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A Look Back: "Our Block" – Bedford-Stuyvesant

A Look Back: "Our Block" goes into Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
A Look Back: "Our Block" goes into Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn 15:26

NEW YORK - In this next "Our Block" series, we once again go back to the early 1980s. 

Vic Miles visited Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where a community garden on Bergen Street was just beginning to grow. 

This garden would soon provide a safe space for all ages, despite being in an area with a complicated landscape. This safe haven, where drugs were once sold just steps away, now serves the area as a destination for neighborhood gatherings and growing produce.

The 1100 Bergen Street Community Garden was originally built on a combination of city-owned and private land, after the rubble from a few burned-out buildings was cleared away. 

However, the neighborhood oasis was almost lost. A records mistake about 10 years ago almost saw the garden lose its tax-exempt and nonprofit status. Two years later, as investors saw taxes were not being paid on the land, they wanted to buy the property.

The community rallied and, to prevent this from happening again, neighbors handed the deed over to the Brooklyn-Queens Land Trust, a nonprofit who works to protect the garden now and make sure it stays where it is in perpetuity.

Hannah Kliger, our Brooklyn community reporter, went back to Bergen Street to speak with current residents, including one who spearheads the upkeep of the garden. 

You can watch the full special in the video player above.

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