Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Liz Christy: Founder of Guerrilla Gardening in NYC

While watching the latest Garden Story, I learned about the original guerrilla gardener, Liz Christy. The community garden that she started in NYC on the corner of Houston and Bowery now honors her name and vision. Go find out more.

This website also has some pretty fantastic 70s photos, like the one above. The 70s in NYC? Can you imagine?

The story seems to go that in 1973, she came upon a fenced in, large rubble-strewn lot that needed some assistance. She couldn't get over the fence, so she threw seed bombs (seeds, water, fertilizer) over the fence to begin her work beautifying the area. Eventually, the city leased the land for $1 to her and her compadres, and thus the garden was born.

We have a similar program in Columbus for leasing land. Some local community gardeners have taken advantage of it: check out the 4 Seasons City Farms website and the One Plot of Land blog when you get a chance. They are beautiful, inspiring, and informative.

If you would like to find out more about guerrilla gardening, there are a wealth of articles out there. Start here (CNN version) or here (PopMatters: international magazine of cultural criticism).

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