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South Bronx's Community Garden celebrates 40 years

The lot was once filled with garbage before a founder and residents turned it into a space that is accessible to everyone.

News 12 Staff

Jul 10, 2023, 2:49 AM

Updated 345 days ago


The Community Garden in the South Bronx is celebrating its 40th year anniversary.
Marty Rogers is a founding member of the garden that occupies a once vacant lot. He says it took several years to clear out and get it ready for planting.
"I mean, this was an empty lot filled of garbage and debris, a car, mattresses -- it was a disaster," Rogers says. "A few of us got here every Saturday, and garbage by garbage and [we] cleared. Every inch of soil that's in here was brought in wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow."
He and members of the neighboring church wanted to create a space that would be accessible and open to everyone.
"The people who come through that gate, the most finest people in the world and they're all Bronxites," Rogers says.
While the garden's home was threatened in the 1990s by the Guiliani administration, the community rallied around it and the Trust For Public Land saved the space.
For $50 a year, families can have their own planter bed and plant anything that they want.
While it flourishes with fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, Rogers says the garden is more than just a place to harvest.
"[I am] full with emotion and gratitude when I look at this garden and I see all these beautiful people who are a very important part of it," he says.

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