• The Home Depot Children's Garden

    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.

    Garden Size

    1,892 sq ft.




    Outdoor learning

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    Willis Avenue Garden

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