Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Roosevelt Island Community Garden Re-Opens But Only To Garden Club Members For Now - Coronavirus Pandemic Restrictions Still In Place For Public To Visit Community Garden Says RIOC

As I was walking by the Roosevelt Island Community Garden this past weekend, I noticed people inside and was hoping it  would be open for a Coronavirus Pandemic socially distant stroll.

Unfortunately, signage at the front entrance to the Community Garden says it is currently open only to  Roosevelt Island Garden Club (RIGC) Members

The RIGC explains:
We are closed to the public at this time as part of our agreement with RIOC. This can change over time as restrictions are revised throughout the state and we are no exception. Our community garden has narrow paths, and RIOC is moving carefully with limited access only in order to keep everyone safe. Members must work in their own plots maintaining physical distance. Sunday, May 17th was the day we were able to contact members regarding limited access beginning. So this access has been official for a little more than a week.

We see this as the first stage of the opening of the RIGC and we have been working hard as a volunteer Board to guide gardeners to re-enter safely. This sign was provided for us by RIOC and we have developed others. We have also been busy by email and phone creating a Covid - 19 team of volunteers to help with the CDC disinfecting solution and related needs.

NYC Green Thumb Community Gardens also remain closed to the public. RIGC is similar, but not exactly like these city community gardens, because we depend upon RIOC and are thus a NY State authorized garden run by volunteers. We have an annual contract with our landlord, RIOC, who in turn reports to the Governor. Greater NYC has been not reopened yet per PAUSE/Matilda's law. The large NYC gardens like NYBG, BBG, and the High Line also remain closed to the public.
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley adds:
The RIGC was authorized to reopen with strict limitations to allow their members to garden, plant and clean the garden before the official arrival of summer. All garden club members must maintain all social distancing practices, including wearing gloves and face coverings/masks while tending to the garden. Members cannot share tools or equipment.

Please keep in mind that all NYC botanical gardens and Green Thumb community gardens remain closed to the public until further notice.