10 Tips to Enjoying the East Village Community Gardens. East Village Community Gardens, New York, New York, USA. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

10 Tips to Enjoying the East Village Community Gardens

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The East Village’s community gardens are a great place to meet locals and experience a side of New York generally not covered in the guidebooks.

How to get the most out of the The East Village Community Gardens

Do some background reading and preparation

See our story on ‘New York’s Secret Gardens – Urban Oases in the East Village’ if you haven’t already; read up on the history and politics of the gardens (here, and here); use Elissa Sampson’s tours and maps; and locate the gardens on the East Village Parks Conservancy website.

Visit our favourite gardens

6th & Ave B Garden; La Plaza Cultural on 9th Street & Avenue C; 9th Street Community Garden on 9th Street & Avenue C; 6BC Botanical Garden on 6th Street, between Avenues B & C; and the sweet Creative Little Garden on 530 E. 6th Street, between Avenues A & B.

Visitors are welcome

Visitors are welcome to visit the East Village Community Gardens when the garden gates are open, on weekends or during specified times to take a stroll, read a book, have a picnic, sun bathe, or enjoy a snooze. Each garden has different rules and opening hours so check the garden websites above or the signs on the gates.

Ask, but don’t touch

If you want to know the name of a plant or want gardening tips, ask one of the friendly gardeners, but don’t pick flowers, take clippings, fruit or vegetables, or tend a garden without asking.

There are frequent events in the gardens

Many gardens, such as 6th & B Garden host activities and events – storytelling for kids, music and dance lessons, concerts, plays, poetry nights, gardening lessons, cooking classes, yoga, and so on. Check garden websites or notice boards at entrances. Most are free, but donations are always welcome.

Pitch In!

If you’ve got a green thumb and are yearning to get your hands dirty, many gardens welcome volunteers. Introduce yourself to a gardener and they’ll let you know if there’s something to do – and there’s nearly always something to do at the East Village Community Gardens.

Become a Member

Most gardens have memberships for local residents – you generally need to volunteer for a certain number of hours before you can become a member, pay your fee, and get a key.

You can Donate

Members’ fees pay for garden tools, soil, fertilizer, maintenance etc. Additional donations are welcome from visitors, so if you’ve enjoyed a garden, look for the donation box, generally near the entrance.

Check out the Sixth Street Community Centre

Drop into the Sixth Street Community Centre to find out about their organic farm, the Seeds to Supper program, youth training activities, and their community-supported agriculture projects – or just take a yoga class. The people there are happy to share their experiences.

Eat the locally grown produce

Enjoy a multi-course organic meal made from fresh farm produce at the Organic Soul Café at the Sixth Street Community Centre on Tuesdays 7.30-9.30pm. Volunteers are welcome in the kitchen! It’s a great way to meet locals and give something back.

New York’s community gardens are once again under threat of bulldozers and development; see our previous story for more information and how you can help.


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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

2 thoughts on “10 Tips to Enjoying the East Village Community Gardens”

  1. You picked a great neighborhood to stay in. There used to be a large art junk sculpture in the garden on 6th and B. Sadly the artist passed away about a year ago. It was at least a story high and friends who lived in an apartment facing the garden said he used to climb the sculpture when there was a full moon and blow a horn. Haven’t walked by that way in a while so don’t know if it’s still there. There was talk of pulling it down.

  2. Hi Wendy

    Isn’t the area wonderful? Fell in love with the East Village by the end of our two week stay. I can’t remember that particular sculpture but there was a lot of wonderful stuff in that garden – loved it! Quite a few of the pics above are from 6th and B.

    All the gardens are just so beautiful and a top New York attraction as far as we’re concerned. I know if I lived there, I’d be spending a lot of time in them. Hopefully, they won’t be bulldozed! That would be just tragic.

    Thanks for dropping by!

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