History of the garden

In 1971 the vacant lot at Bergen Street's Block 387, Lots 38 and 39, 
was an illegal parking lot. The 200 Bergen Street Block Association 
organized local residents to clean up the site and create a 
neighborhood vest pocket park upon the urging of Miss Ida Oliffe.
At first it consisted of a modest vegetable garden.

During the 1970s the Block Association sponsored annual International 
Food Fairs which attracted hundreds of visitors to the block. The 
fairs raised funds necessary to construct a wrought iron fence and 
other features for the park.
During the 1980s working with the Magnolia Tree Earth Center of 
Bedford-Stuyvesant, the Block Association created the current 
landscape design, which includes a pathway, sitting area surrounded by 
trees and shrubs.

The garden was transformed into a beautiful flower garden and woodland 
area by neighborhood resident David Foulke. For years David organized 
numerous events from children's parades to October festivals to 
Christmas caroling. In 1994 the garden was named in his honor after 
his death. A dogwood tree was planted to commemorate Julio Delatorre, 
the local Block president who first inspired and organized the block 
members to start a garden.
"Dress Up Your  Neighborhood" Molly Parnis awards were given to the 
garden in 1972, 1988 and 1989.

In 1996/1997 the Bergen Street Block Association raised money from 
businesses, civic associations and individuals to put a new wooden 
fence in the rear of the garden. The Boerum Hill Association donated a 
bulletin board on which flyers and official notices now inform garden 
users and passersby about events of community interest.

In 1999 the whole neighborhood rallied to save the garden from being 
sold by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. To people on the block, the garden was 
and is part of the neighborhood family. Our children have celebrated 
birthday parties and Halloween.  Neighbors have gathered to sing there and award 
scholarships to young people who go to college. There have been block 
meetings, fundraisers, weddings and memorials.

In 2002 gardeners worked with local schools to plant bulbs to 
commemorate 9/11 victims. There were much needed repairs and a new 
design including a brick pathway, a seating area and a large 
sandbox for children to play in.

In 2007  the Trust for Public Land provided the funds to construct the new 
design and a new sidewalk. We are forever grateful that Trust for 
Public Land stepped in to purchase 67 gardens and preserved them as 
open space in perpetuity. In 2011 TPL turned over ownership of the 34 gardens
 in Brooklyn and Queens to the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust.