Hoyt Street Association

Mission Statement

  • To preserve and enhance the Boerum Hill neighborhood and to encourage the maintenance of all public facilities and services within the Boerum Hill community.
  • To create and maintain one or more community parks and gardens for the enjoyment and use of community residents and the general public.
  • To foster a community of good neighbors in the Boerum Hill neighborhood and surrounding area by lessening neighborhood tensions, prejudice and discrimination; and
  • To work toward the improved safety and security of the Boerum Hill neighborhood by combating crimes against persons or property in the neighborhood and the surrounding area.

Activities

  • Annual Plant Sale Fundraiser in late April or early May
  • Stories in the Garden
  • Book Give Away
  • Neighborhood Holiday Caroling
  • Shredding Day
  • Tree Planting
  • Painting out graffiti

 

The Hoyt Street Garden

The Hoyt Street Garden is located at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hoyt Street. Free keys to the Garden available at GRDN, 103 Hoyt Street, which is just across the street. Please read and follow the rules posted on the gate.

The New York City Presbytery owns the land that was once a rubble-strewn vacant lot. With permission from the Iglesia Presbiteriana del Cristo Vivo a group of neighbors led by Hoyt Street resident, Margaret Cusack, decided to clean up the space and create a community garden to be protected under the banner of the newly-formed Hoyt Street Association. Money was raised at a one-day CIRCUS in August of 1974 and garden work started May 15, 1975.

Donations of plants and money from neighbors and local merchants plus many, many hours of hard work by volunteers added up to the Hoyt Street Garden that we all enjoy today.

Adults and children sifted out the bricks from the building that had previously collapsed. The loose bricks were used to create pathways, a wrought iron fence was installed and a "Tree of Life" mural was painted on the side wall. Flowers, trees and bushes were planted with the guidance of our original master gardener, artist Shozo Nagano.

Financial support for the Garden comes from our annual fundraiser, the Plant Sale, usually held on the first weekend of May, in conjunction with the Boerum Hill Association's Greening Day. We sell literally thousands of annuals, perennials and potted plants that beautify the neighborhood. The proceeds support our activities and greening efforts in Boerum Hill as well as the Grant Program that helps fund other neighborhood groups.

Over the years, we have hosted concerts, story hours, dance performances, art exhibits, book giveaways and even a wedding reception. The Garden has suffered very little vandalism and part of the reason is that people know that the Garden belongs to everybody. Hundreds of free garden keys have been given out to neighbors and those who work nearby. Please put your Garden key on your key ring and use the Garden whenever you like: to meet with a friend, have lunch, rest after shopping, whatever... The only rules are that when you are using the garden, leave the gate wide open and encourage others to come in. When you are ready to leave, just ask the visitors to come back another time. It is your responsibility to lock up when you leave the Garden.

We continue our tradition called “Free Stories in the Garden for children of all ages" at 7:00 PM on Tuesday evenings in the summer. (The last Tuesday in June and all the Tuesdays in July.) Neighborhood volunteers are readers and we provide free cookies and lemonade. Watch the neighborhood bulletin boards for more information.

Neighbors and students from nearby schools decorate the garden for the winter holidays. If your child’s class would like to participate, contact us. We are open to other suggestions of how to make the garden more accessible to the neighborhood. We are delighted to care for and share this space. Please come and enjoy the greenery.

Grant program

Grants of up to $1000 are given out to:

  • Encourage cleanliness, orderliness, beautification or preservation
  • Improve public safety or quality of life
  • Support educational or cultural activities for the residents
  • Promote harmony between diverse elements of the neighborhood

Click here to download grant application