El Barrio Community Garden
Sponsored by Home Depot
Originally named St. Marks Monastery, this garden was initially maintained by local monks. In 2008, New York Restoration Project received a generous grant from The Home Depot Foundation to re-imagine this green space. NYRP’s in-house design team—in conjunction with landscape architect Art Kleinman from the RBA Group—worked with community members for more than six months to plan and finalize a garden design that met the neighborhood’s diverse needs.
Local residents requested that the garden provide a space for children to learn about nature. As a result, NYRP created New York City’s first-ever, certified Nature Explore Classroom. Designed to provide all who visit with a sensory and singularly stimulating experience.
Following a narrow path that winds invitingly between the soaring walls of two neighboring buildings, visitors first encounter beautifully planted beds of flowers, herbs, and a variety of trees. Along the way, additional details continue to unfold, including a children’s performance stage, birdhouses, play areas and tables and benches for crafts projects, reading or an occasional picnic. Finally, at the back of the space and across a grassy lawn, the garden reveals its most unique feature – a fantastical two-story, Tudor-style playhouse tucked beneath the sheltering branches of a grand and carefully preserved shade tree.
421 E. 117th St.
Manhattan, New York (East Harlem)
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.
1,892 sq ft.