July General Meeting: 7/17, 6:30pm

by NYCCGC on July 3, 2014

Please join us for our July General Meeting, to be held in two locations on Thursday, July 17, at 6:30pm. During the summer months, NYCCGC follows our tradition of meeting outside in the gardens. General meetings are a great way to see different gardens and meet fellow gardeners around the city, hear about community garden-related issues, network, and share your story.

Manhattan:
6BC Botanical Garden
located on the south side of 6th Street between Ave B & C, East Village NYC
Rain venue: Sixth Street Community Center (located next door to the garden)
638 East 6th Street

Bronx
Nos Quedamos
754 Melrose Avenue (156th & 157th Streets) in the Bronx
If you get lost, contact Ana Melendez:
(718) 585-2323
amelendez@nosquedamos.org
or
Ray Figueroa:
(646) 337-1087
ray@friendsofbrookpark.org

June General Meeting at Joseph Daniel Wilson Memorial Garden in Harlem

June General Meeting at Joseph Daniel Wilson Memorial Garden in Harlem

August General Meeting

Thursday, August 21, 6:30pm
Carrie McCracken TRUCE Community Garden
Saint Nicholas Avenue between West 117th and 118th Streets in Harlem, New York City – see map.

We are looking for community gardens that would like to host a NYCCGC general meeting in September (Thursday, 9/18, 6:30pm)! If you’re interested, let us know at united@nyccgc.org.

 

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Boardwalk Community Garden Lawsuit Update

by Aziz Dehkan on June 23, 2014

On Tuesday, June 10th, 2014, NYCCGC joined together with a coalition of Coney Island residents and community gardeners to pack Kings County Supreme Court, in support of our lawsuit against the City’s decision to approve and fund a $53 million outdoor amphitheater on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

Our court appearance yielded mixed results.  We are disappointed that the Judge, Hon. Mark Partnow, denied our request for a preliminary stay/injunction, which would have put a complete halt to the amphitheater construction while this lawsuit is still pending.  At the same time, Judge Partnow made several stern statements to the lawyers representing the City and its developer, iStar Financial, indicating that they should find a way to settle this lawsuit.  Opposing counsel refused to consider even discussing a settlement, and at one point referred to the Boardwalk Gardeners as “squatters” undeserving of concessions from the City or iStar.  In the end, Judge Partnow said that without a settlement he will have to decide the case on the “papers” (i.e., on the merits of the legal arguments and the facts presented in our court filings), and that this could make it quite difficult for the project to move forward.

We are encouraged by the fact that Judge Partnow effectively threatened to decide the case on the “papers” when opposing counsel refused to consider any settlement.  As elaborated below, we believe our papers firmly establish why the laws, the facts, and justice are all on our side.

Background on the Boardwalk Community Garden and the City’s Amphitheater Project

We are not opposed to the amphitheater project per se.  And we certainly are not opposed to the revitalization of the Coney Island community.  What we are concerned with and specifically opposed to is that the planned location for the amphitheater project calls for development to take place on designated New York City Parkland that has been used as a public community garden for roughly sixteen years.

At approximately 4:00 am on December 28th, 2013–just days after City Council approved the amphitheater–the City and its developers sent bulldozers to the Coney Island Boardwalk Garden, forced assembled gardeners off the land, and began clearing and grading the site. This brazen act was meant to intimidate the gardeners and somehow physically ratify the legally deficient land use approval process.  Nearly six months later, no actual construction work has started at the Boardwalk Garden site.

Coney Island Boardwalk Gardeners v. City of New York

On April 18, 2014, the New York City Community Garden Coalition and the People’s Coalition of Coney Island filed a lawsuit against the City of New York and iStar Financial, Inc. and its subsidiaries on behalf of the garden.  In the lawsuit, we cite two major problems with the amphitheater project’s approval:

First, the City never sought nor obtained State legislative approval to alienate public parkland, despite the fact that the Boardwalk Garden site was transferred to the City’s Parks Department in 1997, for the purpose of creating a permanent garden site.  The garden site has been identified as a “Park” on numerous Parks Department and other City agency maps, and meets all criteria for protection under New York’s common law public trust doctrine.  Consequently, the City and iStar violated the public trust doctrine when they bulldozed the garden and fenced-off this site from any public park uses without prior legislative approval.

