Community Gardens – Oases in Park Starved Melrose

With all the new real estate being developed in Melrose and over 1,400 apartments coming online within the next year or so with developments such as Boricua Village, Courtlandt Corners and St. Ann’s Terrace, the area is yearning for more open spaces. As it stands, Melrose has no real park within its borders of its own…a space of green grass and trees, of flowers and benches, unless you count Flynn Playground on Third Avenue at East 157th Street which is nothing but concrete basket ball courts and handball courts. Melrose residents have to go to St. Mary’s Park in Mott Haven or Franz Sigel and Joyce Kilmer Parks on the Concourse directly North and South of The Bronx County Courthouse – all outside of Melrose proper.

Thankfully, until this problem is remediated, Melrose has a plethora of community gardens where its residents can escape to for some peace and quiet. Many of these gardens usually have a casita, Spanish for small house, reminiscent of the old, small wooden homes that dotted the mountains and valleys of Puerto Rico. The gardens are a little slice of Puerto Rico here in the urban, concrete jungle of New York, echoing home for so many residents which hail from the island or have roots there.

One such garden is Rambo Garden located on East 159th Street between Melrose and Courtlandt Avenues. Earlier today as I was walking my dog…or she walking me, I had the pleasure of stopping in this garden and check it out for myself. Below are some pictures of the garden. Feel free to drop by anytime and relax whether you live in the area or work in the area…great place to walk to and have your lunch and go back to work.

Thinking outside the commode.

Totem pole of sorts.

Local resident Lillian, enjoying the many toys the garden offers children, free of charge, to play in.

Inside the casita…table’s ready for a game of dominoes

Ceiling and chandelier inside the casita.

Another tricycle available for the children.

Um…Toto, I don’t think we’re in The Bronx anymore.

Nope! We’re definitely not in The Bronx! A scene like this could be anywhere…but yes, it’s here in Melrose right in the South Bronx.

A WORKING outdoor shower!

Old trellis and wheelbarrow.

Got wish? Throw in a penny and make your wish!

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