QUEENS — A new community garden is blooming in Jamaica.
A vacant lot that was tended to by the Merrick Marsden Neighbors Association for more than four decades but nearly lost to the tax man was saved by two local groups and is now being turned into a permanent greenspace.
The community garden, where maintainers plan to grow vegetables, is being planned for a site on Foch and Merrick boulevards, which was owned by the MMNA since 1967.
When the group struggled with a lack of resources in August 2011, the city placed liens on the property for unpaid property taxes.
The lot was to be auctioned and fears were stoked that it would likely be sold to a private developer.
The organizations raised enough funds to save the property from foreclosure, and the vacant land was recently transferred to BQLT and got tax exempt status, as first reported by Brownstoner Queens, “so that another vibrant open space and community garden can be created for public use,” BQLT wrote on its website.
“This day has been a long time coming,” said Rohan James, MMNA President in a statement published on the BQLT website. "We’re excited about working with BQLT in creating a new open space and community garden in Jamaica.”
The groups are planning to begin working on the site this spring, hoping to "start raising crops on the property, thus providing a local healthy food source for the community," according to the BQLT website.
BQLT currently has 33 community gardens under its ownership, including seven in Queens. The group did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.