On Stanton Street, a New Community Garden Takes Root

P2195213Kavitha Surana

A scruffy lot at 181 Stanton Street will soon blossom into a community garden. With spring around the corner, residents will gather at ABC No Rio tomorrow to plot the future of Siempre Verde. Locals successfully lobbied to use the vacant space for an interim garden back in the Fall, but there hasn’t been much activity over the cold winter months.

Though the lot may look abandoned, garden member Ilyse Kazar said that some members have been tending to sections of the property for years. According to Ms. Kazar, the community was pushed to achieve legal status when the lot appeared as vacant land on 596 Acres, a land-access advocacy group.

Residents organized over the summer to preserve the patch of potentially vibrant green space and in November, GreenThumb, a city program that supports interim gardens, granted a one-year license to Siempre Verde, according to the garden’s website.

P2195219Kavitha Surana

The agreement can be revoked if the city sells the property for development in the future — which isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. Last spring, the sliver was eyed for redevelopment by the estate of William Gottlieb. The initial concept for an L-shaped five-story building (joining the lot with 137 and 139 Attorney Streets) was approved by Community Board 3 in April, but a formal proposal was never submitted.

For now, garden members have too much on their minds to fret about a potential sale. “Are we worried? We’re too busy with the nuts and bolts of trying to get the garden launched this season,” said Ms. Kazar.

Tomorrow’s meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street. E-mail JoinUs@SVgarden.org for more information.