Ada Smothers, McIntosh Neighborhood Association Garden, Elmhurst, Queens
“The garden was founded in 1978 by the neighbors in the McIntosh Neighborhood Association. This was an empty lot. People would use it to dump their debris, garbage. And we got together as a group of neighbors to clean up the lot and start planting. We planted vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers. At that time, most of us were working people. I worked full time. But we would do it in the afternoon and on Saturdays when we got home from work. And that’s how we worked this garden.
It gives me a peace of mind. I can come by here and it’s like a safe haven to me. I come out here and nobody bothers you. It’s relaxing. That’s what it is to me, a safe haven. It makes my life more bearable. The beauty of it, it’s so relaxing.”