Kelly Street Garden

Ask anyone from the Bronx about “Banana Kelly” and I guarantee that they will have a story for you. Kelly Street has always been an essential aspect of the story of the South Bronx. Unfortunately it’s reputation has revolved around a history of drug use or gang violence. Yet, my experience on the block was anything but that. I spent my summer interning at the Kelly Street Garden, a community 1200 square foot garden in the courtyard of an apartment building on Kelly Street. The Garden is run by a group of 6 women known as the “Kelly Street Garden Committee” who devote their time to growing, making, and giving out healthy food as a path to creating a stronger, healthier community. The garden hosts summer youth programs, weekly cooking classes, and a weekly farmers market. Many residents of the block have lived there for most of their lives and there is a sense of dedication to the block which is hard in most other urban areas. Kelly Street is one of the most loving, welcoming communities that I have ever seen, especially in New York. It is people likeĀ Hopey, who have been on the block for several decades, or likeĀ Rosalba, the Kelly Street Garden Coordinator, that help to make the place so special.