You are reading

‘Guerrilla’ Garden and Compost Site Springs Up in Sunnyside

June 30, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A group of environmental activists took over a privately-owned site in Sunnyside Saturday to create a community garden.

The Western Queens Guerrilla Gardeners — a group of local gardeners, environmental activists and community composters — transformed the vacant lot with new plantings, compost piles and a “Resistance is fertile” sign.

Gil Lopez, an organizer with the guerrilla gardeners, said the group ‘liberated’ the land in an Instagram post. The grassy lot near the corner of Skillman Avenue and 45th Street is privately-owned by HB Village LLC.

The radical gardening group organized the event, which Lopez called a “ground healing ceremony,” in response to the city cutting curbside food waste collection and other recycling programs due to coronavirus-related budget cuts.

Some of the laid-off workers from the city-funded program came out to instruct neighbors on composting and gardening.

“This is a community garden, which will cultivate a fun, neighborhood oriented, all-ages environment,” Lopez wrote in an advisory for Saturday’s event. “It is also a guerrilla garden; a direct action done without permission.”

Lopez said the “activist garden” is inherently political and will shift power into the hands of the community.

The Sunnyside garden will work to establish equitable waste and garden services, environmental justice and “admonishment of speculative land holding in our communities,” Lopez said.

The organizers are encouraging community members to beautify and maintain the space as their own, while devising ways to defend it going forward.

Neighbors on the block came out to support the efforts, bringing their own food scraps and planting flowers on Saturday.

However, not everyone was a fan of the guerrilla garden.

An employee of the management company that represents HB Village LLC, Norcor Management, quickly came to the scene of the garden.

After a confrontation, he allowed the group to continue planting and collect food scraps until 1 p.m., the advertised ending time of the pop-up gardening event.

However, the management company locked the fence and put up ‘no trespassing’ signs after the gardeners vacated the empty lot, according to the Western Queens Guerrilla Gardeners.

The group is still encouraging neighbors to drop off their kitchen scraps again this Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and said it is in conversation with the owner and management company.

Norcor Management didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former Compost Project and GrowNYC employees help residents compost their kitchen scraps by chopping and mixing it with leaves and paper (Image credit @oikofugicrchl)

email the author: [email protected]

121 Comments

Click for Comments 
Eisenia fetida

This is the media advisory that went out to press the day before this direct action was carried out.

GUERRILLA GARDEN TAKING ROOT IN SUNNYSIDE FOCUSES ON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Directly Addressing Issues of Compost and Waste Equity.

SUNNYSIDE, NY— The Western Queens Guerrilla Gardeners are a group of local gardeners, environmental activists and community composters are creating a new green space in the Sunnyside Gardens neighborhood in Queens. We invite the press and the public to join in this joyous occasion.

The Western Queens Guerrilla Gardeners acknowledge and honor the Canarsie Lenape people as the traditional custodians of this land. While colonization has largely extirpated these peoples, it is vital to recognize their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

What: Ground Healing Ceremony and inaugural food scrap drop-off
Who: Western Queens Guerrilla Gardeners
Date: June 27, 2020 Ceremony at 11am;
Food Scrap Drop-off from 9:30am – 1pm
Time: 9:30am-1pm Food Scrap Drop-off
Where: Near the corner of Skillman Avenue and 45th Street
This is a community garden, which will cultivate a fun, neighborhood oriented, all-ages environment. It is also a guerrilla garden; a direct action done without permission. And it is an activist garden, which are inherently political project addressing power in our society and shifting it into the hands and hearts of the community. The impetus of this action is based on environmental justice, waste equity, public access to composting services and admonishment of speculative land holding in our communities. The organizers encourage the participating public to engage with the new space, embellish it, and maintain it as their own, while devising ways of defending and governing the garden moving forward.

This action is separate from, but done in solidarity with, the Woodside-Sunnyside Compost team’s request and petition for use of publicly owned land to produce food for the local pantry and expand their composting operations in the neighborhood. Their current compost site, run by volunteers, has seen a dramatic increase in participation and has effectively run out of space to process their neighbors food scraps into compost. The Western Queens Guerrilla Gardeners assert that composting is not just an essential service, but part of each individual’s and the community’s responsibility to care for the planet and its resources. Taking on and expanding this responsibility strengthens community, reduces inequity, and reestablishes our place in the natural world and cycle of life.

