Contact: Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter (212) 788-2958
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today announced that the City has reached an agreement to sell the 114 Greenthumb Gardens, scheduled to be auctioned by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services tomorrow morning, to the Trust for Public Land and the New York Restoration Project for $4.2 million. Under the terms of the agreement the Trust for Public Land would receive 63 gardens for $3 million, while the New York Restoration Project would receive 51 gardens for $1.2 million.
"This is a win-win situation for all New Yorkers," said Mayor Giuliani. "This agreement allows the Trust for Public Land and the New York Restoration Project to purchase the 114 gardens at a fair market value price of $4.2 million and allow them to remain as community gardens. Monies received from the sale will benefit of all New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs and fund various City services including fire, police and sanitation."
Under the Giuliani Administration close to 1,500 acres of permanent parkland has been created - more than twice the amount of the previous administration. In addition, of the 55 permanent gardens in the City 30 were acquired under this Administration. The terms of the agreement with the Trust for Public Land and the New York Restoration Project stipulate that the two groups agree to maintain the lots as community gardens and be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the gardens.
Rose Harvey, Senior Vice President of the Trust for Public Land, said, "This is an important victory for New York's community gardens, but it is only a beginning. TPL hopes today's agreement will mark the end of private garden purchases, and the start of a new public effort to protect additional community open spaces. Nonetheless, we are glad to have been able to acquire 63 gardens, and are deeply grateful to the many foundations and individuals who made the deal financially feasible."
Bette Midler, of the New York Restoration Project, said, "We're thrilled! This is a joyous occasion and means that these gardens will stay in perpetuity. I'm grateful to everyone who has helped us save these important neighborhood gardens. Today I'm prouder than ever to be a New Yorker."
The Trust for Public Land is a not-for-profit organization that conserves land for people, working nationwide to protect open pace as parks, recreation areas, community gardens, historic landmarks and wilderness sites. Its goal is to ensure livable communities and a healthy environment for generations to come.
The New York Restoration Project, headquartered at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, consists of a team of environmental specialists, AmeriCorp members, City and State agencies and hundreds of volunteers, whose goal is to rebuild and preserve public spaces through education and community participation.