Toyota East Children's Learning Garden
Sponsored by Ground Force and the Dorothy Strelsin Foundation
Established in 1980 and originally named Iglesia Pentacostal Arca de Salvacion, the garden cleaned up in preparation to be re-designed over four, blistering summer days in 2002 by volunteers from “Ground Force”—a BBC America television production—and New York Restoration Project staff.
This beloved garden is cared for by dedicated community residents, many of whom grow tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables there, including peppers and eggplant. Featuring a casita—a garden structure common to Puerto Rican gardens that includes a small porch for community activities and storage space—this shared green space provides a picturesque setting for barbecues and many other gatherings. In addition, the neighborhood hosts street fairs, with the garden providing a focal point for these celebrations.
The Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Community Garden received a generous grant from the Dorothy Strelsin Foundation to add a performance area and storage space, both located at the back of the property. Commissioned by NYRP, photographer and furniture designer Eric Slayton, in collaboration with Susannah Drake of DLANDstudio and Annette Wilkus of SiteWorks, LLC, worked with community members and NYRP staff to create a versatile design to accommodate both performance and community needs.
Part of a large number of community gardens that form a network of green spaces on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Community Garden is situated near four schools located within five blocks of the site.
174 Suffolk St.
Manhattan, New York (Lower East Side)
All NYRP community gardens hold a minimum of 20 open hours per week. Please check the bulletin board at the garden for times and details.
2,385 sq ft.
Performance space, barbeque grill, Little Free Library