State Bill Protects New York’s Community Gardens

The legislation recognizes community gardens as vital urban spaces and an effective weapon against the impacts of climate change on cities.

1 minute read

July 28, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Lush urban community garden with raised beds in dense New York City neighborhood with brick apartment buildings in background.

The 8th Street Community Garden in Manhattan, New York City. | jonbilous / Adobe Stock

A law passed by the New York state legislature and awaiting the governor’s signature recognizes community gardens as a key tool in the fight against climate change, report David Gonzalez and José A. Alvarado Jr. in The New York Times.

The bill aims to shield gardens on city land by mandating that regulatory officials consider the possible effects of development and construction when reviewing proposals to build on gardens deemed environmental assets by a statewide task force of gardeners.

Often volunteer-run and locally funded affairs, community gardens can provide vital green space in dense urban neighborhoods, educate community members about nutrition, and bring fresh produce closer to the neighborhood. In New York City, they began proliferating in the 1970s. Today, community garden volunteers are working to adjust their infrastructure for heavier storms and more intense heat waves by adding rain barrels and planting hardier crops, among other solutions. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023 in The New York Times

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