The Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Community Garden
Lower East Side
Sponsored by Toyota
In 2007, Toyota provided funding to transform this site from a basic vegetable garden into an outdoor children’s learning experience, commissioning landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh for the design.
To prepare the garden for restoration, New York Restoration Project construction crews performed demolition and grading procedures on the site, cleared debris and garbage and installed various hardscape features. Over the course of six months, NYRP horticulture and design teams worked hand-in-hand with local residents and Van Valkenburgh to realize the community’s vision for this newly renovated gem, which includes four distinct habitat areas that NYRP and New York City educators can use to present environmental education programming to neighborhood youth.
The front of the space features an upland habitat garden. Moving through the site on a reclaimed, white-marble walkway – situated beneath a lush kiwi vine supported by a steel arbor made by Brooklyn artisans. The back of the space houses a wetland habitat fed by rainwater harvested from the roof of an adjacent building. Benches – also made by Brooklyn artisans from black locust – provide seating throughout the garden, which is fronted by a lot-wide tree pit on the sidewalk that creates a bioswale to divert stormwater from overflowing into the sewer system.
603 E. 11th St.
Manhattan, New York (East Village)
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.
1,656 sq ft.
Performance space, lawn, Little Free Library