Day 1198

Evergreen Community Garden

April 11th, 2015



In recent years, there's apparently been a lot of strife at this huge community garden (aerial view) in Kissena Corridor Park. According to a 2013 Wall Street Journal article:

Despite its serene setting and rows of flowers and vegetables, a community garden in Flushing, Queens, has turned into a battlefield.

Violent fights, death threats and shouting matches, sometimes involving fistfuls of dirt, have become routine at Evergreen Community Garden, leading to volunteer guards at the entrance and police patrols. And almost all of the tangles involve elderly Korean gardeners, officials and witnesses say.

The disputes grew out of the city Parks & Recreation Department's decision last year to take control of the 5-acre garden from a Korean-American senior citizens' group, which had transformed the trash-filled public space into a working garden back in the early 1980s.

The parks department—which contends the seniors' group had been improperly selling produce from the city-owned plot and excluding outsiders—turned control of the park over to its GreenThumb network of community gardens and installed a manager last year.

But the older gardeners are still trying to reclaim the land, at times by drastic means.

A year ago, the garden's 75-year-old former manager clutched a lighter and container of gasoline, threatening to light himself on fire if he didn't get his old job back, city officials said. The incident prompted a police hostage negotiation team to respond and two nearby schools to be locked down.
You can read the rest of the story here (text-only version here).


One Comment

  1. Brian says:

    This is one of my favorite community gardens I have been to so far in all of the 5 boroughs, though possibly tied would be the community garden on Roosevelt Island, which is much smaller in comparison, but equally lush and well taken care of. This one on Colden, am I correct in assuming it could possibly be the largest in all of the city? It’s really huge, and you can tell how much care is taken into every plot, so beautiful, and a wide variety of flowers and plants. I make it a priority to stop here whenever I am riding my bike in Flushing.

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