Larry Scott Blackmon, the Parks Department’s deputy commissioner for community outreach, said he looks forward to the new possibilities with the park at 347 Keap Street.
“Some of the outcomes were to take a look at communities in need and figure out a way to increase the opportunity for healthy food options, gardening, learning about sustainable healthy food and just better living from an agricultural point of view,” Blackmon said.
The initiative is part of the Obesity Epidemic Task Force introduced by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg as an effort to prevent and control obesity, in part through community gardening by providing access to fresh produce.
In January 2012, the city identified approximately a dozen city-owned lots suitable for new community gardens, and allocated approximately $400,000 for their conversion.
Members of the community are already enjoying the community garden.
Every Friday, local day care center Awesome Bunnies brings its children for a garden-themed story time and to participate in arts and crafts. Their artwork is now on display at the garden.
And Nuestros Ninos, another day care center in the community, celebrates Musical Mondays at the community garden, where local musicians perform for the children.
The garden is run by the organization GreenThumb, and will be open to the public at least 20 hours per week. Those interested in volunteering at Keap Fourth Community Garden should visit greenthumbnyc.org.
“This was really a wonderful example of government agencies coming together with community to create something that is going to improve quality of lives,” said Nancy Kohn, director of Greenthumb.