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Advocates Rally To Preserve NYC's Community Gardens

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Organizers held a rally Tuesday morning ahead of a public hearing regarding proposed rules for community gardens.

The rules — put forth by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Housing Preservation and Development — had come under scrutiny from some who feared the gardens could be encroached upon by developers.

In an effort to save their community gardens, advocates — led by the New York City Community Garden Coalition — staged a rally on West 25th Street.

Those in attendance sang, danced and filled the park with signs that read ‘preserve, protect, create gardens,’ 1010 WINS senior correspondent Stan Brooks reports.

One woman at the rally told Brooks the garden “promotes happiness for the seniors [and] for the kids.”

Just last week, the NYCCGC had called for the new rules to extend protections established under a 2002 State Attorney General’s Memorandum of Agreement.

That agreement, which expires this September, included specific protections for community gardens. One such provision states that in the event of a development project that causes a garden to be “disturbed or temporarily closed,” reasonable efforts would need to be made to restore affected gardens “to the condition that existed prior to the commencement of any construction.”

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe tried to assuage the fears of garden advocates.

“The gardens are terrific…they grow flowers, fruits, vegetables,” Benepe told Brooks, “[they] help us keep skinny, make it shady, make the neighborhoods desirable and the city shares the gardeners desire to keep them.”