Out of state volunteers help create Mott Haven garden

By Vianey Alderete Contreras. Volunteers from the community and from

By Vianey Alderete Contreras. Volunteers from the community and from Bike & Build, spruce up

Some 30 cyclists rode down to Mott Haven from the coast of Maine earlier this week, the latest in a wave of activists from all over coming to rescue a formerly abandoned lot that has been repurposed as an urban oasis.

Bike & Build, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit, organizes trips around the country for young cyclists who help fundraise to help low-income tenants pay for affordable housing. The group is one of several local and national groups and companies that have helped renovate the space on East 146th Street into a community garden.

“It’s a really big part of our civic duty to do this,” said Ian Christie, route leader of Bike & Build. Helping somebody else is great, and the skills that you learn I can take back to work and rebuild on my own house or anybody else’s house,”

This is the second year Bike & Build has worked with Rebuilding Together NYC, the nonprofit group organizing the transformation of the space. The volunteers spent a day building raised beds for gardening and a pigeon coop, repaired benches.

Rebuilding Together NYC said it expects the project to be finished in two-to-three weeks.