Just in time for the crisp fall weather, Bronx residents are celebrating the opening of a newly revamped green space in Mott Haven. The Willis Avenue Community Garden officially re-opened last week after months of renovations. Thanks to neighborhood leaders working in collaboration with the New York Restoration Project, Ten Arquitectos and the Urban Air Foundation, the public space has been reborn with a new prefab “casita” structure that adds both fun and functionality to the community center.
The 9,063-square-foot garden was originally founded in 1997 and had fallen into disrepair over the years. After months of renovation, the madeover park now has 24 raised planting beds, a butterfly garden, and a new trellis. The main focus of the project was to provide a safe, vibrant community space to be used for educational purposes as well as to host local events. The modular casita, designed by Ten Arquitectos, adds a new social hub to the park and will do multi-duty as an activity center, a food prep station and a performance stage throughout the year.
According to the organizers, the next step is to equip the casita with Wi-Fi and solar panels to provide light and electricity for the park. When implemented, the garden will also be able to serve as a center for community preparedness in times of emergency.
Photos: NYRP and Jeremy Capungcol