“Compost is the core, the essential foundation of natural gardening and farming. It is the heart of the organic concept.
Compositing is not new. Neither in theory nor practice are the basic tenets of returning organic matter to the soil revolutionary or even comparatively recent vintage. The pages of history are filled with emphatic evidence that nothing is more fundamental to [hu]man’s prosperity—to civilization itself—than a lasting, productive agriculture. This, the past proves, can stem only from the most primary of Nature’s laws—the law of return, the very cycle of life itself.
Wherever a nation has adhered to this principle, there alone has a people survived and a land flourished. Where it has been violated and abused, whether through ignorance or mistaken custom, there has a race perished, a metropolis fallen to ruins, and a country’s soil withered and blow to sterile desert.”
—INTRODUCTION TO “THE COMPLETE BOOK OF COMPOSTING” RODALE BOOKS, 1971

This guerrilla garden is not about any of the individual activists helping to create the garden, nor is it about the individual(s) or entity/entities who own the land beneath this garden. It is not personal, but systemic and institutional. The city government’s waste policies, past and present, created and perpetuate the conditions for waste inequity, founded on and part of a deep and hidden history of environmental racism. Most of our waste in NYC is sent “away” to low income areas and communities of color, treating the homes of society’s marginalized as garbage bins. For years, the taxpayer funded composting programs entitled NYC residents to convenient options for our food waste. Unfortunately, the convenience of these programs hid the fact that much of this waste was removed from our communities to be processed and composted in low income, mostly Black and Brown areas. In Western Queens, most kitchen scraps collected were processed near NYCHA’s Queensbridge Houses without incident. Now that this processing site has been defunded, and residents search for other ways to responsibly dispose of their kitchen scraps, we can and must reimagine how our community engages with the natural cycles of life and how our waste becomes the input for the next step in the process. In this action, we call attention to the fact that we must not return to the inequitable ways of the past, no matter how convenient or fiscally sound they may have been.

In 2018, our City Council passed Intro 157-C, known as the Waste Equity Bill, into legislation. The City has yet to take actionable steps in address these inequalities and the bill leaves many other injustices unspoken and unaddressed. In the absence of leadership, compounded by a fiscally insolvent situation created by a global pandemic, it is time for New Yorkers to stop expecting elected representatives to save us and begin saving ourselves and the planet. This guerrilla garden is a launchpad from which we may take responsibility for our own waste in a healthy way that lightens the burden of communities that experience waste inequity due to harmful practices.

This inaugural event on June 27th also corresponds with the one year anniversary of the NYC City Council passing Resolution 0864-2019 passing a formal declaration of Climate Emergency, calling for an immediate emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate.. Many decisions have been made to undermine, delegitimize and otherwise ignore this official state of crisis since. Failing to mandate or fully fund an equitable composting system for NYC is just one of those shortcomings.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo deemed waste and recycling services essential. Mayor de Blasio immediately and ironically countered by empowering Department of Sanitation Commissioner Garcia to slash the NYC Compost Project’s budget, then move on to completely defund and cancel both of NYC’s public composting programs, which consisted of curbside organics collection (Brown Bins) and over 170 public food scrap drop-offs, public education, compost givebacks and so much more (NYC Compost Projects hosted by seven different nonprofit organizations citywide).

While we support the Save Our Compost Campaign and the Community Organics and Recycling Empowerment (CORE) Act, which would would create a minimum threshold of recycling and composting sites across five boroughs, allowing for proper disposal of non-general waste and refuse. Until the CORE Act is passed, the we do not resign ourselves to be victims of a government that fails or refuses to serve us. We are a capable, powerful and caring community who are resolved to illuminate and activate truly just solutions with or without official support of our governing bodies or their funding. This garden is a propositional act of love for our local and extended communities, acknowledging all the ways in which our waste has caused harm for others, and a beginning for responsible, engaged solutions for ourselves in the present, not policies for some undefined and unfunded future.

June 27 is also the birthdate of activist Grace Lee Boggs. The organizers of this action remember and are inspired by her life, work and words,

“The first outcome of these conversations [during the late 1960s, in the wake of the urban rebellions and the explosive growth of the Black Panther Party] was our recognition that the ongoing rebellions were not a revolution, as they were being called by many in the black community and by radicals and liberals. Nor were they only a breakdown in law and order or a riot, as they were labeled in the mainstream media. A rebellion, we decided, is an important stage in the development of revolution because it represents the massive uprising and protest of the oppressed. Therefore it not only begets reforms but also throws into question the legitimacy and supposed permanence of existing institutions.

