Urban Oasis

How a band of renegades created New York's first community garden

February 16, 2018
Liz Christy kicked off a community gardening trend with this urban oasis in 1973.

Like many New Yorkers looking for a break from the fast-paced city life, Donald Loggins enjoys stopping by the Liz Christy Garden, a strip of tree- and shrub-lined paths that stretches along East Houston Street from Bowery to 2nd Avenue. But unlike many others, he is one of the garden’s founding members. In 1973, Loggins and a group of scofflaws, the “Green Guerrillas,” fought to establish the scrap of greenery in lower Manhattan. The fruits of their labor proved fertile, as the Liz Christy garden kicked off a community garden trend that would spread throughout New York and beyond.

Video produced by Charlie Wood, Emiliano Rodriguez Mega and Will Sullivan

About the Author

Charlie Wood

Charlie is especially into physical sciences both on and off the planet. His work has appeared in Popular Science, Quanta Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor. In previous lives, he taught physics and English in Mozambique and Japan, and he has a bachelor’s in physics from Brown University.


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