New York’s biggest ecological blunder

Adam Purple above his now demolished Garden of Eden on NYC's Lower East Side, photo by Harry Wang

Adam Purple above his now demolished Garden of Eden on NYC’s Lower East Side, photo by Harry Wang

Community gardens have been a growing movement for decades. Even in the urban jungle of New York City, urban gardens have sprung up in the midst of the concrete jungle and have been providing fresh produce in areas where it had been almost impossible to find it.

 

Yet the history of New York reveals a huge misstep. Where now large buildings and storefronts stand, from the mid-1970’s a stunning 15,000 square foot community garden called the Garden of Eden once stood.

The brainchild of Guerrilla Gardener Adam Purple, a well-educated man who moved to NYC in 1968, he created his amazing gardens from the rubble of abandoned tenement buildings and for years brought together the surrounding community. But the City only saw dollar signs, not an ecological wonder making a profound difference. Ultimately, the dollar signs won out.

Adam Purple and garden

You can read the story of Adam Purple and his amazingly beautiful Garden here. We scratch our heads and sigh at the shortsightedness of bureaucrats and realtors who only see the bottom line and lack vision to see beyond that to include what Nature – and one committed man with a vision – could have contributed.

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