Created by Port Washington residents Erika Stehl, Michele Rowe and Nicole Asselta, the Growing Love Community Garden of Manorhaven officially opened on Sunday, May 6. The event featured music, face and rock painting and many other activities.
What was once an overgrown, unused eyesore is quickly becoming a beautiful preserve. Last year, a Long Island Native Plants Garden was established and enhancements to the existing dog park will make it a welcome destination in the coming months.
“What this group of volunteers did in a few short months is incredible,” Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena said. “There is a good amount of property in the Manorhaven Nature Preserve. We plan to continue to improve it for the enjoyment of all Port Washington residents.”
The ceremony included a blessing by Reverend Hildur Pals, musical
entertainment by 16-year-old Margaret Harper, along with Ella Rowe singing The Star-Spangled Banner. Several organizations added to the day’s fun: DoTerra Essential Oils, Artist Katie Hillman, Humadeit, My Spectrum School, Our Harvest, Port Washington ROCKS, Two Palms Jewelry, Wild Child Organic Artist and Wild Ones Adventures.
The Community Garden consists of 40 four-by-eight-foot raised beds, which were distributed by drawing out of more than 100 applications. Beautiful natural benches made of tree stumps and slate pathways add to the nature beauty of the garden. A new water connection and hoses will provide water for the plants.
“It truly does take a village to get a project like this done on schedule,” Stehl said. “There were so many facets to the project and it was such a heart-warming experience to see so many people give their precious time to bring it all together.”
In addition to Growing Love Community Garden founders, other partners sharing time, talent and treasure include Landscape Construction by Dan Murray, Landscape Designer Eve Peterson, marketing by Amanda Khalil, Garden and Workshop Educator Beth Ricciardi and volunteer coordinator Tanya Clusener.
The goal of the nonprofit is to create a more resilient community where neighbors grow, share and eat their own food, learn healthy gardening practices, leverage natural resources, respect the delicate ecosystem and support existing beautification efforts, all while leveraging unused public land.
Visit www.groinglovepw.com to learn more about this project, including how to get involved.