Co-op City is a cooperative housing development located in the East Bronx that emerged as a result of the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program. Co-op City’s 15,372 residential units, in 35 high rise buildings and seven clusters of townhouses, make it the largest single residential development in the United States. It sits on 320 acres, though only 20% of the land was developed, leaving many green spaces. For years, there was an empty lot on its eastern boarder that sat along the Hutchinson River.
Well, that all changed when a group of the lady’s in the Building 13 Tenant Association decided they wanted to have a little fun. They started checking out various community gardens around the city and thought: why can’t we do that here? So they went to the Riverbank Association that manages Co-op City and asked if they could turn this vacant lot into a community garden.
Now, this formerly vacant Co-op City waterfront property has transformed into Rivers Run Community Garden — a beautiful place where locals come together to foster the growth and success of this community.
Learn more about their story and how Small Axe Peppers supports them in the videos below:
The waterfront space on Co-op City Blvd includes areas for growing herbs, flowers and vegetables, community composting, educational workshops, family activities and a host of other events that reflect the culture of the community.
Overall, the garden provides a sense of community and an appreciation for the environment, preserving of green space, and eliminating the sense of isolation that many in Co-op City once felt.
This garden is open to entire Co-op City community. In fact, people are even encouraged to come by and hang out in the green, riverfront oasis. Its a relaxing place, with beautiful, friendly people who are excited to come back to their roots, learn patience, and truly understand where their food is from.
The gardeners at Rivers Run like to grow pretty much any vegetable imaginable, including — that’s right, you guessed it — Serrano Peppers for Small Axes’ signature sauce: The Bronx Green Hot Sauce! In fact, last year they grew a whopping 32 pounds of them. This year, they’ve doubled the number of plants they plant to grow, utilizing straw bales as they continue to innovative their growing techniques.
Remember each purchase of Small Axe Peppers directly supports community gardens programs at River Runs. Help grow their efforts by purchasing another bottle of The Bronx Green Hot Sauce or The Bronx Red Hot Sauce!