RED HOOK — A group of local residents are proposing to add a community garden to a vacant lot on Columbia Street, bordering Red Hook and the Columbia Waterfront.
Their plan for the lot, at 313 Columbia St., is to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers for community members and food banks in the area. In addition, they’re adding café-style tables, chairs and wooden benches for public use.
“Green space and outdoor space in New York is limited,” said Michelle Martelle, a resident and one of the project’s organizers.
The space, owned by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, has been empty for at least five years, since Martelle and her husband moved to the neighborhood, she said.
Community Board 6, that includes Red Hook and Columbia Waterfront, unanimously supported the project that has also received approval from GreenThumb, a Parks Department program that supports over 500 community gardens.
While about two-thirds of the lot is paved, the organizers plan to add raised garden beds to the cemented area where community members can grow plants on a first-come, first-served basis.
If approved, the garden can be maintained till the city announces their plans for the lot, which is not expected till about 2015, said Martelle.
The organizers hope to start work on the garden within the next month, just in time for spring, she added.
Recently, two unused plots in Bedford-Stuyvesant were pre-approved to be converted to community gardens to add some greenery to the neighborhood.