Since 2009, the green space at the corner of 88th Street and 74th Avenue has been maintained through various outreach programs from the Kiwanis of Glendale and Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, and last weekend the park was back in full swing for the summer.
Dorie Figliola, a staff member for Assemblyman Mike Miller, said the park has become a community staple for the students and families in the surrounding neighborhood.
“It was just a vacant lot, with all weeds and garbage,” said Figliola, who was instrumental in creating the garden, which began with a $3,000 grant from Home Depot.
Figliola said that programs like the I.S. 113 Builders Club and the park have both benefitted from community outreach.
“Since then, the Kiwanis club has been the sponsor for the garden, hosting events with the local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and children from local schools,” Figliola said.
Gian D’Elia spends every day of the “growing season” in the garden. He helped build the original composting bins in the park, and recently filed for a $750 Citizens Committee for NYC grant to build new ones.
“While this is going to be a thing that eventually everybody is going to have to do, we just want to extend the operation here a little to get more individuals involved,” D’Elia said.
Gerry Gonzalez, president of the Glendale Kiwanis Club, has a positive outlook for the future of the garden and anticipates yet another successful summer full of activities.
“It’s a collaborative effort from a variety of organizations,” Gonzalez said. “Everybody just does what they can to make it happen and it works.”