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Nature lovers to rally for future of green spaces across New York City

Community garden near the corner of Stanton and

Community garden near the corner of Stanton and Attorney Streets on the Lower East Side. Photo Credit: Siempre Verde Garden

Nature lovers in Brooklyn and Manhattan will get on their two-wheelers Saturday to raise awareness for a group of community gardens that are at risk of closing.

The Gardens at Risk ride will start in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens in the afternoon and go through six spaces before ending in SoHo in the evening.

The gardens are on pieces of land in Brooklyn and Manhattan that were abandoned by their owners, and unused, and are now threatened with development.

Paula Segal, the executive director of the nonprofit 596 Acres, which is organizing the event, said she hopes the ride will push the city to help these communities.

"We need to show there is a lot of support for these spaces," she said.

The city's parks department doesn't have the authority to use eminent domain to acquire lots converted into gardens.

However, it does offer support to those lots through its GreenThumb program, which helps garden members find new lots nearby if they are displaced, according to the department.

"We do our best to help gardeners thrive in spaces in their communities," it said in a statement.

Segal said her hope is that the city takes note of the outpouring of bikes and people on the streets this weekend.

"It's getting more people into the conversation and making sure they aren't lost," she said.


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