Saturday, April 24, 2010
Guerrilla Gardening Special on Channel 6
I'm off my turf today. Being sick I have had the chance to put myself up to date on local TV. Experience seems to indicate that besides channel 6 (goverment), 40 (Ana G. Mendez University) and 13 (TeleOro) the rest of the TV is essentially crap. Can be local crap or imported crap from the states.
Today I decided to post something in English, just for the sake of it.
The subject is off my turf because the most active voice on this subject is Antigonum Cajan, on his blog Endemismo Trasnochado (http://endemismotrasnochado.blogspot.com/). Not only he speaks theory, he explains his lonely efforts on the Santurce area. Ironically I was thinking that what the efforts made in the Old San Carlos Hospital and the surroundings of the Sagrado Corazon train station have made.
I thought of this while I walked the old urban center of Bayamon. This area, where I spent my weekends since Middle School is now a sham of its former self. Many abandoned buildings with a very nice sign that shows the new center that has been standing there for over 2 years. Some grass, abandoned buildings, but no vegetation, not even small bushes or wildflowers. It is so sad and gray. Today I was watching an old BBC documentary on the Create Network (this is 6-2) with a success story of the Guerrilla Gardening on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was a large effort that began with the effort of 1 woman that wanted some yard area to have her children play and cleaned up an abandoned lot with some neighbors. Anyway...the photo of her is above. Liz Christy, is that activist on the first garden back in 1973... These community efforts are what we need here. Not more recycling drives. We know recycling is good already, lets move to stage 2...
The channel should repeat this program. It should be required discussion on Social Studies in schools. Showing empowerment beyond getting cupones. Hope they rerun it a lot and some politician or environmentalist group takes a lead on the approach. This type of approach only works when there are many volunteers and a healthy community.
Will Santini continue to alienate Santurce residents? The dominican community?
It is ironic that today the Municipality of Bayamon has a Graffiti contest in Parque de las Ciencias. Why there? Wouldn't it have been more sustainable and meaningful to do this in the abandoned building areas with Community Building theme? No. Our government and the sponsors behind the competition (saw Benjamin Moore Paint as a sponsor) thought this activity best for Parque de las Ciencias, a closed park that you pay to visit. Great message, for a closed loop.
In their case of New York they take foreclosed land lots and do land acquisition made by donations, similar to the job being done by the Fideicomiso de Conservacion. An impressive effort that has joined dissimilar communities with different ethnicities.
Got some links here on the subject:
The map of Lower East Side Gardens here:
And the more subversive ones do this instead of Graffiti:
Guess I'll need to be sick more often. I am limited to watching TV and using the netbook.
Tags en Blogalaxia
Gardening Guerrilla Gardening Lower East Side bayamon graffiti New York