Just a month after the city revealed its formalized plan to replace Elizabeth Street Garden with affordable housing for seniors, the nonprofit organization currently managing the garden has come out with an alternate vision.
Members of the non-profit, and many local residents and elected officials have opposed the removal of the garden for quite some time. Community Board 2 has pointed to an empty, city-owned lot at 388 Hudson Street as an alternate location for the senior housing development, but to no avail.
Now the namesake nonprofit managing the garden has released a new set of renderings that aims to show what the garden can look like in the future as a Community Land Trust (CLT).
As a CLT the nonprofit will look to take ownership of the site from the city, and continue to operate it as a community garden, while expanding the services offered there. The nonprofit will then be entirely responsible for funding the space, which it hopes to do through fundraising efforts, and through occasionally renting out the space for private events.
If the nonprofit is able to acquire this new status, it hopes to expand on the existing garden in several ways including a new greenhouse (Site A), a new composting station and volunteer work shed (Site B), new solar panels for energy efficiency (Site C), and rebuilding stairs to the existing balcony (Site D) along with the additions of chairs and tables for more accessibility.
The city however is determined to move forward with its plan for senior affordable housing. Following a rally convened by members of the garden last month, seniors led by City Council member Margaret Chin held their own rally highlighting the need for affordable housing for LGBTQ seniors. The city has proposed building a new, albeit smaller garden as part of its senior housing development, but the nonprofit will continue to fight to save the garden in its entirety, and it certainly has an uphill task ahead of it.