Dear Neighbors and Friends,

We face a real threat that the Garden could be razed for construction, but we can stop it with your help.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) is considering a grant to New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for an affordable housing project at Elizabeth Street Garden.

How You Can Help (details follow):
1. Write a letter now.
2. Attend the LMDC hearing on Thursday, Sept. 17.
3. Share our message with your neighbors and friends, especially those who live in the neighborhood. Forward the following letter links and ask them to write a letter too.

How You Can Help Details:
1. Write to LMDC Chairman Joseph Chan urging him to vote NO on the funding request for an affordable housing project on Elizabeth Street Garden.

Click on the links below and select one of three templates. We encourage you to customize them, as you feel appropriate:

Need for Green, Open Park Space Letter

Importance of Community Center Letter

Why Parents & Kids Love the Garden Letter

2. Attend the LMDC Hearing on Thursday, Sept. 17, 4:30 – 7 p.m.
The hearing begins at 4:30 p.m. Arrive before 6 p.m. to make an impact!

Borough of Manhattan Community College Fiterman Hall
245 Greenwich St., between Barclay Street & Park Place, two blocks north of World Trade Center

3. Share with your neighbors and friends and ask them to write letters to LMDC Chairman Joseph Chan.
After you have written your own letter online, consider taking a few minutes to forward our letter links to your neighbors and friends in the neighborhood via email or social media.

For additional information, please read the FAQs below.

Thank you,

Jeannine Kiely, President
Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the threat to Elizabeth Street Garden?
We recently learned that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) is considering a grant to New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to build an affordable housing project at 21 Spring, which would destroy Elizabeth Street Garden.
2. What is the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation?
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation, was created in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, to help plan and coordinate the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan, defined as everything south of Houston Street. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio each appoint half of the eight LMDC board members, with the Governor appointing Chairman Joseph Chan.

3. What proposals are being considered by LMDC?
LMDC must allocate $50 million in federal funds for projects south of Houston Street that meet the agency’s selection criteria. Ten projects totaling $59.8 million were presented at the July board meeting, including HPD’s $6 million request for an affordable housing project at 21 Spring. LMDC is accepting additional proposed projects through Sept. 17, 2015. No capital project will receive more than $10 million.

4. Does the project at 21 Spring meet LMDC’s mandatory criteria for funding?
No. The project does not meet the first mandatory criteria for funding, that “the project demonstrates a high level of community interest and support.”

5. Is the proposed project at 21 Spring?
No. This is the address used in the funding proposal. The project would be built on Elizabeth Street Garden, adjacent to 21 Spring.

6. What is the community’s position on Elizabeth Street Garden?
Community Board 2 has held two public hearings and passed two resolutions supporting the permanent preservation of Elizabeth Street Garden as a New York City park and the transfer of jurisdiction over the Garden to the NYC Parks Department.
Read 2015 Resolution.
Read 2014 Resolution.

7. Are there other locations within Community Board 2 where affordable housing could be built?
Yes. Community Board 2 has identified a site within the district that can provide five times more housing than the Elizabeth Street Garden site, without destroying a cherished and needed public green, open space.

Weekly in the Garden

Kids’ Yoga — Wednesdays, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Children’s Storytime —
Thursdays (NEW DAY) beginning Sept. 10, TBD
Tai Chi Outdoors With the Chinatown YMCA
Thursdays, 11 a.m. – Noon
Community Gardening — Saturdays, 10 a.m. – Noon
Meridian Tapping — Sundays, 10 – 11 a.m.
Vinyasa Yoga — Sundays, 11 a.m. – Noon

All Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden activities and events are open to the public and FREE. For up-to-date details, check out and subscribe to the Garden calendar.

Coming Up in September

Garden Open on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 7, Noon – 6 p.m.
Movie Night: “Rear Window” (1954) — Wednesday, Sept. 9, 7:45 p.m.
Living Soil Workshop, in celebration of the International Year of the Soil
Saturday, Sept. 12, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Neighborhood Street Tree Care Event —
Sunday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Live Music Sunday Sunday, Sept. 13, 4 – 6 p.m.
Nebulae Botanica: Symphonic Gong Sound Healing Immersion, performed by Paramatma Siri Sadhana Thursday, Sept. 24, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Live Music Sunday, in coordination with Fourth Annual LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) Harvest Arts Festival — Sunday, Sept. 27, 3 – 5:30 p.m.

Do You Have a Programming Idea?

Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden volunteers are hard at work planning gardening, educational, cultural and wellness activities and events. If you or your local community organization are interested in providing free, public programming, hosting a special event or performing — music, dance, theater, spoken word, illusion, etc. — in the Garden, please complete this event form.