The Roger That Community Garden is holding a volunteer day/rally this Sunday, January 19 in order to raise awareness of the trouble suddenly facing the garden. In the past weeks, the lot was sold to a local realty company with notice that the garden could be removed as early as next week. We've been in contact with company to talk over options for either placing an offer on the land or negotiating more time to clear the garden out properly, and have started a fundraiser to help.Many of the Roger That volunteers are former members of the Crow Hill community garden on Franklin, and we've really poured our heart and soul into this space over the past two years. We've been trying to keep on top of real estate developments with the lot, but the sale of the lot happened largely without notice, so we're left trying to organize as quickly as possible to save the space.If you're around on Sunday, please stop by from 11:00AM - 4:00PM and see how you can help. We also have a fundraiser page available at https://fundly.com/save-roger-that-community-garden
. A full copy of the press release circulating to various news organizations is below:
Brooklyn, NY – January 17, 2014 – Roger That Garden Project, an iconic half-acre community garden in Crown Heights home to over 100 participants—including dozens of neighborhood children and students from local public schools—and thousands of plants, is in imminent danger of destruction as a result of a recent property sale. TYC Real Estate has purchased NYC Tax Lot 1, Block 1233, which includes the Garden and total elimination of the Garden is scheduled to be complete by next week. To save the years of dedicated work and flourishing plant community, Garden organizers must buy back the land from the purchaser or else succeed in securing additional time and a new location to safely move plants and equipment. Roger That Garden Project is urgently seeking to raise funds to support a purchase and new location to move plants temporarily or permanently. A volunteer day will be held on Sunday, January 19, from 11:00 to 4:00 to rally support for extending the life of the Garden and answer questions from press, elected officials, and community members.Roger That Garden Project, on the corner of Rogers Avenue and Park Place, opened in 2011 with three goals in mind: to cultivate food, nature, and community. The Garden is a critical neighborhood resource that produces healthy food, gives children a place to go after school, clears trash, keeps rodents away, stewards newly planted trees, and helps once-anonymous individuals become engaged community members making positive change. The Garden grew out of an effort led by the Crown Heights Youth Collective to tear down the dilapidated building formerly on the site and create a community garden to encourage neighbors to garden together in an environment affected by poverty, obesity, and food deserts. A vibrant mural to commemorate the removal of the building by the City and the replacement of urban decay with new growth and community effort was completed in 2007, and remains a visible symbol of community togetherness and partnership.Today, Roger That Garden Project is a volunteer-run, communally cared-for native plant and edible garden that has never turned away anyone who wants to interact with nature, be outdoors, and do something positive for their block. The Garden has worked with Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the NYC Department of Sanitation, the NYC Parks Department, Citizen’s Committee for NYC, KickStarter.com, the GreenBelt Native Plant Center, Build It Green NYC, the Crown Heights CSA, New York Cares, GrowNYC, former gardeners from the High Line, and the Crown Heights Youth Collective to procure resources and build a sustainable, beautiful neighborhood asset.Roger That Garden project is currently in discussions with the developer about the viability of extending the Garden’s life by re-purchasing the land or securing several more months to safely move the plants to a new location during the warm season. To find out more, volunteer time, or suggest a new location, please contact Emily Dinan. To donate to the purchase fund, please visit fundly.com/save-roger-that-community-garden.