Neighbors say they've been locked out of community garden, but tenant association pushes back

Members of a Bronx community who are passionate about a garden they've been tending to for years say they've lost access to the space, but the leader of the tenant association says that's not the case.

News 12 Staff

Jul 12, 2020, 5:11 PM

Updated 1,412 days ago

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Neighbors say they've been locked out of community garden, but tenant association pushes back
Members of a Bronx community who are passionate about a garden they've been tending to for years say they've lost access to the space, but the leader of the tenant association says that's not the case. 
Neighbors allege that only NYCHA residents now have access to the community garden at the Bronx River Houses.
They also say that they wish the garden was better maintained while celebrations were held honoring new graduates.
Neighbors say NYCHA workers have not been caring for the space the way they should, and are cutting down plants and allowing weeds to grow. They say they're wondering why after decades of growing food for the community and even winning awards, they are being kicked out.
But the president of the Tenant Association for Bronx River Houses says that the claims that the community has lost access are "far from the truth."
"In this pandemic our seniors, teens and youth were not allow[ed] in the community center, so the seniors asked to work in the garden and the teens offered to help. That's what they did... We have never told the private homeowners that they are not allow[ed]. The same reason they did not leave the gardens open for years [is] because they did not want it to be vandalize[d]. The seniors open the garden everyday to sit and talk... If they want to come in, it's never been a problem."
In a statement, NYCHA said, "The Bronx River Community Garden is still open to the community, not just NYCHA residents. Our property manager and TA president have not put up any signs implying otherwise. The TA president holds the key to the garden and is available to open it for community members. Since April, seniors and teenagers have been working on the garden and recently used it to celebrate 2020 graduates. We have also recently repaired the fence and are working to repaint the benches."
 
 


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