6. Green Oasis Community Garden/ Gilbert’s Sculpture Garden
Located on East 8th Street between Avenues C and D is the Green Oasis Garden and the accompanying Gilbert’s Sculpture Garden. Work began on these gardens in 1981, when Normand Valle and Reynaldo Arenas sought to transform a vacant, blighted lot into a community space, and partnered with Gilbert Ingram, who was turning an adjoining lot into a sculpture garden. Their shared goal was to provide a safe haven for the neighborhood children in the wake of crime and abandonment that plagued the East Village.
The sister gardens contain vegetable plots, a koi pond, and a gazebo, amongst other things. In fact, the first generation of Nuyorican poets read their work in this space, amongst performances of music and plays.