Residents of Park Slope are expressing their concern over an empty grey lot that was supposed to be a new neighborhood garden. The Baltic Street Community Garden, which the School Construction Authority had promised to update, was instead fenced-in and paved with concrete when the new P.S. 133 on Fourth Avenue was built. Needless to say, locals are less than thrilled about the new concrete garden and have been contacting City Councilman Stephen Levin to express their discontent.
The original garden had been a community staple for three decades and boasted benches, pathways, trees, vines and orange blossoms. The green space was bulldozed in 2009 to make room for a new school, which will open this fall. Locals fought to preserve the garden and were promised a 3,000-square-foot replacement garden by the SCA.
“People were really upset,” said S.J. Avery, a longtime Butler Street resident, to DNAInfo. “Giving you slab of asphalt with a fence around it does not rise to the standard of a replacement garden.”
Clearly, the SCA doesn’t have a problem breaking promises to residents about the community garden they deemed as a community asset in the environmental impact statement written prior to the school’s construction. “It will need to have raised plant beds (trays) because the section will be asphalt,” Department of Education spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said in an email, according to DNAInfo, adding that the space “will be fenced, have electricity for lighting, drainage and two water sources, one for regular city water and one rainwater retention system.”