The Joseph Daniel Wilson Memorial Garden in Central Harlem was created more than 30 years ago by an elderly Guyanese gentleman--a Harlem homeowner, a group of teens, a young woman and her future husband. An amazing oasis emerged from what had been an abandoned, rat-infested lot. However, more than ten years after the garden was born, an individual who had abandoned a portion of the land, paid his back taxes and was able to hold title to that portion--two non-contiguous strips-- of the garden.
Over the years, as the garden grew into magnificence, generous supporters offered to buy the privately titled part of the garden, but the title holder refused. Now he wants to sell.
The garden has become the heart and soul of the community. The community gardeners have hosted film festivals, jazz concerts, workshops of many kinds, and much, much more. The garden is, indeed, a neighborhood institution.
Community members have written letters and signed petitions, resulting in strong support from the local community board and from the Manhattan Borough President who has allocated $300,000 from her capital budget for the acquisition of the garden portion not yet permanent.
But recently the "titular owner," has threatened to fence in what he considers to be "his" part of the garden. The garden isn't large and to slice through it would destroy nearly all the mature trees and innumerable heirloom plants.
The community gardeners seek to deal with the "titular owner" fairly. You can help raise the funds they need to save the garden. Read more on our website, www.projectharmonynyc.org and visit the campaign: https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/save-our-community-s-soul