The rail carrier was called out for catastrophically damaging vegetation, including full crops of harvest-ready fruits and vegetables, during a recent application of herbicide along its rail right-of-way in northern Manhattan.
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“Jenny’s Garden, a thriving, active community garden located at West 138th Street abutting the rail right-of-way, has suffered thousands of dollars of damage,” wrote Brewer and Levine, pointing to the destruction of peach, pear, apple, and fig trees, other fruit-bearing plants, multiple flower beds, and vegetables grown by garden members that were ready to be harvested. “Residents and garden members are rightly furious, and fearful of a repeat incident,” wrote the officials.
The officials called on Amtrak to provide its schedule for herbicide application, give 30 days’ notice to the community’s elected officials and the local Community Board before any future spraying, and meet with Jenny’s Garden to discuss compensation for the garden’s losses. The officials also called on Amtrak to work with them to ensure future spraying could bypass Jenny’s Garden entirely.
Gale A. Brewer serves as the 27th Manhattan Borough President. Mark Levine is Council Member for the 7th District in Manhattan, which includes parts of West Harlem, Morningside Heights, the Upper West Side, and Hamilton Heights.
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