However, a rebellion usually lasts only a few days. After it ends, the rebels are elated. But they then begin to view themselves mainly as victims and expect those in power to assume responsibility for changing the system. By contrast, a revolution requires that a people go beyond struggling against oppressive institutions and beyond victim thinking. A revolution involves making an evolutionary/revolutionary leap towards becoming more socially responsible and more self-critical human beings. In order to transform the world, we must transform ourselves.

Thus, unlike rebellions, which are here today and gone tomorrow, revolutions require a patient and protracted process that transforms and empowers us as individuals as we struggle to change the world around us. Going beyond rejections to projections, revolutions advance our continuing evolution as human beings because we are practicing new, more socially responsible and loving relationships to one another and to the earth.”

— GRACE LEE BOGGS, JUNE 28, 2017
INTRODUCTION TO REVOLUTION AND EVOLUTION IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
#####

2
3
Reply
Doc

I was on the fence about this until I read the mindless drivel above. Hit the whole lot with Roundup, and charge these self aggrandizing revolutionary wannabes with criminal charges.

Reply
compost = taking over your home

This is actually the most nuanced understanding of the issue the Trump lovers can muster.

Trump is already suing hundreds of Texas landowners to take over their home. You’re against that too right? What a joke.

2
25
Reply
Keep it empty

Who wants the space to be used?! The landlord decided to make it a trash dump, much better to keep it that way.

3
5
Reply
Mark Tully

Will the colonizers also force the owner of the land to move to Wyoming?

11
2
Reply
Vojin Paunovic

Owner rights, senior citizen rights, fear of communism… I think system provides owner a plenty of tools to deal with guerrilla gardeners. But the owner is more willing to meet this demands then Sunnyside senior citizens?
I’ll share my perspective. I’m a father of 6 years old girl. Immigrant without family at this continent. Meaning we have nowhere to run in this pandemic. We’re staying in Sunnyside with kid who have a need to go out to run, jump… what can I offer? Super crowded concrete playground and stroll to the neighbourhood. If she wants to stuck fingers to the soil, I need to let her dig in small patch of land around tree. Of course with knowledge that dogs are primarily users… to sum up. Sunnyside is a family neighborhood with plenty of kids. My family will be very great full to the owner and guerrilla gardeners for understanding the moment and taking actions in favour of all neighborhood. Thank you!

7
4
Reply
Save the Robots

I find the sign extremely puzzling: Resistance to what? Resistance to being in the freest country on the face of the earth? If the spoiled children behind this were to try this in one of the socialist societies they fantasize about recreating they’d never be heard from again. They’d be deleted.

22
3
Reply
Johnny

Not sure how this works because I saw this happen to my old neighbors tiny lot. I mean ok ..nice but it is private property. If it is private property that the owner decides he wants to keep clear..why can a group claim it . I dont understand.

22
3
Reply
Marie

Bravo for this garden! I live just a few blocks away in Woodside and am delighted to see this. Let’s figure out how to keep it going!!!

6
23
Reply
Christina

Delighted to have them as our new neighbors as an environmentalist please let them stay, this is wonderful for the community. #noplanetb #foodjusticeissocialjustice

4
19
Reply
old as dirt

while it may be a good idea they cannot just take over private property…let some like minded homeowner allow them to set up in their yard

14
2
Reply
Featherstone

If the operation accepts more than 1000 pounds or 1 cubic yard of waste per week, it requires registration with the NYSDEC. The registration application must be signed by the property owner. Based on the photos, they have already accepted more than one cubic yard of material and the facility is not registered. The owner of the property may be in violation.

39
4
Reply
Brendan

Good point that the garden may need to get a permit if it plans to grow, but for the time being I think they are still exempt. The law (6 CRR-NY 361-3.2) that exexempts facilities for permitting requirements is specifically for the MONTHLY average, and allows for up to 2,000 lbs/week as long as the monthly average is below 1000lbs per week. Having processed compost before and having walked by the other day, I’d be surprised if they have more than 800 lbs in that pile.

This is a good regulation to be aware of, thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention!

5
2
Reply
Priorities

Riots murders dirty politicians pandemics etc etc etc….barely any comments but this story gets over 75 comments……

29
1
Reply
Mark Tully

Why wouldn’t people be interested in a story about their neighbor’s property being stolen?

