Breath of fresh air for gardens

By Khiara Ortiz

A coalition of gardens under the banner of LUNGS (Loisaida United Community Gardens) sprung up last month to bring the East Village’s gardens together and help the city breathe.

The first meeting was attended by members of some of the 12 participating gardens tucked away in the blocks east of Third Ave. between 14th and Houston Sts. Coordinators are hoping to integrate the green spaces into the community by organizing public events, advertising and improving open hours, and sharing resources between the gardens.

Already, two events are in the works for this month. On Sat., Oct. 15, the Green Oasis Community Garden on the south side of Eighth St. between Avenues C and D, will host a potluck party for anyone with a green thumb. The DeColores Garden on Eighth St. between Avenues B and C will be honoring Councilmember Rosie Mendez on Sat., Oct. 22, for her support of the community gardens.

Mendez provided grants for six local gardens to receive water connections so that they wouldn’t have to rely on fire hydrants anymore. These systems allowed the gardens to set up sprinklers and small pools for children.

“These gardens help nurture a sense of community in the East Village and make people want to be outside,” said Charles Krezell, a member of DeColores Community Garden. “They make people feel healthier and good about the environment. They’re good for the soul and good for the city.”

All upcoming events are open to the public, and an event calendar will be posted at the corner of the 6B Garden, at Sixth St. and Avenue B, to alert the neighborhood of LUNGS happenings.