103rd Street Community Garden
New York, NY
**2012 NY ASLA AWARD
SCAPE reimagined the 103rd Street Community Garden in East Harlem for the New York Restoration Project, a non-profit organization founded by Bette Midler to transform and green open space in underserved neighborhoods of New York City one park at a time. In this partnership, SCAPE provided the design, working closely with NYRP on community programming and to facilitate construction of the park with a team of volunteers and community stakeholders.
Beginning with a public charette, East Harlem community members submitted their ideas for the new garden. SCAPE transformed the design through a series of iterative drawings and discussions with neighborhood residents. In response to popular demand, the park now includes perennial borders, raised planters for organic gardening, a refurbished basketball court, an open picnic area that can be used as an outdoor theater, a new kid-inspired playground, and two shade structures, featuring pitched roofs and rain barrels to collect rain water for on-site irrigation use. Involved from day-one, local volunteers, marshaled by NYRP and Disney, literally built the park in a period of months. On opening day in October 2011, kids rolled down the sloping berm of the lawn, the organic gardening beds were seeded with flowers and vegetables, and Ms. Midler cut the rope to welcome the crowd through the dogwoods and rhododendrons to this vibrant, new community space.