CONTACT: Edwin Santana
LOCATION: Lot #: 21 & 22, 270-271 E.
The name "Tu Pueblo Batay" means
"Your Community Garden". It was founded in
1982 on a year to year, and is now switching over to
the City's "Till" program. "Tu Pueblo
Batay" has 20+ members and is a 50x100 plot of
land. It has up to 500+ visitors a year.
Cultural and age diversity composition of the
garden? For everyone, but dedicated to youth.
What kinds of plants, flowers, vegetables,
animals? Corn, pumpkins, squash, collard greens,
lettuce, blue corn, beets, cucumbers, peas, mustard
seeds, carrots, sunflowers
Cultural and Educations programs? There is a stage
for poetry readings, plays, bands, comedians. Kids
are learning to write plays and poetry. Learning
about Puerto Rican culture is emphasized which
includes the agricultural aspect. Home base for a
kids coed baseball team called the ³Cacicas²
Garden began after homeless people living on the
plot precipitated some fires. Tenants in next door
building went to community board to apply for permit
in 1982. Got assistance from Green Thumb, Green
Guerrillas, and another garden. Mobilization for
Youth was involved. Lease was not renewed for 1990-92
but renewed again in 1993.
Edwin got involved when PS 64 was closed down and
there was no place to play basketball. His sister got
hit by a car playing in the street and he decided it
was important to give kids a safe place to hang out.
With the encouragement of
teacher/playwright/community activist, Bimbo, (in
whose memory the garden is), Edwin starting getting
the kids to come to learn gardening and puerto rican
culture. Since 1993, there have been three events
involving poetry, music, skits, and comedians. The
bookstore, Agueybana, is sending someone to teach
kids about playwriting. Edwin writes poetry himself.
Edwin does not know of any development plans for
the sight. He is interested in knowing more about the
Land Trust and coming to the meetings. He¹s not sure
about being on the Board.