For more than a year, the Millbrook Gardens Project (MGP) had been struggling to transform an unused green space in the South Bronx at the Millbrook Houses Development, into a fully accessible community garden that could host educational and social programs.
Construction of the garden was stalled by legal issues that prevented the group from pouring concrete paths that would make the space usable and welcoming to every member of the community, including those with wheelchairs or strollers.
Soon after becoming a Citizen Action group of the Open Space Institute, MGP was able to get the legal counsel that would help clear the way for a solution.
“Once we partnered with OSI, we were able to move forward with the construction of the garden,” says Cesar Yoc, project leader for MGP. “OSI sponsored our group and helped us negotiate with the New York City Housing Authority. Now that we have paved garden paths, we can plan community events for people of all ages and physical abilities.”
Samayla Deutch, OSI’s senior vice president and general counsel, took on the project knowing that a successful outcome would result in tangible benefits for Millbrook Gardens. “Access to green space is an essential component for a healthy, thriving community,” says Deutch. “It is a true reward to advance the goals of a group of individuals who are passionate about supporting accessible outdoor activities in their local community.”