Project:  The Healing Gardens of New York


Broadcast on WNET, New York

In a city dominated by steel, glass, jackhammers, and cranes, the importance of green spaces as a source of stability and emotional well-being is too often overlooked.  From Rikers Island to Times Square to the Lower East Side, gardens contribute to healing the ills of the city.  The Healing Gardens is the story of lives and communities that have been refreshed by some of these gardens.

The film features gardens ranging from the tiny Cabbage Patch, an asphalt-surrounded triangle in Times Square, to a spacious field on Rikers Island (the city’s largest prison), with a fishpond and Tibetan prayer flags.  These gardens provide solace, peace, and transformation.

“ . . . so incredibly lovely that it gives a person hope for the human race.  Who knew that NYC is dotted with plots of deserted land from Harlem to Rikers Island, from the Conservancy to the Labyrinth downtown, and that all sorts of citizens, high and low (some actually still incarcerated for crimes), have come to love and tend these gardens . . . This is an unusually tranquil film experience with wonderful music.  It will take your mind off a lot of nasty things.  Don’t miss it!”

Liz Smith, New York Post

“An inspiring documentary!  This beautifully photographed program features excellent technical qualities.  It would be a superb resource for a beginning college sociology course and a solid addition to any public library.”

Library Journal

“The Healing Gardens of New York captures the one universal truth all community gardens share – and that is the power to make life better for those who toil in them.”

Organic Gardening

Official Selection:  Documentary Fortnight:  Museum of Modern Art

Official Selection:  Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Official Selection:  Charlotte Independent Film Festival, Best of the Best

Winner:  Secret City Film Festival

Official Selection:  Black Maria Film Festival, Director’s Citation