West Side Community Garden NYC

Hi friends, welcome back! I was scrolling Instagram last week and a video of a garden I’d never heard of on NYC’s Upper West Side caught my eye. The garden is called the West Side Community Garden and located on 89th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Ave. It’s a few blocks from Central Park so I decided to check it out before starting part two of my Central Park spring tour.

Per their website, “West Side Community Garden was founded in 1976 on a trash-strewn vacant lot on Columbus Avenue that had been slated for an urban renewal project. West Side Community Garden is committed to providing a beautiful, peaceful, green space in which everybody can relax. The only privately owned example of its kind in New York City, the garden is fully funded by grants and donations and run entirely by volunteers.” The garden is free to visit and open almost every day of the year.

Each year they plant over 13,000 tulips for their tulip festival. I visited the day before the tulip festival started, so they were still getting the park ready. In addition to the tulip festival, they also host concerts in the park, movie nights, a family Shakespeare festival, and a benefit party to raise money for the garden.

While I was there, I overheard a lady tell her granddaughter it wasn’t worth the trip to the garden, but I strongly disagree. I thought it was a beautiful little garden and a great spot for the community. I’m glad I stumbled upon this garden and got to see all these beautiful tulips!


40 thoughts on “West Side Community Garden NYC

  1. What a beautiful example of enriching the city environment. Well worth the trip Lyssy. As to the lady who says it was not worth the trip, I fear many in cities think that gardens have to be highly structured and organized. That is not the way nature works. Love all the tulips. Thanks for sharing. Happy Monday. Allan

    1. It is amazing how beautiful they’ve made the garden. I couldn’t believe that lady said that, it’s not like they were charging admission, it was free. I didn’t get a picture of it, but there’s also a vegetable garden that classes for the nearby school take care of. It’s nice to see community in a big city. Happy Monday!

    1. Haha the guard bunnies are very elusive there! Maybe they are resting after their busy Easter 🙂

  2. The second-to-last photo speaks volumes to me, with the people relaxing on the low wall while others stroll through. It seems like a welcome respite from the surrounding city. Is the park still under construction or were they making repairs to what was already there? This reminds me of those fenced pocket parks you hear about in London, also private but more intended for the adjacent residents. “Guard bunny” – ha!

    1. I was surprised how many people were there, plus a few groups of school kids came through. It’s really a nice spot for the neighborhood. I think they were making repairs to what was already there, it kind of looks like they’re making little benches that go on top of the wall. Oh yes I remember seeing some in London.

  3. Such a beautiful space- in spirit as well as visually. The guard bunny sign made me smile. Love seeing a side of the city I wouldn’t if not for an insiders knowledge. A much enjoyed post.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this! You’re right it is beautiful in spirit and looks and is really a nice spot in the community. I can’t believe I didn’t know about it before.

  4. Wow, just look at all the beautiful tulips – that’s a beautiful little oasis on the Upper Westside. It certainly is a model of what can happen when neighbours come together to imagine and cultivate a community garden Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    1. It’s such a neighborhood oasis and so many people were there enjoying it. They did a great job creating this garden and making it accessible to everyone. Hope you had a great day!

  5. I had never heard of this garden either, and the volunteers are doing a great job. Not only is it beautiful to see, but it’s so very unusual in this context.

    1. The volunteers do such a great job, they’ve really cultivated a community spot. I wish more abandoned spots could turn into beautiful gardens.

  6. It was definitely worth the trip to the garden Lyssy especially in springtime. You could almost imagine being transported to Holland with all those gorgeous tulips. A credit to the local community for their efforts.

    1. It was such a great find! We didn’t have time to see the tulip festival in NJ, but this was just as nice and I didn’t have to worry about traffic 🙂

  7. This looks like a place where I could spend a lot of time. I bet the volunteers take a lot of pride in that beautiful garden because it looks immaculate. What a great little slice of pretty in what was once a yucky vacant lot. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous garden, Lyssy!

    1. The volunteers do a great job, and I’m sure they are happy seeing so many people enjoying all their hard work. It’s such a great spot to have in the city.

  8. I am surprised to read what the lady told her granddaughter about the garden. I doubt that she must be suffering from colour-blindness.

  9. The article highlights the collective efforts of volunteers who maintain the space, nurturing both the plants and a sense of togetherness. It also explores how gardens can provide a sanctuary for relaxation, reflection, and creativity in the midst of a bustling city. With personal anecdotes and a focus on community, the article showcases the transformative power of green spaces. It leaves readers inspired and eager to visit the West Side Community Garden to witness its magic firsthand. Well done to the author for shedding light on this hidden gem!

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