Elizabeth Street Garden Advocates Form Non-Profit Corporation to Fight for its Existence [Updated]

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 at 5:04 am by

elizabeth-garden-2

Friends of the Elizabeth Street Garden, the grassroots organization founded three years ago to preserve the namesake green space, now has some competition with the newly formed non-profit corporation called Elizabeth Street Garden, Inc.

Its goals are identical. Namely, to preserve the Elizabeth Street Garden as a public, open green space, Community Garden, and city park, in the face of the city’s efforts to build affordable housing onsite. Accessibility to the public will remain the same under the tutelage of the new caretaker, and the free public programming unchanged.

UPDATE: The new corporation is a splinter group, and condemned by Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden.

Yesterday, the board of directors of nonprofit Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden received an unexpected email from Elizabeth Street Gallery owner Allan Reiver telling the board that he was immediately withdrawing his permission for Friends to operate the Garden as we have for the last four years. Instead, he will work alongside a new in-house nonprofit organization, with his son, Joseph Reiver, on the board.

From the press release:

Although the mission of ESG remains the same as FESG, this new organization was formed as a result of significant philosophical differences with some members of the board of FESG with regard to saving the Elizabeth Street Garden from being destroyed by the City of New York and Councilmember Margaret Chin. By seeking to harness the support of the community, which has already been expressed through thousands of letters and four resolutions by Community Board 2, ESG will endeavor to take a more aggressive stance in combating the City’s RFP, ensuring that the Garden remain the jewel that it is today.

“I truly appreciate all the work FESG has done until now with the Garden, both with the programming and advocacy to save it,” said Renee Green a former board member of FESG and founding board member of ESG, “but the time has come to take a much more aggressive stance in fighting the City and Margaret Chin, and I know ESG will do that.”

“We must get more aggressive with city,” noted Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director of the New York City Community Garden Coalition “we won’t leave any stone unturned in saving this Garden, and everything is on the table, including legal action. It’s time to stop talking about saving the Garden, and time to start doing. All the talk has done is leave the Garden on the verge of being destroyed and we can’t let that happen.”

This new representation formed against the backdrop of Mayor de Blasio’s blase response to saving the garden. Even last week, hizzoner was quoted as basically torpedoing plans to save the garden. The Villager reported that “[de Blasio] simply disagrees that the entire beloved Little Italy garden should be saved by shifting an affordable housing project planned there to another site.”

Recent Stories

Hotel on Rivington Racks up Nearly 200 Noise Complaints in the Last Year

It might be twelve years old, but the Hotel on Rivington is still at odds with its neighbors. The Hotel on Rivington appears to lead the 7th Precinct on the Lower East Side with the most noise complaints, according to the city’s 311 records. Looking at the open data set, Jia and Cafe Medi together racked up 182 […]

Clayton’s Corner: Blondie, Bridge Runners, and the Bowery [PHOTOS]

Out and about. Here are some photos Clayton Patterson sent us from the last couple months… …Chris Stein, Power Malu, Debbie Harry, Shepard Fairey in front of the new Debbie Harry mural at Bowery and Bleecker Street… …Marvin Moskowitz, tattoo artist son of Walter Moskowitz of the famous Old Bowery Boys tattoo artist. His dad left […]

Cactus Store’s Essex Street Pop-Up Stand Closes Down on Sunday

With autumn in full swing, seasonal shops are transitioning. Down on Essex Street, the Cactus Store is less than a week shy of departing westward. The Los Angeles-based cactus purveyor is slated to end its pop-up at 5 Essex Street next Sunday (October 29). They apparently received the last shipment of the season before it […]

Report: Essex Crossing to Overload LES with Office Space

Now that the last of the Phase I towers has finally topped out, the spotlight turns to the second chapter of Essex Crossing. Last month, renderings surfaced of the first two developments in Phase II, which will rise at SPURA Sites 3 and 4. The former is a 15-story building with 83 market-rate units and […]

Lower East Side Flooded with Influx of 2,000 New Hotel Rooms

Hotels continue to kill the Lower East Side, purging the very attraction and aesthetic the lodges market. Case in point, the tiny zone of Hell Square itself boasts seven hotels. Extrapolate that trend to the rest of the neighborhood, and the problem truly comes into focus. In the city’s recent Hotel Development Report (embedded below), […]