Will Paul Revere Bike Ride Save Community Gardens?
July 29, 2010
Environmental advocacy group Times Up! won’t resign themselves to sitting and watching while some 500 NYC community gardens lose legislative protection against housing developers. Instead, at 7 p.m. tonight, they’re decorating their bikes like horses and emulating Paul Revere in a ride to bring veggies to Mayor Bloomberg’s mansion. The group hopes to prevent the proposed weakening of a soon-to-expire 2002 agreement made between the city and Albany, whose language would no longer explicitly safeguard the gardens against being razed for development.
The ride, according to Times Up, will be a “funky summer soul mobile party,” but that doesn’t mean the NYPD thinks everything is cool and groovy. Barbara Ross of Times Up! tells us they’ve been “getting some calls from the police,” and assumes it is in regard to the cyclists’ plan to visit the mayor’s house. “We assured them that this is going to be a peaceful ride and we simply want to offer the Mayor some homegrown vegetables from the garden so he can enjoy one of the many rewards of having community gardens in NYC,” Ross tells us.
Perhaps the Bloomberg will discover an affinity for urban carrots, but parks commissioner Adrian Benepe tells the Times he doubts the city will uphold the anti-development language: “The gardens have really thrived over the last eight years, but the city has to maintain its options.” FlatbushGardener.com encourages green thumbs to voice their disdain for the proposed rules (or, rather, lack thereof) on the city website prior to the public hearing on August 10th.