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This move not only beautified formerly vacant lots but soon became a grassroots program that fostered neighborhood participation. Christy lived on Mott Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and together with other volunteers spent a year removing trash, adding topsoil, installing fencing, and otherwise beautifying a lot on the northeast corner of Bowery and Houston streets.

In April 1974, the City Office of Housing Preservation and Development approved a lease for

This move not only beautified formerly vacant lots but soon became a grassroots program that fostered neighborhood participation. Christy lived on Mott Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and together with other volunteers spent a year removing trash, adding topsoil, installing fencing, and otherwise beautifying a lot on the northeast corner of Bowery and Houston streets.In April 1974, the City Office of Housing Preservation and Development approved a lease for $1 a month for what was called the "Bowery Houston Community Farm and Garden," becoming the first community garden in the city.

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This move not only beautified formerly vacant lots but soon became a grassroots program that fostered neighborhood participation. Christy lived on Mott Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and together with other volunteers spent a year removing trash, adding topsoil, installing fencing, and otherwise beautifying a lot on the northeast corner of Bowery and Houston streets.

In April 1974, the City Office of Housing Preservation and Development approved a lease for $1 a month for what was called the "Bowery Houston Community Farm and Garden," becoming the first community garden in the city.

The battle between development and preserving open space, a perennial tension in cities across the world and not limited just to community gardens in New York, culminated in an agreement brokered by then–Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the City to preserve more than 400 sites across the five boroughs, either leaving them under the jurisdiction of City agencies or transferring them to the Parks Department.

(That left approximately 150 parcels open to eventual development for New York's housing needs.) The nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP) was instrumental in preserving these sites, organizing in 1999 to protect gardens across the city, and in more than 50 instances buying the parcels to preserve them in perpetuity.

a month for what was called the "Bowery Houston Community Farm and Garden," becoming the first community garden in the city.

The battle between development and preserving open space, a perennial tension in cities across the world and not limited just to community gardens in New York, culminated in an agreement brokered by then–Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the City to preserve more than 400 sites across the five boroughs, either leaving them under the jurisdiction of City agencies or transferring them to the Parks Department.

(That left approximately 150 parcels open to eventual development for New York's housing needs.) The nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP) was instrumental in preserving these sites, organizing in 1999 to protect gardens across the city, and in more than 50 instances buying the parcels to preserve them in perpetuity.

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For example, "Thou Shalt Not Shade" is on Clinton Community Garden's list of commandments: "Trees are NOT permitted in garden plots. Even dwarf species have roots that can spread underground to a neighbor's plot, leaching the soil of nutrients and moisture.Gardens will post opening hours for members of the public interested in finding out what goes on or just wanting to enjoy a patch of green space in their neighborhood, and there are often outreach events going on.Volunteer opportunities abound, and there is often a plot available for you to use should you decide to participate.The Trust for Public Land, a national organization devoted to preserving open spaces, is another outside group that works to assist community gardens in the city.New York Restoration Project Today Green Thumb is the nation's largest urban gardening program, providing assistance and support to more than 550 gardens and 20,000 garden members throughout the city.

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