What is a garden? A place of beauty. A quiet refuge. A place to practice horticulture. A work of art. A place to take your children to learn about nature. A place to watch the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees.
6BC Garden is all that and more. At 6BC, green isn't just the color of our plants: our solar power and and compost projects demonstrate how well environmental concerns can be integrated into public spaces.
Entering the 6BC garden, it is hard to see where the solar panels are mounted. There are a total of six panels, four on the grape arbor, camouflaged by vines and climbing plants, and two on the roof of the garden's raised library shed's roof. The waterfall in the garden's coy pond took ten years to complete and was only the third garden in Manhattan with a solar installation. The 2 1/2-foot-high waterfall is on a timer, and runs for approximately two hours two times a day, aerating the coy pond. There is even an educational element to our garden. We have a small horticultural library, and a book club meets monthly to discuss fiction and non-fiction literature.
6BC is a also proud participant in Gardens Rising, a $2 million state grant to install rainwater-capture systems and other projects to mitigate storm runoff in the more than 40 community gardens in the East Village and Lower East Side. The New York City Community Garden Coalition is administering the grant in partnership with GreenThumb and the local community garden group LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens).
New York city officials have long considered community gardens as temporary oases, space savers for future development. Now, these same gardens are finally being recognized as “green infrastructure,' a first line of defense against flooding from major storms, helping to protect both communities and gardens from storm damage, from the flooding and sewage overflows that often swamp apartments and business's basements and discharge into the East River.
So a garden serves many purposes. But it doesn't grow itself. We need your help. Please enjoy our garden, and help us grow it, too.