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Electric Ladybug Garden

Information about this lot

Known Use: community green space
Address: 239-37 WEST 111 STREET, Manhattan, 10026
Area: 0.12 acres (5046 square feet)
Block and Lot: Manhattan, block 1827, lot 14
More information about this lot at OASIS

Political Boundaries

City Council District 9 represented by Kristin Richardson Jordan
Community District Manhattan 10 ( / 212.749.3105 ), district manager: Andrew Lassalle
Find all elected officials for this lot at Who Represents Me? NYC

Why is this lot here?

We posted this lot because:

  • The lot is being used as a community green space.
  • Neighbors got access to it with the help of 596 Acres.
  • In MapPLUTO the city lists this lot's landuse as vacant.
  • In MapPLUTO the city lists this lot's building class as vacant.

Government Agency

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (public)
Contact: GreenThumb Deputy Director Carlos Martinez ((212) 602-5329 /


This land is being stewarded by the following group:

News feed

Nov. 29, 2017, 6:35 p.m.
Stephanie @ 596 Acres posted
Organizers Meeting in Harlem this Saturday December 2 at 2pm-5pm
Organizers Meeting in Harlem this Saturday December 2 at 2pm-5pm Come build, share, and celebrate with fellow land access advocates who are organizing with their neighbors for access to vacant spaces to transform them into community places! You’ll get a chance to learn from folks who have succeeded in successfully gaining access and folks who are beginning their journey to land stewardship! This is a great chance to share stories, learn from each others’ experiences, and discover partnership opportunities. Let’s gather to celebrate each other’s work and envision goals for 2018 that we can bring into fruition together! Light snacks and refreshments will be provided!
Sept. 25, 2016, 1:50 p.m.
Paula posted
Sept. 1, 2016, 7:21 p.m.
paula at 596 acres posted
Dec. 29, 2015, 9:45 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

Thanks to amazing organizing by gardeners and supporters, this community space was taken off the list of potential development sites and TRANSFERRED TO THE PARKS DEPARTMENT TODAY!

Nov. 23, 2015, 11:37 a.m.
meredith posted
This is what it looks like now!
Nov. 23, 2015, 11:33 a.m.
meredith posted
Here is what this lot looked like before neighbors transformed it with 596 Acres’ help (google took this picture in 2007)!
Jan. 16, 2015, 5:05 p.m.
Electric said

We are organizing a petition to save the Electric Ladybug Garden. Please
see Thank you!

Jan. 16, 2015, 4:59 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

This site was included in a list of sites that developers are being asked to apply to build housing on by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. (see

The list was published on January 14, 2015 and developers' responses are due on February 20, 2015. The fact that this site was included DOES NOT necessarily mean that housing will be developed here, but it does me that HPD is encouraging housing development and is not likely to consider other uses for the time being. If no one applies for this site, it may again be available in March!

The list and RFQ are products of HPD, under the direction of the Mayor's office. Development is not certain - this is simply a request for developers to apply to become qualified to build in these sites.

This site has been slated for a rental housing program: 15-30 units of housing going to people making less than 165% of the Area Median Income (AMI); this means rents in these units could be more than $3,000. per month for a family of four.

This article sums things up pretty well (and has the voices of folks from across the 596 Acres network):

You can let your City Council member, the mayor's office and HPD know if you have feedback about the program or the selection of this site.

Jan. 15, 2015, 4:49 p.m.
John said

Thanks to everyone at 596 for keeping us updated on the HPD issue! We are in touch with CB10, the office of Inez Dickens and the office of Mark Levine. We are working to save the garden. To keep tabs on the effort go to Thank you!

June 25, 2014, 10:19 a.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Any updates on this project?

April 16, 2014, 12:25 p.m.
"Nicholas said


April 16, 2014, 12:20 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

596 Acres is having a general meeting in Harlem TONIGHT! We'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, April 16
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
At 197 West 134th Street (at Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd), Manhattan

We'll be sharing stories land access success and troubleshooting any sticky points in the process. Contact with questions.

March 27, 2014, 9:50 a.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Have y'all heard back from GreenThumb yet? Any updates to share? HAPPY ALMOST SPRING!

Feb. 13, 2014, 10:31 a.m.
Patrick Pompili said

Hi Everyone,

I live across the street from the potential garden on W. 111th Street. I'd really love to help out with this project, since I have two young daughters who will really benefit from it. A neighborhood garden is such a great resource for the local community and I can't wait for it to materialize on our block.

I see that there is a meeting at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, but will it discuss the potential garden on W. 111th St? I cant make it today, but will definitely make an effort to attend the next one.

Anyway, I can probably contribute the most on a laborer scale (i.e. cleaning, landscaping, etc) due to my proximity, but I am happy to assist in any way I can. Please let me know how I can find more info about helping out! Thanks.

(216) 990-4773

Feb. 13, 2014, 10:08 a.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Erica filled me in that this group got a letter from Community Board 10 granting approval. Hooray!!!

Dec. 25, 2013, 9:37 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Have you guys heard back from GreenThumb yet? Happy holidays!

Oct. 10, 2013, 3:26 p.m.
Jazzmine Eleam said

Good afternoon and thank you for all your great posts and efforts on this lot. I am a resident on 111th and I would like to be involved on this project.Who is the group leader of this project? How can i be of service to the organization efforts. I have left my contact information below. I will search through the sites set up as well to reach out to the parties involved.

