• El Sol Brillante

    A community garden in the East Village

  • About

  • Membership & Volunteering


The mission of El Sol Brillante is to nurture an inclusive garden in New York's East Village by offering community and educational programs, tenancy of garden plots, and communal gardening. We promote nature and ecology amidst the city pavement.

El Sol Brillante Community Garden rose from the ashes of a demolished lot of four burnt-out buildings in the East Village of Manhattan in 1977. Residents organized to create a garden that would revitalize the neighborhood, unite local leadership, and improve the quality of their environment.  The original group of forty, with the help of a resident architect, the Horticultural Society of New York (gardening advice), the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service (gardening advice), and the CETA Summer Youth Corps (labor and jobs for kids) designed plans and with very little money and a great deal of sweat equity, a garden was born.  In 1978, with the assistance of the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit land trust was created and the lot was acquired in 1980.  A once rubble-filled lot became a thriving 1,000 square foot, 40-plot vegetable garden, a meeting place, and a preserved natural space for its members and their community.

Today, East 12th Street is a remarkable green corridor with four community gardens, six public schools and a park.  El Sol Brillante is one of its crown jewels and with new membership (including the children and grandchildren of its original founders), a robust bokashi composting education center with classes/demonstrations for the local schools, and continuous capital improvements funded through two community festivals held annually in June and October, El Sol Brillante will continue to be a vital asset to this historical neighborhood.

See further history >

For garden information or assistance, send an email to info@elsolbrillante.org.

The El Sol Brillante listserv is a moderated forum open to community members who wish to keep in touch with garden news, activities, and events. List membership is subject to termination at the discretion of the garden board of directors for inappropriate posting or other misbehavior.

Those who wish to subscribe may do so by sending an email to subscribe@elsolbrillante.org.
Those who wish to unsubscribe may do so by sending an email to unsubscribe@elsolbrillante.org.

Want to pay dues or donate?

Venmo: account.venmo.com/u/ElSolBrillante
PayPal: PayPal.Me/elsolbrillantegarden

Directed by Imani Johnson-Bey

The Garden Gang (ESB Documentary)

Click on video below, or for description and further details, visit https://vimeo.com/415629610.
Director: Imani Johnson-Bey
Director of Photography: Bridget Ashvil
Sound: Bridget Ashvil
Editor: Imani Johnson-Bey
Music: Losing Something - The Babe Rainbow, Peace Blossom Boogy - The Babe Rainbow, Butter - The Babe Rainbow
Special Thanks: Devon McCormick, Madi Horstman and Shmoopy the dog, Alexis Adler, and the whole ESB Garden Community

El Sol Brillante wrought-iron fence handcrafted artwork

A film by Jessica Cochran

El Sol Brillante: NYC Community Garden

For further details, visit https://vimeo.com/367182960