On the corner of Rogers Ave and Park Place in Crown Heights ("western" crown heights as the new comers say, because obviously a neighborhood of two miles requires geographic annotations) there is a small lot that had been neglected by the owner. Concerned citizens long ago transformed the lot into a community open, garden.
The garden has stood for at least ten years. I remember the mural painted on the wall above it for at least that long.
Recently developers, one can only imagine who, tracked down the owner, who I was told, was living in Florida and beset with back taxes for the lot. It seems developers purchased the lot for below market value and are now attempting to developed the site.
Rogers Ave recently got a make-over in the form of an express bus lane. The lane stretches from near Brooklyn College in the Flatbush/Midwood section, connecting with Bedford Ave where it and Rogers merge at Atlantic Ave and continuing to Williamsburg.
I've been talking up Rogers to friends for years because it has lacked aesthetic charms but had lots of available rentals. Leading in the lacking amenities on Rogers is greenery, specifically flowers, trees. No double entendre here.
So the fact that there is a garden on Rogers which is fueled by new and old residents who want to keep the neighborhood on the upswing is a great reason in my mind for this site to remain green, and open to residents and especially local kids at the elementary school down the block.
I spoke with a volunteer who was putting the finishing touches on large painted letters spelling out "SAVE THE GARDEN" (pictured above) and he explained these details as well as the hope that local residents will contact our elected representatives, in this case Mayor DeBlasio, Public Advocate Tish James, as well as the City Councilmember for this site, Robert Cornegy(RCornegy@council.nyc.gov) and request the city take over the site as a result of owed taxes and lease the land to the community garden.