President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts could mean the kiss of death for New York City’s community gardens. More than 500 of the communal spaces across all five boroughs depend on a program called GreenThumb, which is administered by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Initiated in the wake of the 1970s fiscal crisis, which resulted in the widespread abandonment of both private and public land, GreenThumb has turned hundreds of derelict lots into tillage. Most of its funding comes from federal Community Development Block Grants—the same ones the budget blueprint seeks to eliminate.
Should the budget pass, GreenThumb risks losing $1 million a year out of a $2.4 million budget, according to WNYC.
“It would be devastating to GreenThumb, it would mean laying off a dozen workers or more, and it would be less money for supplies, for bulbs, for tools,” said New York City Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee.
Levine, WNYC adds, is working on securing more money for community gardens, as well as the restoration of jobs for 150 Parks department gardeners and maintenance workers.
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