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GreenThumb community gardens
Photograph: NYC Parks/GreenThumb

New York's community gardens are now closed to the public

By
Shaye Weaver
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Community gardens have long been a place for New Yorkers to reconnect with nature—especially nowadays when we're inside most of the time—but until this pandemic dissipates, these green havens will be closed to the public.

The NYC Parks Department's community gardening arm, GreenThumb, announced over the weekend that it would be closing all 550 NYC gardens to the public to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

"Due to the relatively small spaces in most gardens and the difficulty in achieving safe social distancing of 6 feet or more, gardens must remain closed to the general public," GreenThumb said in a statement. "We realize that this will be disappointing to some, but it is necessary to help protect public health."

That means no stopping into a garden for a breath when you feel like you're going crazy inside your apartment or participating in workshops or tours.

Only members will be allowed in to maintain the gardens and to do necessary seasonal preparation.

The announcement comes on the heels of a very busy weekend in NYC parks, which caught Governor Andrew Cuomo's attention because of the sheer number of people in them, not adhering to the 6-foot rule.

"It’s insensitive, it’s arrogant, it’s self-destructive and it’s disrespectful," he said in a press conference on Mar 22. "It has to stop and it has to stop now. This is not a joke and I am not kidding."

While parks are currently still open, Cuomo gave NYC 24 hours to figure out how to keep defiant park-goers from spreading the virus. 

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