28 JULY 2004
Stepford Wives star and New York resident Bette Midler has been hard at work perfecting life in her own back yard, helping build a garden in an abandoned lot in East Harlem.
Bette, who founded the nonprofit New York Restoration Project in 1994, is joining forces with Disney and dozens of volunteers to transform the rundown 18,000 sq ft eyesore into a neighbourhood green space and playground.
In the decade since Bette founded the Restoration Project, she’s cultivated 15 gardens around the Big Apple – including one, in 2002, with the help of Ground Force gardeners Alan Titchmarsh and Charlie Dimmock – and is in the process of restoring many more.
“I see whole neighbourhoods change, I see whole blocks completely come alive from this kind of work,” said the multifaceted star. “People see there’s something beautiful outside their doors, people come out and meet each other, property values go up – it’s just common sense.”