roughly one half of the garden, and WHEREAS, the developer maintained the fence even after he had been named as an additional insured by a liability policy taken out by the Children's Magical Garden, and indemnified by the Garden for accidental liabilities; and WHEREAS, the developer has received calls and letters from Councilmember Chin and Speaker Quinn requesting that he take down the down the fence but has still refused to do so; and NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Community Board 3 very strongly favors a proposal to the extent possible to preserve the whole community garden at its present location by transferring two (2) city-owned lots (Block 354 lots 16 & 18) from HPD to Parks GreenThumb and that spearhead negotiations to acquire the privately owned middle lot for the same purpose.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call. Sincerely,

Gigi Li, Chair Community Board 3

Cc:

Steve Simon, Office of Manhattan Borough Commissioner, DPR Helen Yanolatos, Office of Manhattan Borough Commissioner, DPR Robert McLean, DPR Barbara Flynn, HPD Edie Stone, GreenThumb Aresh Javadi, More Gardens!

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