Bumblebees and bugs rove to save community gardens
By Jefferson Siegel
Dressed as ladybugs, bumblebees, butterflies and sunflowers, revelers paraded through the East Village and Lower East Side to the sounds of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra on Saturday in the second annual Roving Garden Party. Organized by Timeâ€™s Up!, the event â€” which made stops at six local community gardens â€” highlighted fact that 50 of the cityâ€™s community gardens are at risk of being destroyed.
After stops at La Plaza Cultural and El Jardin Esperanza, the procession relaxed in El Jardin del Paraiso on E. Fifth St. and Avenue C, where they were told the gardenâ€™s park area, closed for renovations the past three years, would reopen for six days a week on June 21. At Le Petit Versailles Garden on Second St., they were greeted by Peter Cramer, the gardenâ€™s co-founder, dressed as an Egyptian eunuch.
Alfredo Feliciano and Kate Temple-West, directors of the Childrenâ€™s Garden, told of the threat facing their green plot. The garden sits on three lots, two of which are owned by the city and the third by a private developer. Locals fear the developer will buy the cityâ€™s lots and bulldoze the garden. A grant from the group Citizens for New York funded Saturdayâ€™s event.