October 1996 Amigos garden was targeted by city for auction
and sale. After our organizing CB3 recommeded the garden for Greenthumb
lease. The Lease is now pending with the City Planning Commission.
It all began six or seven years ago, when the lot (at
221 East 3rd street) was abandoned and drug addicts
were hanging out there. The city decided to clean it
up and Carmen asked the city if she could use the
With the help of others in the building next door
(#223) and the Green Guerrillas (who gave materials
for plants) the garden was created. People would find
pieces of wood on the street, for example, and drop
them off at the garden. People pooled money for the
canopy that covers a trellis over the walkway.
We now have twelve garden plots maintained by
Children use the garden, mostly. Women bring their
young kids to play. They are Hispanic and largely
from the building next door. Carmen and her family
keep the garden.
We have tomatoes, gladiolas, marigolds, cherry
trees, rose of Sharon, fish in pond, and other
Other than gardening activities, we have baby
showers, family oriented parties, and adults
sometimes informally gather in the cabana to play
bingo and talk.
The garden has effected the entire community
because this garden, and Brises del Caribe down the
block, have cut down on drug use and trafficking on
The garden is a central place for mothers and
children. It's like a day care center in many ways.
Carmen has applied for a lease twice and been
turned down. She's heard of possible interest in the
lot from the housing complex behind it and the
residential property owner next door.