9th Street Community Garden and Park was created from multiple plots that cover much of its block. In the 1990’s the city tried to reduce the size of the garden. For those in the neighborhood who came to its defense, one of the most important reasons to keep it together was the dramatic visual and safety improvement from the prior devastation that had been wreaked on much of the surrounding block of East 9th Street between Avenues C and D. Also the garden was already proximate to housing projects as well as a Mitchell-Lama development so that those who fought for the garden remaining together felt that there were enough low-income units clustered in that area and that what was most needed was safe green space. One of the turning points in this struggle came when a local developer rehabilitated a tenement which overlooked the garden. The fire escapes were turned into small porches and the developer advertised that the building had “garden views”. It is dominated by weeping willows but has more in the way of greenery and flowers as well as having a number of individual plot beds where people grow their own vegetables and herbs. This is balanced out by extremely well planned communal space which includes ponds, a casita, an area with open grass, barbecues, covered arbors, barbecue space, clever grottoes, and secluded spots for sitting, etc.. It also has an area with a Puerto Rican and United States flag as part of a memorial to 9/11. This garden like a number of others is a well known venue for concerts, particularly Latino music. It retains more of a Latino flavor than some of the other big gardens and its gardeners, like its gardens, are a representative mix of the neighborhood.
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