Second, the City made several glaring mistakes during the project’s environmental review process, which was rushed in order to get the project approved before its main sponsors (e.g., former Borough President Marty Markowitz and former City Councilman Domenic Recchia) were term-limited out of office.  Most notably, the environmental review completely ignored whether the amphitheater would increase flooding in the project area, despite the severe flood-related devastation Coney Island residents endured during Hurricane Sandy.

On April 29, 2014, members of the Coney Island Boardwalk Community Garden reached a temporary agreement with the City and iStar Financial, Inc., to postpone the planned construction of a $53 million amphitheater project pending the lawsuit. In the agreement, the City and iStar agree that they do not intend to pursue any major construction on the site of the Boardwalk Garden, which currently sits unused and fenced-in, until at least the court date of June 10, and that they will provide the petitioners with ten days’ notice if they plan to perform any activity on the site beyond soil sampling or other non-invasive activities.

Our legal papers are available for download at http://goo.gl/id3Trq.

 

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GARDEN EVENTS THIS WEEKEND

06.20.2014

MAKE MUSIC NEW YORK: Over 1,300 free concerts in a single day! Saturday, June 21, 2014 Karen Kandrac  2:50pm Jun 19 Including Community Gardens and Parks /Loisaida, East Village, Lower East Side Check website for details - http://makemusicny.org/summer-schedule/ * Dias y Flores Garden, 520 E. 13th St * Campos Garden, 628 E. 12th St * Green Oasis Community Garden, [...]

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Upcoming General Meetings

06.16.2014

Please join us at our monthly general meetings this summer! We meet every third Thursday, and during the summer, we follow our tradition of meeting in the gardens. General meetings are a great space to hear from fellow gardeners, get news about garden issues and events around the city, and more. JUNE Thursday, June 19, [...]

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Thank you for coming to our June 10th event

06.14.2014

Hello Friends, This past Tuesday night we held our Back to the Garden fundraising event at Judson Memorial Church. It was an extraordinary night. A great outpouring of support from old and new friends.We presented the Gardener Award to five truly inspirational gardeners. The youth gardeners: Kristina Erskine, Iyeshima Harris and Benia Darius; Michael Young, [...]

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PACK THE COURTROOM!

06.05.2014

Join Boardwalk Community Garden in their fight to regain their community space! Tuesday, June 10, 9:30 AM Brooklyn State Supreme Court 360 Adams Street, Courtroom 441 Let’s stand in solidarity with our sisters & brothers struggling to salvage their right to live in peace and in human dignity. REMEMBER: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice [...]

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Pack the Courtroom in Solidarity with Boardwalk Community Garden

06.03.2014

Join Boardwalk Community Garden and NYCCGC at their court hearing: Tuesday, June 10, 9:30AM Brooklyn State Supreme Court 360 Adams Street, Courtroom 441 By Raymond Figueroa-Reyes and Aziz Dekhan At approximately 4:00 am on December 28, 2013, bulldozers, owned by the developer iStar Financial, Inc. and sanctioned by the City, leveled the Boardwalk Community Garden, a beloved [...]

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May General Meeting & Summer Schedule

05.14.2014

Tomorrow’s general meeting will take place in two locations: pick whichever one works best for you. See you there! Bronx 6 PM at Nos Quedamos 754 Melrose Avenue between 156th and 157th Streets Manhattan Children’s Magical Garden 129 Stanton Street, btw Esssex & Norfolk, NY, NY 10002 Come early and help with fun projects – [...]

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GENERAL MEETINGS THURSDAY MAY 15th

05.13.2014

Two General Meetings will be held Thursday May 15th: In the Bronx Community Gardeners General Meeting will take place this Thursday at 6 PM at Nos Quedamos located at 754 Melrose Avenue between 156th and 157th Streets. In Manhattan Community Gardeners General Meeting will take place this Thursday at 6 PM at 9 Clinton st #17 between Rivington and      Delancey [...]

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UPDATE ON BOARDWALK GARDEN COURT CASE

04.30.2014

May 1, 2014     For Immediate Release Contact: Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director, New York City Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC)   Contact Information: Aziz Dehkan, NYCCGC Executive Director phone: 973.222.5413              email: eighty20group@gmail.com  BOARDWALK COMMUNITY GARDEN FILES SUIT AGAINST THE CITY, REACHES AGREEMENT TO POSTPONE PLANNED CONSTRUCTION OF AMPHITHEATER UNTIL CASE IS HEARD IN COURT Brooklyn, NY — [...]

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