Warmest Regards,

Oct. 3, 2013, 2:33 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

I just verified with Charlie Marcus at HPD that they are still willing to license this garden.

Sept. 12, 2013, 3:24 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Great question. Let's be sure we talk about it on Sunday ---

596 Acres New York City Land Access General Meeting

Sunday, September 15 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
At St Nick's Miracle Garden, West 127th Street and St Nicholas Ave in Harlem
Come trouble shoot your community land access campaign and meet other aspiring and active land stewards in one of NYC's newest community spaces -- the St. Nicholas Miracle Garden, which started with neighbors coming together around a 596 Acres sign on a rusty fence surrounding an unused municipal lot.

See how they've grown:

And get inspiration and practical advice to grow your own community!

Sept. 12, 2013, 2:52 p.m.
The Harlem Tenants Reps said

How many people of color are in this group? Is it led by non whites?

Sept. 12, 2013, 2:13 p.m.
West 111th Street Harlem Garden Association said

We are the West 111th Street Harlem Garden Association. We've been organizing here for the past year and have been making amazing progress working with GreenThumb and 596 acres. We will post more details as things progress and hope to have good news soon!

Thanks to all our neighbors for their patience and support in this process.

FB: Theloton111

Aug. 2, 2013, 12:30 p.m.
Nicholas said

I was involved with this lot last year, mostly by moving rocks, clearing trash, no organizing. Harry Beresford McNeary was doing a lot of organizing on the lot at that time and collected email addresses for many neighbors. He probably has a lot of good suggestions and background on the project and would be important to reach out to for advice if he isn't still actively involved in the lot (he may still be, but I moved to a different part of Harlem in January and am now out of touch with the project so apologies if this info is out of date). The Facebook pages was also here:

It is my understanding that a couple of years ago another group was organizing for this lot. If someone could reach out to both Harry and the former organizers, there may be an opportunity to get a clearer picture of
the nature of the politics regarding this site. Some of the neighbors to the lot had concerns about any built elements that might go up in the lot and who would control the property, be responsible to lock it up at night,

Let me know if I can be helpful in any other way.


Aug. 2, 2013, 12:04 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

I connected with Roland Chouloute, Deputy Director of the GreenThumb Program at
New York City Parks & Recreation about this project and he spoke with HPD yesterday. Great news! A GreenThumb license is available for this space as long as everyone works together to steward our commons and has the support of the Community Board.

Does anyone know whether the Community Board has already written a letter in support of a garden here? Please be in touch ASAP - - so we can get you guys a signed agreement and get this community growing.

July 31, 2013, 4:14 p.m.
leslie said

Great, I would love to join the group!

July 30, 2013, 6:56 p.m.
The Lot on West 111th Street said

We currently are still organizing. We have an application in process with Green Thumb. It's great to see that there is interest. We will be updating members of the community shortly with our progress.

July 25, 2013, 9:58 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

For a time last year, these folks were organizing here:

West 111th Street Harlem Garden Association

Our group includes many of the residents and neighbors living directly around the lot. We began this project in 2012 on Earth day, April 23, and have continually been in contact with our fellow neighbors as well as the relevant New York City officials to make this a reality.
Our vision is to simply create a safe green space where local residents and their families can garden. We have begun the process to transform what is now a vacant lot into a place where children can participate in environmental workshops and learn to garden. In addition to the cleanup effort already undertaken by our resident volunteers, we have received donations of trees such as sugar maple, plum, boxwood, etc. and edibles such as chammomile, beets, lettuce, etc. The trees have already been planted right inside the fence!
We want our residents to be able to grow their own food and herbs organically in order to improve their health and quality of life, and we aim to give them the training to do so via the expertise of local residents. We also plan to allocate grow space to students of PS 241 and to open the garden to installations by local Harlem sculptors. Our vision is to include all residents of the immediate area surrounding the lot. We want the diverse community around the lot to not only participate, but to be part of the design, direction & management of the Community Garden. We seek to create a democratic & fully transparent organization to run the Garden. We have no plans to monetize the Garden, or allow any other group or individual to operate any type of business there. The West 111th Street Harlem Garden Association has no political agenda and is not part of any political group of any kind. We have no plans for any activities that will disturb our neighbors. Our Garden will only be open during daylight hours, and we will be continually sensitive to the needs of all our neighbors.

You can join:

June 25, 2013, 10:50 p.m.
Kaitlin said

Really nice spot! Posted a sign here today.

May 24, 2013, 11:37 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Have you guys gotten your GreenThumb license yet?

Aug. 12, 2012, 11:53 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

This group is getting its GreenThumb application together this week. They presented to their community board in June -- check out the wonderful video here:

Aug. 10, 2012, 4:29 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

A good first step is to call the City Agency and ask about their plans for the lot. Here are some tips for your call:

Since this is an HPD lot, if HPD is willing to commit to a GreenThumb license, you should approach GreenThumb. Be prepared to provide the following:

  • The names of 2 Primary gardeners + (at least) a list of ten volunteers (full contact info);

  • A letter from the Community Board in support of the project and group;

  • A name for the proposed garden/group being formed to look after the garden; and

  • A letter of 596 Acres describing the community

Here is a sample license: