Written by Joe Scotchie Thursday, 21 March 2013 00:00
Few places in the Roslyn area suffered as much from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy as Clark Botanic Gardens. In fact, the grounds of the longtime establishment have remained closed since the hurricane hit last October. The gardens are expected to open in April.
In the meantime, Clark officials have up to 40 trees to replace. That restoration process received a huge boost recently when the Manes-American Peace Prize Foundation donated $10,000 to the gardens. Old Westbury resident Harvey Manes heads the foundation.
Manes said he made the donation after learning about the widespread destruction to Clark Gardens as reported in the local media. He has long patronized the gardens, which he called a “cute little place” which he believes is not as well known to the public as it should be.
Manes was also inspired by the life work of Grenville Clark, who donated the land that eventually became Clark Botanic Gardens. As with Manes, Clark was a firm believer in promoting peace among peoples and nations. An aid to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Clark, Manes recalled, had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on several occasions and was also a man who believed that the United Nations should play a major role in promoting peace. Similarly, Manes’ own foundation awards a peace prize to a deserving American who also promotes world and local peace. Restoration work isn’t the only community activity Manes is involved with. On Saturday, March 30, his foundation will be sponsoring a gun buy-back rally at Prayer Tabernacle Church in North Amityville. Manes said that such programs are usually sponsored by governmental agencies, but this is a rare occasion when a private organization does the work.
After the hurricane hit, garden officials set a goal of $15,000 in monies needed for restoration. So, the tranquility that Clark Botanic Gardens provides for local residents should be available again to all in the near future.