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Ouch! Mosquitoes Force Closure of Community Garden

IMG_0224Stephen Rex Brown The dormant construction site next to the garden that is owned by the Educational Alliance. Green thumbs say it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Alphabet City’s community gardens always feel like verdant refuges from city life, but lately Orchard Alley Community Garden has seemed downright tropical.

IMG_0229Stephen Rex Brown Check out the bites on Steven Matthews’ leg.

Yesterday swarms of mosquitoes forced members of the garden on East Fourth Street near Avenue D to close it indefinitely. The itchy green thumbs point to an adjacent stalled construction site owned by Educational Alliance as the insects’ breeding grounds.

“I was here playing catch with my son; after 10 or 15 minutes we had to go,” said Steven Matthews, whose legs were covered in bites from a recent visit.

Until the pools of water at the site are cleaned up the garden, which is open to the public whenever one of its 15 members is present, will remain closed.

Ayo Harrington, the head of the garden, won’t walk on the same side of the street as the garden, and said she’d been taking double-doses of Benadryl to keep the itching at bay. Read more…