15
3
Reply
Dirt 2020

Without healthy soil civilization would collapse. So without composting, none of these other issues of politics, civics or human institutions or society could even exist.

3
9
Reply
Gardens Watcher

LOL. NYC functioned just fine before composting was introduced.

Try hydroponics if you have a light source in your basement.

Reply
God Made Dirt

NYC did not exist before composting. Anyone that thinks they exist omdopendant of composting is a zombie who’s ability to understand reality has been deleted by the major brand marketing.

Reply
Grace

I wholeheartedly support this action. I’ve been wondering why that land has been sitting there for years, untouched and inaccessible to the community until now. Here’s hoping that this is remain a community garden

16
31
Reply
Common Sense

Stop wondering. The land is inaccessible to the “community “ because it is private property. If you wish to buy it by all means seek out the owners and make them an offer.

15
3
Reply
Kathy

these Guerrilla Gardeners better steer clear of Mr. McGregor if they know what’s good for them.

12
6
Reply
Trump is forcibly seizing land from hundreds of Texas landowners

This is socialism though! The blight should remain empty.

31
13
Reply
Glen Schleyer

As a Queens resident, I’m so glad to see local activism and energy! We need this in more places! Thanks to the Post for spreading the word.

17
46
Reply
Atlanta

gardening + growing your own food should indeed be a right, not a privilege. both composting + gardening are activities that ONLY help the environment, so Norcor Management should show a bit more community + humanity in allowing this move. this is an opportunity for everyone in the community to learn about composting, gardening + how this can help slow down our fast deteriorating climate change.

17
38
Reply
Empty lots should remain empty

How will a community garden help a community?!

An empty overgrown lot covered in trash and surrounded by rusting fences is a critical part of the neighborhood.

25
19
Reply
Rose

you really ask how a community garden can help a community?
how about by providing food to the community. how about providing vegetable free of pesticides and chemicals, there are abundant ways for a community garden to do good for the community!

3
4
Reply
mps/your neighbor

What happened to the owner’s property rights? Nothing more than a childish attempt at some recognition ,

643
9
Reply
George Ost

Did somebody mention tennis ?? Let’s put up a guerrilla tennis court there also !!! Complete with a hibachi and name it Sunnyside Guerrilla Garden Compost Sports Bistro Complex & Tent City !!! Bon Fires and live concerts…… I could just envision it now !!! Outdoor pool table, ping pong, build a tree and then build a treehouse on it and make it the establishment office….. and list keeps growing !!

25
6
Reply
FreeParkingNStuff

With encouragement from all our wonderful law makers/ law breakers I will now park my car here for free. I know it’s not my property but who cares. From now on I will just do as I please.

36
4
Reply
You already have free parking

I don’t have a car, but my taxes pay for every place you park your private property for free. It’s socialism I tells ya!

23
12
Reply
Gardens Watcher

What about restaurants taking over the street space with expanded outdoor dining?

10
1
Reply
Greg Todd

NYC spends about $400 million of its $1 billion sanitation budget hauling waste to landfills outside the city, often 100s of miles away. 1/3 of this waste is Organics. So if we composted all of the Organics in the city we’d save about $130 million. Worse once in a landfill, Organics convert to methane gas, a climate gas over 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. So you see composting locally is just good public policy that save taxpayers money. The mayor foolishly elected to save $7 million by defunding all city composting facilities. How much money did he really save? Nothing!!

28
17
Reply
LIC DIRECT

I’m dragging my large brown composting bin over filled to the top with rotting food, platano and yucca peels, shrimp and fish scales, chicken skins and grass clippings from my own garden, boy the maggots already munching on this they will have a feast at this site on saturday cant wait to dump my water and have it turn to black gold for someone to use in their own garden.

11
1
Reply
gil

This sounds great, except for the chicken skin part. This composting site cannot accept meat, bones, dairy products or heavy greasy foods. We also cannot compost bioplastics at this small scale. Please, only bring plant based kitchen scraps to the drop-off.

3
12
Reply
Dear Prudence

Are the neighbors sleeping rotting garbage? Are there rodents and flies now?

Reply
Greg Todd

Why is a private owner permitted to let land sit vacant to make himself a huge profit when there’s a vast shortage of composting sites. Aren’t there enough gazillionaires in NYC already?

