PRESS CONFERENCE 12/30/13 11AM: Boardwalk Community Garden, Coney Island: Bulldozed. Community Outrage!
December 29, 2013
For Immediate Release Contact: Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director, New York City Community Gardens Coalition (NYCCGC) — 973-222-5413 firstname.lastname@example.org
Boardwalk Community Garden, Coney Island: Bulldozed. Community Outrage!
Speakers include leaders of Boardwalk Garden, Coney Island Community leaders and the NYC Community Garden Coalition
When and Where: Monday, December 30, 11 a.m., 2071 22nd Street, between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY. Subway: F/N/D/Q, last stop
Brooklyn, NY – On Monday, December 30 at 11 a.m., a Press Conference will feature individuals whose long-standing community garden was bulldozed on 12/28/13 by iStar Development. At issue is whether the developer and the NYC government agencies that manage NYC parks have followed proper legal procedures for permitting this pre-dawn bulldozing to take place.
The NYCCGC has introduced documents clearly showing that the Boardwalk Community Garden is Mapped Parkland – which means that the community garden is entitled to very stringent environmental law protections against real estate development.
NYCCGC asserts that the City is not following its own rules that govern the review process of the environmental impact assessment. In November, the City moved to change those rules in such a way that could adversely impact all community gardens. By deceptively lowering the bar, it is likely to become easier to bulldoze other existing community gardens much like what took place at 5 a.m. on December 28th.
Recent prior talks had suggested the developer would offer gardeners alternative sites for transplanting their garden. But the pre-dawn demolition demonstrated that the developer had no such intent. While the Boardwalk Community Garden has been destroyed, the will of the people perseveres.
This is a call for NYC policies that protect the hard work and dedication of community gardeners. We urge that the incoming mayor (Bill de Blasio), the new Brooklyn borough president (Eric Adams) and all the elected officials find a proper solution for this illegal occupation of a garden on designated NYC parkland. Public parkland destroyed by a corporation without any input from the community will not stand. The community is seeking a win-win solution to re-establishing their 16-year-old garden.