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Rep. Carolyn Maloney Joins the Lower East Side Community to Call for the Passage of H.R.4197, The Revitalizing Cities Through Parks Enhancement (RECIPE) Act

“When we preserve Parks, green, trees, we’re helping the air, the water, we are helping the mental health of the people it is so important to the future of this city..” Rep. Maloney

 

“Urban communities in New York City and throughout our nation are in dire need of safe, green spaces. Many cities do not have the space or funding to create community parks and gardens, but have municipally owned lots that go untouched. I introduced the RECIPE Act so that these vacant lots can be transformed into open community spaces to beautify neighborhoods, increase property values, and provide areas for residents to enjoy. The beauty of La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez Garden and the many community gardens of the Lower East Side represent what good we can do for neighborhoods at home in New York and across the country with the passage of the RECIPE Act,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12).

“I represent an Assembly District with a long history of community led efforts to reclaim and expand open public space in the form of community gardens. These gardens embody the Lower East Side’s spirit of collaboration, creativity, and solidarity and have been epicenters of activism and ideal places for neighbors to congregate. I want to thank Congresswoman Maloney for introducing the RECIPE Act, which would help more communities in our city, state, and across the country to bring the benefits of community gardens into their lives,” said Assemblymember Harvey Epstein.

“Green space is precious in New York City, and community gardens are treasured in their neighborhoods,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Parks and gardens are essential to a good quality of life, and I thank Congresswoman Maloney for her leadership on this issue, and for her work on the RECIPE act.”

“I want to thank Congresswoman Maloney for reintroducing the RECIPE Act, which would be so critical for the survival of our community gardens. The $10 million grant program this bill would establish wouldn’t just help New York – it would be a boon for urban communities across the country that for decades have been subject to environmental injustice and racism,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “Gardens are the seeds of our environmental reclamation – and it’s long past time we start planting those seeds.”

Background

Qualified community organizations will receive grants for the establishment of community open space in urban areas from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Grants made under this Act to any single qualified community organization in any one fiscal year may not exceed $250,000.

Only nonprofit community organizations which have histories of serving the community, maintain accountability to residents of the community through significant representation on the organizations governing board, are involved in activities to better the neighborhood, and comply with standards of financial accountability required by the Secretary are eligible for such grants.

In order to be eligible for these grants, municipal property which is located in an urban area must be free of structures, owned by the unit of general local government in which the property is located, and subject to a binding commitment that makes the property available for use and improvement under this Act as community open space for at least seven years.

These grants may be used for the establishment of community open space (including beautification, construction or installation of facilities for improvements for such property, clearance, demolition, removal, design and site improvements), to lease or otherwise obtain the use of eligible municipal real property for establishment of community open space, to maintain community open space, to cover other administrative costs related to the establishment, development, maintenance, administration, or management of the community open space, except that not more than 10 percent of any single grant made under this Act may be used for costs under these specific uses.”

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“We find that the opening of a community garden has a statistically significant positive impact on residential properties within 1000 feet of the garden, and that the impact increases over time. We find that gardens have the greatest impact in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Higher quality gardens have the greatest positive impact. Finally, we find that the opening of a garden is associated with other changes in the neighborhood, such as increasing rates of homeownership, and thus may be serving as catalysts for economic redevelopment of the community.”

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More Coverage:

PIX11: Rep. Maloney Calls for Bill to Create More Community Gardens & Parks in Inner Cities

NY1: New Act Proposed to Create & Revive Parks & Gardens

Rep. Maloney Joins the Lower East Side Community to Call for the Passage of H.R.4197, The Revitalizing Cities Through Parks Enhancement (RECIPE) Act

 

 

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