La Perla, as the name suggests is a jewel nestled quietly near the corner of Columbus and 105th street. It has the look and feel of a fairy tale garden – quiet and mysterious with established leafy trees. On one wall a creeper catches the breeze and provides shelter to many species of bird. There are Asian pear, peach, cherry and plum trees. Buddleia and lavender bushes attract bees and butterflies. Quiet benches provide a place for passers-by to sit and take a breath on a busy day. In the corner there is a stage where people have enjoyed music events and plays and talks from other urban garden groups. All this is under threat.
La Perla was created from the rubble of an abandoned city lot in 1992 and it is one of the 14 urban gardens managed by Manhattan Land Trust. The space that forms the garden is made up of three city lots each owned by a different entity. The central plot is owned privately and the owners want to sell because the taxes have shot up dramatically since 2009. Of course it is their perfect right to sell but does La Perla have to be destroyed? Can a solution be found that would make all parties happy? The forces of gentrification are not always aligned with the people who have lived in this neighborhood for generations.
We need our green spaces. We need our urban gardens.
Help us save La Perla garden for the neighborhood and for generations to come.
We are asking our friends and neighbors, community groups and politicians to help us save our garden. We will soon begin a petition and a fundraising campaign. If you have any advice or help to give please contact either Liz Hall from La Perla or Genevieve Outlaw from Manhattan Land Trust.
Please watch this space for further announcements: www.manhattanlandtrust.org.
Contact: Liz Hall: La Perla garden member: 212.666.5826: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Genevieve Outlaw, President: Manhattan Land Trust: 212.244.2288: or contact via Land Trust Members.