Hamilton Heights recently loss one of its great neighbors and many have been dropping by the little garden on West 149th Street just east of Broadway to pay their respects. Maggie's Garden was founded in the 1980s by Maggie Burnett when the neighborhood had a homicide happening every week and local drug dealers would try to bully the determined woman to vacate the empty lot that she diligently worked on. Miss Maggie persisted as would the miracle garden which at one point had a rooster appear with a hen that was apparently donated by an anonymous neighbor.
By the time the 90s came about, everything was looking bright for the community oasis but then the landowner wanted to sell the lot to a developer. Luckily the New York Restoration Project headed up by Bette Middler stepped in and provided the funds to make Maggie's Garden an official green space for the block. A mild February has kept the secret garden verdant as the spirit of this great lady who saw beauty once where none sought it out. Rest in Peace Miss Maggie.