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Party Under the BQE; New Rules for Community Gardens

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CLINTON HILL?There's a whole lot of talk about how to make the BQE less terrible, but is there anyone out there other than Sufjan Stevens who can appreciate the expressway for what it is now? Sorta! As part of this year's Park(ing) Day?when on-street parking spaces are turned into pop-up parks, the Design Trust for Public Space and other groups are setting up a BYO potluck dinner underneath the BQE at Washington and Park Avenues in Clinton Hill. To help this eyesore of a parking lot become party-ready, reclaimed wooden pallets from the Brooklyn Navy Yard will become a big communal picnic table for the event. It's happening this Friday, Sept. 17, from 6:30-8:30. Fun! [CurbedWire Inbox/Design Trust]

NYC?Today the Parks Department announced its finalized Community Garden Rules, the tweaking of which has had activists all worked up about whether the gardens will lose their protections and become easy targets for developers. The 2002 agreement outlining the legal status of the gardens was set to expire, and while there are no permanent guarantees, the Parks Department says in a press release that the gardens' protections have been strengthened. Conspiracy theorists, feel free to discredit that after perusing the new rules...

* Active gardens under the Parks Department’s jurisdiction are preserved as gardens as long as they are registered and licensed by the Department. * Licenses will be renewed as long as the garden satisfies the registration criteria.

* Parks must attempt to identify successor gardening groups for failing gardens and has nine months from time of default to return the garden to active status.

* New gardens may be created and will have the same protections as existing gardens.

* A party licensed by the City to perform work that results in damage to a garden will be required to return the garden to its preexisting condition.

* The Department will attempt to provide notices required under the Current Rules to gardeners in other languages.

* The Statement of Basis and Purpose states that gardens will be preserved and explains that the transfer and development provisions apply to abandoned and persistently non-compliant gardens under the Department’s jurisdiction.

[CurbedWire Inbox]