Teresa LeCount, led the restoration of Bissel Gardens in The Bronx in the early part of the 2000s. She watched her area of The Bronx change from a great place to live to a place riddled with crime, garbage and drugs over the 32 years she lived there and decided to improve her neighborhood.
She founded the Bissel Gardens as a non-profit organization to oversee the use of the land. The garden occupies a 5 block area near the train station that had become a dumping ground. She was able to get the support of her Borough president, Fernando Ferrer, and get volunteers to help clean up the lot, which took 2 years. Now one block is a community garden where residents rent plots and grow their own vegetables and flowers. A second block grows food for the hungry and is sent to three church soup kitchens in the area. There are plans for the remaining 3 blocks. Teresa is confined to a wheel chair, so she spends her time organizing and getting support for the gardens.
The gardens now teach students and veterans about sustainable gardening and growing vegetables, fruits and trees. There are tours and it is considered one of the premiere gardens in the Northern Bronx.