How radical gardeners took back New York City



Seed bombs, the “tree lady of Brooklyn,” and the roots of urban gardening.

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New York City looked a lot different in the 1960s and 1970s. A sharp economic decline and white flight meant there was mass disinvestment and urban decay, particularly in the city’s lower-income neighborhoods. It’s what Hattie Carthan and Liz Christy noticed in their communities when they each set out to revive their neighborhoods by making them greener. Ultimately, their radical acts of gardening would transform the landscape across New York City.

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Learn more about the Hattie Carthan Community Garden and Farmer’s Market:

Learn more about the Liz Christy Garden:

Learn more about Karen Washington’s work:

Check out the Green Guerillas’ ongoing work:

Learn more about the casita gardens across New York:

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49 comments

  1. Great video and nice to see those gardens are still there!!

    We forgot our roots and do everything in the name of science to make “progress” or money and forget to be happy and have balance. The revolution of balance, higher conscientiousness and true peace has yet to come. People with power and money that show abuse and greediness still are proof we are not there yet.

  2. me thinking about how i wanna do this and then remembering i live in one of the most densely forested part of my state and literally one of the most forested states in the country

  3. I haven't watched the video yet, just trying to guess what a "radical gardener" means. Does he plants trees with anger? Does he water flowers with Coke? Does he grab those weeds by their necks?

  4. As someone living in a hot city with little amount of green space, whenever I sit in a park it makes me know how important green spaces are to urban ppl. Appreciate the work of these two ladies in the video.

  5. i don't know why but this video has me choked up, on the verge of tears. it's so beautiful. i've lived in nyc my whole life, but have never participated in a community garden. why not? it's time i do.

  6. Ugh. I can't imagine how horrible it must be living in a city. I love stepping outside and hearing birds chirping and seeing butterflies and trees and plants. Everyone deserves access to green spaces!

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