Children’s Magical Garden on Stanton Trying to Rid the Rats

Posted on: March 22nd, 2012 at 10:28 am by

There’s certainly nothing magical about have a garden full of rats. The tiny oasis at the southwest corner of Stanton and Norfolk Streets – known as the Children’s Magical Garden de Carmen Rubio – is battling not only encroaching gentrification, but rodents galore.

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A laminate affixed to the entrance details current efforts to finally address the problem. Apparently volunteer gardeners charged with maintaining the park are teaming up with local business and Orchard Street exterminators M&M Environmental to help eradicate the pests.

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Right now we are carefully and steadily using many ways to make our community garden and block rat free. Supported by local businesses such as Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop and Beauty and Essex, we have hired M&M environmental, a local integrated pest management company that uses safe, biodegradable deterrents as well as expertise in ways to seal out the rats.  We have also listened to the advice of city officials who know how to rid community gardens and parks of rats.

We have been filling all burrows with sand daily, and are raising money to repair our fence and to put a line of cement down, sealing the hollow sidewalk.

It is working! We need you to join us to build a block coalition to make our streets safe and beautiful. We need donations and signatures on our petition to landlords to help them take care of their garbage more responsibly.

Meanwhile, rats aren’t the only threat to this 50′-by-100′ corner green. Like any open space in this neighborhood, the very real possibility of development is never too far in the distance. Even though it’s been quiet here in recent years, back in 2006, a private developer who owned part of the parcel wanted to construct a new building. That scare was averted…

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Named for co-founder and onetime GOLES activist lawyer Carmen Rubio, the park was once nothing more than an empty lot replete with detritus and discarded crack viles. In 1982, Rubio, together with neighbor Alfredo Feliciano, dreamed up the idea to beautify this corner for the betterment of the Lower East Side community. The duo chased out the drug dealers and garbage for the children, to teach them the art of gardening. Sadly, Rubio passed away in 2005 following a bout with breast cancer.

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