68
53
Reply
KFisher

As part of this grassroots campaign, I am pleased to share that after only a few days this project has nearly 100 supporters. It was and is an act of love for our community, our neighborhood and the earth to begin it, albeit unauthorized in nature. The property owner is working with us, so far. No illegal occupation will take place any further. We are proud to guarantee moving forward this initiative will be 100% legit, legal. Liability Insurance is being sought and all the rest. This beatification project will cost anyone who reads this nothing. It will only enhance all of our lives. I ask anyone with concerns to stop by on Sat 9-130 and we will address your concerns. I will be the lady with a clip board. My name is Karen. I invite you to join us or come by and speak rather than vent here. “Be the change”.

67
36
Reply
Guru blaze

You sound like nice soft spoken thieves. I wonder what you’ll Occupy tomorrow?

35
8
Reply
The tired "Karen" meme isn't about hippies planting flowers...

Ugh at least regurgitate the correct cliche

19
15
Reply
Al

As an African American male am I allowed to participate or are you gonna call the cops on me?

69
24
Reply
I didn't see race mentioned

Did the author give a single reason to believe that? No? Well then, I presume everyone is welcome. As they said…

So…you just made it up?! Would you like things to be a little more PC?

11
14
Reply
Rich Furlong

It’s great to see that land put to good use. The city is woefully negligent in its composting, so it’s great to have a place to do it. I wish every neighborhood had one.

51
43
Reply
Wendy Brawer

Delightful to see this bottom-up climate mitigation and positive contribution to clean air and public health. Composting is one of the best everyday choices we can make, and everything green around us is a testament to the value of this powerful yet simple method of reducing waste and creating rich soil. Hats off to the Western Queens Guerrilla Gardeners!

35
43
Reply
Memo Salazar

This is wonderful news! In a time when city budgets are cutting much-needed funding (such as for composting) these folks have come together to donate their time and skills serving the community in areas of need. I hope the owner of the land recognizes what a boon this is and allows them to continue!

51
42
Reply
Evan

Good on them for taking the initiative and making something beautiful and useful out of land that the owner has neglected for a decade or more. If the developer couldn’t build something on it during the boom from 2009–2019 then they probably never will and don’t intend to. The human benefits to the neighborhood of having a public garden and green space are priceless.

22
47
Reply
Welcome to the Hood

As you are probably a transient resident to the neighborhood. There once was a beautiful synagogue there that fell into disrepair due to funding and it had to be demolished. The current Jewish community now worship on 43 ave but their hope is to rebuild the synagogue on that same site one day. We all hope that will happen. So to your ill informed comment, they are not greedy developers, just faithful residents of the neighborhood with a goal and a dream. And how dare a bunch of thugs kick down the fence and claim a right to that property for any reason when it is not theirs.. I am not of the Jewish faith but practice my faith in the adjacent house of worship

1318
16
Reply
Gardens Watcher

Are you really insinuating that Jewish folk in Sunnyside move to Brooklyn? Maybe time for you to move back to Mississippi.

9
7
Reply
An oven might be better suited for you

We need more green spaces not more Synagogues.

6
4
Amy

Is there a way that both could co-exist on the same space? Or the synagogue could sponsor a compost/garden area? What a wonderful way to tikun olam – heal the world, through cooperation, flowers and composting!

5
16
Reply
Finkle

Is there a way the squatters could have asked the synagogue before entering and operating in the property?

7
1
Reply
James

More green space in the concrete jungle is always a good thing! Hope this space grows and becomes a hub for environmental education and a place for the community to spend some time in nature. Community composting efforts are badly needed now, too, as the city has shut down all composting operations.

35
40
Reply
Resident

I hope the owners do the right thing and shut this down so these miscreants will return to their basement. This isn’t Seattle.

68
25
Reply
Save the Robots

You’re not allowed to refer to the exchange of goods that took place during the Mostly Peaceful Protests as “looting.” It’s known as Affirmative Shopping.

Having you considered doing any upkeep on it at all?

I have a lawn mower you can borrow…

6
8
Reply
Hector

Talk to your immigrant neighbors in Queens, those of us who escaped communist nations will fight like hell to make sure it does not happen in the United States.

