Daily Point of Light # 2642 Mar 22, 2004

Donald Loggins is a founding member of the Green Guerillas, organized in 1973 by late noted environmentalist Liz Christy. The group works to develop and preserve gardens and open spaces in impoverished urban areas. The Liz Christy Bowery Houston Community Garden, created by the Green Guerillas on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, is the oldest community garden in New York. The garden has been featured in numerous local newspapers and online city guides.

Mr. Loggins has been instrumental in keeping this garden alive. For 30 years, he has helped transform a blighted corner of one of the poorest areas of New York City into a neighborhood that families and children want to live in again. He gives tours of the garden to share with children, many of whom do not know where fruits and vegetables come from, an environment where they can see fruit trees and vegetables growing. The garden also contains a live turtle pond, a working beehive and a place where visitors can observe large goldfish.

In addition to maintaining this landmark garden, Loggins has helped develop hundreds of community gardens around New York by providing technical assistance. He also assists with semiannual plant giveaways where plants, seeds and bulbs are donated to local gardens, community open space groups and vest pocket parks. Loggins’ volunteer efforts have been documented in several New York newspapers and he also has received an award for his urban greening dedication from the mayor of New York City. He is also a member of a Brooklyn Community Board, appointed by the Borough President for his environmental and community work. Mr. Loggins is an individual who takes pride in giving back to his community through gardening that grows community pride, adds beauty to the world and helps maintain a healthy environment.

The Liz Christy Bowery Houston Community Garden provides open green space and a a natural environment for children in the poorest section of Manhattan and has served as a model of what can be done at the grassroots level by concerned citizens without using government funds. People in Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle and other cities have seen what was done on the Lower East Side and created similar community green spaces in their own neighborhoods. Immigrants living in the Lower East Side from China, India, South America and many other nations sit in the garden on how summer days to cool off and discover they have something in common and their children become friends.