Mister D: Looks like there are plans for a tour in 2015
New York Daily News
What a rose! Bette Midler to unveil Bronx community garden renovated by her nonprofit
Willis Avenue Community Garden in Mott Haven is one of dozens of sites that singer’s New York Restoration Project maintains across the city.
BY RAY MONELL NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 9:01 PM
Divinity has arrived in the Bronx — with a huge pair of scissors.
Bette Midler will be in Mott Haven on Thursday to help unwrap the recently renovated Willis Avenue Community Garden, one of dozens of sites that the New York Restoration Project — the nonprofit founded by the Divine Miss M — maintains across the city.
“I’m from Hawaii and I grew up with a deep love — and, more importantly, respect — for nature,” the three-time Grammy winner told the Daily News.
“Every time we are able to restore a garden, I am filled with the hope that, well, New Yorkers really do care — not only about nature, but about their communities.”
Increasing access to green spaces, particularly in poverty-stricken neighborhoods such as the South Bronx, is precisely what compelled Midler to found the organization in 1995.
Right here in the Bronx, people can grow their own fruits and vegetables, take them home and cook them for dinner.
“When I first moved back to New York and saw the state of disrepair many of our public spaces were in, well, I couldn’t stand by and do nothing,” she said.
The group has teamed up with volunteers, donors and members of the communities it serves, Midler said, to restore four parks in upper Manhattan and save 114 community gardens from being auctioned off by City Hall to real estate developers.
Community gardens are typically open to the public during daylight hours, tended by neighborhood residents and managed by a small group of caretakers. Midler’s group manages 52 of the hundreds of community gardens in the city, and she says all but 17 have been restored.
The 9,063-square-foot garden at 378 Willis Ave. near E. 143rd St. takes up four city lots. It features a “casita,” or small house, where members of the predominantly Latino community can gather for meals, music or simply to play dominoes.
“The Divine Miss M,” singer Bette Midler, will be on hand Thursday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the recently renovated community garden in Mott Haven, one of dozens of sites that the three-time Grammy Award winner’s nonprofit organization, the New York Restoration Project, oversees across the city.
“Right here in the Bronx, people can grow their own fruits and vegetables, take them home and cook them for dinner to share a meal with family,” Midler added. “That’s a glorious thing.”
The spruced-up community garden on Willis Ave. will now be equipped with Wi-Fi and solar panels, enabling the site to double as a crisis center after a major storm, the group said.
The two-time Academy Award nominee said she is planning to release a new album in November and go on tour in 2015.
“I haven’t really toured for a number of years,” Midler said, noting that she had a regular gig at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, from 2008 to 2010. “It will be fun to get back on the bus.”
For more photos of the garden: Click Here