53
17
Reply
D

yes, I’m sure they’re all extremely pro-landlord, and in favor of empty lots sitting forever, instead of being used for green space. you really have your finger on the pulse of the neighborhood my friend

40
32
Reply
gil

What is this in reference to? How are you linking communism to this news article? Pardon my confusion, but I am really interested to know more about what your comment means and where it is coming from. I’m

28
20
Reply
Carolyn Menges

😳😳😳 overtaking private property to create fertilizer. The garden at the back of Sunnyside Gardens park is open to all for years for composting and last time I visited with students they were in need of volunteers.
Don’t support lawlessness but wouldn’t a place for the elderly and others with immune deficiencies to sit outside be a better CONTRIBUTION to our community 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

630
16
Reply
Compost Cares

That compost site has reached capacity since the NYC program was suspended.

31
13
Reply
gil

Thanks for offering this perspective. I am one of the people responsible for this action and I can tell you who’ll the compost team at the Sunnyside garden are always looking for more help, since the City cancelled its tax funded composting programs, that garden quickly reached capacity as it is a tiny garden with an even tinier composting area. They have a petition to access more space, but there has been no official response. Yes, this action was done out of urgency to continue composting the neighborhoods food scraps. I have a lot of information and reasons to do what I did, I don’t want to use all this facts as a brick over anyone’s head.
I do want to add agree with you that this is a quite a sizeable lot and there should be more than enough room for a senior sitting area. The fact is, we must mobilize and plan if we are abt to access the space. I also am interested in having the soil tested, if it is contaminated, we will not want to encourage elderly or children to hang out before mitigating risks. Making and applying compost is one of the best techniques for addressing some contamination issues and it is the foundational cornerstone to all above ground life on earth.

13
38
Reply
Breaking & entering is what it is

its private property and not yours or any of your cronies to decided what it should be. Your are trespassing just as i would be if i went into your apartment uninvited

63
10
Reply
Blargle

You’re still here? I thought you went off to your libertarian gulch-paradise. A gulchadise, if you will.

5
3
Reply
Greg Todd

Lots of room for elderly to sit in this lot. But only if it’s open to the community.

5
14
Reply
Thanks for turning a positive particle into a negative rant

Dear god it’s compost. Trump lovers don’t really do subtlety.

20
48
Reply
Patrick

This is an awful story. What gives them the right to do this. It is a further breakdown of our society. Lawless rioters in the street, people bring forced to wear masks against their wills, now people taking property that is not theirs. God bless America, we’ll need him.

648
12
Reply
Did they mention Trump?

Where was Trump mentioned? You must think about him a LOT.

17
3
Reply
D

it’s amazing how hysterical people can get about creating a garden on unused land. you must live in fear 24/7 about ‘marxists’ under your bed. praying for you.

11
35
Reply
D

You must be scared of ‘Marxists’ hiding under your bed. Relax! Stop living in fear 24/7. It’s just a garden. Praying for you.

6
33
Reply
Socialism is theft

The minute somebody gets hurt on this property, guess who they will sue? Yup, the evil landlord.

For that reason alone, I would kick their butts off.

656
10
Reply
gil

You are the only person suggesting the landlord is evil. Did you read the article? The community is in negotiation and perusing their own insurance. Your comment only illuminates that you are a negative person that doesn’t read before commenting on things. I hope you are a better conversationist, come talk with us this Saturday, I would really love to hear your concerns. I bet that once you hear the facts, you won’t be near as oppositional.

7
26
Reply
Gardens Watcher

So who in the “community” is going to pay the property taxes and insurance on this property? Who is going to be responsible for maintenance & vermin control?

18
1
Reply
Don't be like the grabbers

The owner of the property has kept it mown and clear. Current laws are on his side. The composting group has the right idea but do they need such a large space? Why not get permission for a permanent spot without breaking the law? Park area? Loading area? So many places would help these days.

75
10
Reply
Gardens Watcher

This all sounds so innocent. But for any group to decide it’s ok to just take over private property is not such an innocent move.

60
8
Reply
gil

I take full responsibility for entering and occupying this site. You are correct, I broke certain laws in order to accomplish this goal. I will be at the site from 9:30-1 again this Saturday and I’m happy to talk more about what direct action is and why I chose to do it.
We will also be asking the community for their ideas and suggestion as well as their concerns and worries around using this site for something more than an admittedly nice, field of weeds and clover.

13
39
Reply
Anon

It’s not your land and it’s not my land to decide what this lot should be. It is private property and they are allowed to do with it what they will. The Synagogue that was there was beautiful. What you did is illegal. Hope you’re gone.

