Reopened Ft. Greene community garden will grow locals’ picks

Reopened Ft. Greene community garden will grow locals’ picks
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

These buds are for you!

Stewards of an abandoned Fort Greene community garden have reopened the green space and are asking locals for ideas on how to revitalize the meadow, according to its keepers.

“We’re trying to open it up to the community to make the best of the space,” said Demetrice Mills, president of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust.

Poor leadership led to the more than two-year-closure of The Greene Garden on DeKalb and S. Portland avenues, according to Mills, who said his organization hired a team to breathe new life into the plot, which can be used by neighbors to grow plants of their choice.

He solicited residents for input on what they’d like to see in the nursery at a meeting last month, and received a variety of suggestions that included creating a retreat for neighbors to lounge and programs to engage area youngsters.

“Part of it can be a garden, part of it can be a place where you can have events or meetings,” Mills said. “We’re trying to attract the youth, too, and get them more involved. Instead of hanging out in the street, they can come in the garden and make a difference.”

Brooklyn Queens Land Trust needs to raise more funds in order to fully revamp the space, but will begin its makeover by cutting down some trees so sunlight can flood the patch, which is furnished with benches and a gazebo where visitors can relax in the meantime.

And even though The Greene Garden is just across the street from the massive Fort Greene Park, it gives locals a different kind of meadow to spend their days, according to Mills.

“Sometimes there are questions about how there’s a big park across the street, but some people like a private, smaller space for their kids to run around,” he said.

There is no definitive timeline for the revamp, but Mills said people can contact his office with their suggestions and can expect big changes soon.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill