Why Does It Matter?
Arguments to Convince Your Neighbors and Officials To SAVE the HPD Land!
East Harlem is undergoing a massive rezoning to build 60-story apartment buildings along Madison, Lexington, and Park Avenues. What is the justification for destroying our small lot under the guise of creating "affordable housing," which may allow incomes as high as 165% of the Area Median Income, or more than $120,000 a year for two people?
Although this HPD land is only a section of the entire garden, a building there will change completely the ecology of PVCG, which has been around for 40 years and is used to grow food in what was a serious urban food desert. With the loss of this land and the looming possibility of three 30-50 story towers as part of the East Harlem Mall, our garden will be a shadow of what it is today.
This lot (lots 5 and 6, block 1815) is in a Zone AE Flood Zone - thus, high risk of flooding at least once a year.
This is public land! The community demands a proper Environmental Review (CEQRA) and Uniform Land Use Approval (ULURP) to take into proper consideration the Environmental Resiliency aspect.
An audit by Scott Stringer's office shows ~2,000 uninhabitable NYCHA apartments due NYC neglect.
A walking survey of New York City Housing by Picture The Homeless identified 1,723 abandoned buildings --containing 11,170 apartments!-- and 505 vacant lots in Manhattan alone.
HPD admitted at a City Council hearing that it does not know how much property they control. We want a moratorium on all garden destruction until an audit of city-owned property is completed.
PVCG is a significant resource for diverting organic waste from the landfill, helping to fulfill one of the ONENYC ZEROWASTE goals. We divert about 4,000 lbs of organics per year.
Our native pollinator plant field provides food for important and declining pollinators, like bees among others. 33% of our food depends on pollination! This field also provides food and shelter for birds, which are important in the control of mosquitoes that are vectors of disease.
Our land is an important carbon sink and helps mediate high level of CO2 in NYC!
We are a historic garden with a history of growing food in substantial East Harlem food desert.
Last but not least, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio won the U.S. Conference of Mayors Award in part because in their application GreenThumb and the Mayor's Office wrote: "With the limited amount of available fresh food in the neighborhood, the Pleasant Village Garden, located at 342-353 Pleasant Avenue between 118th and 119th Streets, plays a vital role in providing healthy, affordable produce through its edible garden." Here is their event on Pleasant Village CG's HPD land (image on the right). We'd hate for them to renege on their application.