18
2
Reply
M

after what happened with 5Pointz and how the property owners go screwed….I wouldn’t let anyone do any charitable work on my propertie(s).

75
16
Reply
[email protected]

why dont they buy some property and develop there own garden instead of breaking into someone else property. next thing we will have is a homeless camp. God help us all with those phony want everything for free clowns

508
23
Reply
Gerry

And yet when they lived with their parents landscapers were brought in to cut the grass.

47
10
Reply
gil

I am NOT a phony, want everything for free clown. I am a real life and AUTHENTIC, want everything free clown 🤡
To prove it, I will be at the lot on Saturday from 9:30-1 to hear your concerns and those of other neighbors. I encourage you to mask up and come out from behind the keyboard. Healthy debat is absolutely necessary and you seem to have something more to say. I want and need to hear it, as do the rest of the people who hope to one day have a community garden or an elderly sitting area here.

10
25
Reply
You may not know

gil- you might not be aware but this is the 4th of july weekend and quite a few people will be out of the neighborhood celebrating Americas independence. So to accommodate those of us that are long time residents of Sunnyside can you postpone your show and tell until Saturday July 11th? would really love to inform you that a beautiful building once stood there and there is a plan to replace it on that same lot. Maybe we could even discuss how to have respect for our neighbors and their belongings

18
5
Reply
gil

We will be at the site tomorrow, 7/11. Stop by, bring your kitchen scraps or just come to share your concerns.

Reply
Gardens Neighbor

Bravo, Gil, for a wonderful idea and for your inclusive approach to community organizing. I’ll be there this Saturday. I admire your commitment to calmly, civilly engaging with the trolls here, but I sense they aren’t really interested in a dialogue.

8
24
Reply
Let them eat tofu

Somebody will find the term “guerrilla” racist.

Ditto for “hoe” and “spade.”

Wait fot it.

Sorry, didn’t mean to throw shade on this uplifting story.

958
23
Reply
:/

Most people know that “guerilla” comes from “guerra,” meaning war.

I get that you’re trying to be funny, but all you’ve revealed with this comment is that you associate the words “gorilla,” “hoe,” and “spade” with black people.

69
41
Reply
Let them eat tofu

@ /:

Nope. A tennis announcer got in trouble for that exact thing when he decribed Serena Williams’s tennis style as “guerrilla tactics” although it’s a common term in tennis.

Nice try.

29
52
Reply
Why does the Radical Right want everything to be PC?

You’re the only one that brought race into this. The right is always playing identity politics.

The announcer lost a lawsuit over that. Maybe pick a better example 😂

16
15
Reply
gil

I wrote the media advisory that was used to write this story, including the headline. If anyone has a problem with me calling myself and my colleagues guerrilla gardeners or referring to our tactics as guerrilla I welcome the dialogue. For you to dump cold water on the topic, then preemptively apologize for it is a little confusing and off putting. To be honest it seems. Lot like you are just race bating and I for one do not appreciate that, furthermore, it is not welcome here. You can hold your opinions on how the tennis announcer was handled after referring to Serena this way, but this garden, and any space it occupies online or otherwise is NOT A SAFE SPACE FOR HATE. I stand firm in that conviction and am willing to take and sublimate any attack it may illicit on me directly or indirectly towards this budding community space. Peace be with you.

8
26
Reply
Fan of Dough Boy Park

I look forward to you posting times for when your house is empty so I can feel free to use it. I may decide I don’t like the way you put up wallpaper , or your stove is too large and remove it. If you have food in the fridge I’ll take that too since you are not eating it at the time and I’ve decided that I want it. Do you have a car? Leave the keys I may decide to use it since you may not be using it at that time and it’s ok in your view to just take things . How’s your 401k doing. It’s money just sitting there, I need a new couch, I’ll just take that too. Thanks

Reply
Fan of Dough Boy Park

Sounds good . I’ll bring a cargo van to take everything you’re not using at the moment, because that’s what you believe in. If I want it, I take it, and I’ll justify it with your beliefs.

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Opinion: NYCHA Tenant Leaders: Where Amazon Never Arrived, New Opportunity Arises

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has not been equitable across New York City. While some New Yorkers have been able to work from home, or leave the city temporarily to wait the pandemic out, our NYCHA family has been devastated with the astounding loss of life and by an economic collapse at a scale we have never experienced before.