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Trees for Life and Unity (Bronx)

 

Type of Memorial: Community Garden

 

Location: Community Gardens across the South Bronx

City: Crotona, East Tremont, West Farms, New York

State: New York

Country: United States

 

Open to Public: Yes

 

Description:

Addresses: 2001 Daly Ave Block Association Garden, 2001 Daly Ave, 2120 Mapes Ave Garden, Mapes Ave at 181st St, Batey Borincano Garden, 811-815 Eagle Ave, CS 134 "Community Improvement Garden" 1313 Bristow St, CS 67 "Garden of Knowledge", E 179th St and Crotona Parkway, Clinton Garden, 730 Clinton Ave, Concerned Tenants of Daly Ave, 2139 Daly Ave, Fordham Bedford Lot Busters, 2592 Bainbridge Ave, Garden of Happiness, 2156 Prospect Ave, Garden of Youth, E 182nd St and Prospect Ave, Hispanos Unidos, 912 E 178th St, IS 167 Drew Garden, 1970 West Farms Rd, Jardin Criollo, 750-760 E 152nd St, Krystal's Garden, 940-950 E 180th St, Sherman Ave, 935-955 Sherman Ave, Tremont Community Senior Citizens' Center Garden, E 178th St and LaFontaine Ave, Volky Garden, 851 Hornaday Place,

Purpose: Their USFS proposal states, "in the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11th, City residents have sought out open spaces to gather to reflect and connect with each other and living things. New York City's network of more than 700 community gardens--located in the heart of neighborhoods in all the boroughs--proved to be a natural choice for local residents who were seeking refuge and public places to gather and reflect. All of these sites are sizable community gardens where the addition of trees will enhance the diversity of the existing plant life....Most [community gardeners] do not have the money to pay for trees. The planting of memorial trees will serve to remember the victims of the tragedy and will provide community gardens with the trees they need but cannot afford." La Familia Verde hopes that these trees will also work to address their priority areas of health and immigrant services. Tree planting improves air quality, a necessary health benefit in an area with a disproportionately high asthma rate. Moreover, the programming component of La Familia Verde uses plantings as a chance to promote positive inter-racial, cultural, and lingual relations--an important end in an extremely international area with many recent immigrants from Africa, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Reason site was selected: According to their proposal, "In the wake of the tragedy, garden members of La Familia Verde Garden Coalition opened their garden gates and welcomed people to their little green oases to grieve, hold vigils in memory of those who died, and in the weeks following the tragedy community residents used the gardens to invite local firemen and policemen to garden events to honor them for their bravery and protection....As community managed open spaces, community gardens are in a unique position to provide comfort to local City residents in the many neighborhoods they are found. For over twenty years, community gardens have not only been beautification projects, but have functioned as outdoor community centers, providing neighborhood people with safe and accessible spaces where to gather, socialize and even organize." The Tremont Community Garden, in specific, was selected because its site was recently expanded and they have a large open area that is in need of shade trees. This garden is a Trust for Public Land site, and is therefore permanently protected. Other gardens are being selected according to need and capacity to plant.

Events planned for site: The 40-110 trees will be planted and cared for by the exisiting network of garden volunteers. They also plan to post description of the project on garden fences and bulletin boards, along with information on open hours in which the public and victims' families can visit. They will invite family members to become part of the garden committee that cares for the trees. Further, they intend to hold public processes to determine which trees are most appropriate as September 11 memorials. They will hold groundbreaking ceremonies with victims' families, gardeners, other community members, press, and government officials. Ongoing programming relating to trees, health, and immigrant services is planned.

 

Contact: linkoree2@aol.com; rebecca_ferg@hotmail.com

Web Site: www.greenguerillas.org

 

 

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