The Growing Garden on Grand Concourse

The sight of growing plants, the scent of the flowers blooming and the smell of nature is just what the world may need to get a good day going. Most communities in the Bronx are starting to open gardens in free spaces such as at 149th Street and the Grand Concourse.

This is an area in the concourse that previously held nothing but broken-down building pieces and is now being turned into a garden for the benefit of the community. There are many people taking part in this, the New Roots Community Garden. and it seems as though community residents have gathered to help the garden get started. There are women, men and children helping out, either watering the soil, making holes to put the seeds in, or just cleaning out the area.

Before this project, the site had a building that had been closed down and was of no use to anyone, but during the winter of 2012 and spring of 2013 the city decided to tear down the building. The process of clearing up the mess was long, but in the summer of 2013 people gathered together and finally had the idea to turn the empty space to in a garden that everyone could be a part of. Parents gathered in front of the garden and said that it should have a great vibe for kids, teacher, staff members and adults to pass by on their way to school, work or any destination.

This community residents of Grand Concourse say is not the most pleasant area. There are crimes and other issues around, but it seems that people have no issues with the garden. there hasn’t been any vandalism or trespassing going on. People seem to respect the project and may not find it a target that they will try to attack.

There are certain areas in the garden that people have reserved for themselves by simply coming in and participating. They can have their own spot where they grow their own plants and flowers.

Everyone can look and admire the hard work being put in. Several kids who worked said they liked the idea that they have something to do for the summer instead of being home doing nothing.

At the New Roots Community Garden the soil is being watered as plants b grow. Flowers are blooming and on display like the Guard Flora, Hybrid Tea Rose, which happens to be the most common. There soon will be flowers of all colors and of a wide variety. In the middle of the garden, a house has the materials for the garden, which are used by the community while they work on this project.

A woman in her late 40s who waters the plants in the afternoons said that there will soon be an event that will let people from the community see the work and let people volunteer to continue in the making of this project.

Jon Rivera a student who also lives in the community said “It’s a great idea that they have started on this project because it brings peace and gives it a nature look.” We discussed if he believed that there would be a growth in volunteers. “ If he doesn’t see a growth in volunteering, he would join with his friends and save money on buying flowers for his girlfriend,” Jon said with a laugh.

The garden will be a good sight this fall for the students who pass through there. Their are four high schools located next to the garden–Cardinal Hayes, New Explorers High School, Bronx Leadership Academy II, and Urban Assembly for Careers and Sports– also a middle school Kipp Academy. In the garden, students might just find their new school or after-school activity or some volunteer work.

About CYNTHIA PINEDA

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