91st Street Garden
Riverside Park, New York, NY
Denisha Williams, Community Gardener, 2001-2012
and Board Member, The Garden People, 2005-2006
Community gardens can be instrumental in community revitalization efforts, and inspirational to those who enjoy them as passersby or as participating gardeners. The 91st Street Garden helped inspire the renewal of Manhattan’s Riverside Park in the early 1980s. It became such a celebrated attraction that it was chosen as the location of the closing scene in the 1998 film You've Got Mail.
Volunteering as a community gardener and board member for the 91st Street Garden has provided Being Here Principal Denisha Williams opportunities to experiment with perennial combinations for a small garden situated in the midst of a public promenade. The hands-on experience gained from working with plants, organic gardening methods, and other gardeners from season to season and year to year is invaluable in understanding maintenance regimes and public gardening challenges.
Denisha’s expertise in community gardening also extends to the organizational realm, with leadership experience as a Garden People board member, helping to administer by-laws, manage volunteers and records, and plan and publicize meetings and workdays for this not-for-profit organization. In other experience with community gardens, she assisted the Trust for Public Land with coordinating construction improvements directly with community garden leaders in 2006.