Based on public comments on draft rules, the Parks Department announced yesterday new rules regarding community gardens across the city, including more protection against eminent domain arguments. Under the proposed rules, "Active gardens under the Parks Department’s jurisdiction are preserved as gardens as long as they are registered and licensed by the Department," and "Licenses will be renewed as long as the garden satisfies the registration criteria." Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement, “The revised rules published today represent a major step forward in the protection of our community gardens, even as we continue to explore strategies that will make these gardens a permanent part of our neighborhoods."

Community gardeners say the rules are a great step toward keeping the land free of development, but they're hoping more can be done. One gardener told NY1, "Of course, after we work so hard to do what we're doing, you know and now we know that we're working and we'll be here for a while. We won't have to worry if next year they're gonna come take it from us."

The rules apply to the 282 gardens under the control of the Parks Department, but which are cared for by members of the community. And though many say more work needs to be done, the city will take any protected land it can get. One woman told the Daily News, "I'm glad somebody came to their senses and understood that green spaces are important."