We held our first meeting January 8th to formally establish a collective of Chelsea residents who want to plant and maintain the tree pits in 8th and 9th Avenues without obstruction from the Department of Transportation, the Parks Department or Greenstreets. Additionally, we are hoping for some support from those agencies, in the form of training, and some very limited supplies and maintenance, namely mulch and water.
With the help of Sen. Tom Duane's office we will have that guaranteed in writing from Parks and Greenstreets before Spring planting.
I have set up this blog in order to inform and coordinate everyone who might be interested in our urban gardening project. Hopefully we can share resources, labor and information and make these dog patches into lush oases that everyone will enjoy!
Right now, members have signed up to care for the tree pits along 9th Avenue at 25th & 26th Streets, 23rd, 22nd, 20th and both the north and south sides of the 19th Street intersection. We still need volunteers for 21st Street as well as most of 8th Avenue (8th and 22nd has been spoken for). Several members are also planning to upgrade some damaged tree pits on the side streets between 8th and 9th Avenues and are looking for additional volunteers.
On a defensive front, we discussed options for protecting these spaces from dogs and others using fencing or other deterrents. One person emailed that the Flatiron District had lovely fencing protecting their trees and had paid for them with contributions from local businesses. Perhaps this is something to research discuss at the next meeting.
If you are interested in pitching in, have some great ideas or just want to come to one of our random meetings for coffee and snacks, please email me. The more the merrier. In the meantime I will let everyone know the outcome of the meeting with Sen. Duane and Parks once it finally takes place.
Keep your fingers crossed and your pitchforks ready.