Text by Judith Spektor. Photo by Barry Benepe.

The Jane Street Garden was established in 1973 on the vacant and privately-owned, burned-out lot at Jane Street and 8th Avenue. The initiative was spearheaded by the Jane Street Block Association, under the leadership of Phyllis Katz and Jean Verral, and was designed by landscape architect Dan Stewart.

In response to community activism, the City denied permission to a developer to build on the site, which was taken over by the New York City Division of Real Property in 1975. In 1987, the Garden was leased to the West Village Committee under the leadership of Bill Bowser. Through the advocacy of the West Village Committee, the garden ownership was eventually transferred to the GreenThumb program within the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation in 2012; it is now protected as park land. The West Village Committee maintains the garden with volunteers, who recently planted hundreds of tulips for a big display in the spring.

The garden is now being prepared to accommodate a new iron fence with a corner entrance. It is being funded by Councilman Corey Johnson and will be installed by the Parks Department in 2017.

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