In May, 2012 we were voted as the BEST Community Garden by the New York Daily News. There are more than 300 community gardens in NYC. You can read the full online article here.

We appreciate all the support our neighbors, locals and international visitors have given us over the years and are proud of this recognition.


Our garden began as this tenement building at 530 East 6th St, it's the building in this circa 1940 photo with the stairway and the truck parked in front. Through the 50's and early 60's several buildings on this block became abandoned. Some were renovated, some homesteaded and a few were totally demolished. The building that occupied our site burned in the early 70's and was demolished soon thereafter. Immediately following, the land was marked for a community garden and in 1982 opened as the Creative Little Garden.


Under the leadership of Francoise Cachelin, the lot was leased to the Parks Department and Greenthumb. In the early 80's Francoise started the garden with help from the city. She was a staunch supporter of individual and community rights and was quite outspoken. Without her our garden would not be here today. Francoise passed away in 2003, but we continue to take inspiration from this former member of the French Resistance and spirited advocate for the rights of downtown residents.


Other individual members have come and gone and have had their hand in the garden. Around 2006 the garden was placed in peril as the 2 story structure next door was changed into a 6 story "luxury" rental. Scaffolding, workmen and debris caused problems to the garden and eventually a large portion of the garden slid into the basement during construction. With the help of new volunteers these problems were overcome and many improvements were then made.


The Creative Little Garden is now an oasis of tranquility in New York's East Village once again. It's a "community backyard," maintained by volunteers from the surrounding neighborhood. There are no plots tended by individual gardeners, instead members collaborate on the landscaping of the whole park.


In May, 2011 our garden became a National Wildlife Federation Habitat, meeting the NWF requirements of providing food, water, cover and places to raise young for local wildlife. Natural berries, insects and bird food provide food; a waterfall, birdbaths and fountains provide water and low bushes, tall trees and birdhouses provide cover and places to raise young. We are pleased to support the NWF and happy to maintain a garden that supports a healthy bird population.


Since we are a city park, all NYC Park rules must be followed:

* No smoking, fires, barbeques, alcohol, drugs or bikes
* Stay on paths (people & pets)
* Do not pick flowers or handle plants
* Leash your dog, if they poop, you MUST scoop
* No climbing on walls or handrails
* NO loud music or phone conversations, radios or running
* Take out ALL your garbage
* Gatherings of 5 or more require permission


The Creative Little Garden operates under the jurisdiction of the NYC Parks Department, through the Greenthumb program, and we get some help with maintenance and construction from the NYC Council On The Environment and others.  We're funded, however, solely by contributions and dues paid by the members. There is no paid staff, but we do have expenses!