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Clark Gardens Returns

Botanical paradise devastated by Sandy reopens

Clark Botanic Gardens had its official reopening last Wednesday, six months after it was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Town Councilman Thomas Dwyer and Town Clerk Leslie Gross and other officials were on hand to re-open the 12-acre living museum and educational facility in Albertson with an official ribbon cutting ceremony.

 

"Clark Garden is a beautiful place that our residents can enjoy all year round,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “I am thrilled to be able to re-open this facility in its entire splendor.”

 

The Garden was established in 1969 on the former estate of Grenville Clark, a noted attorney and advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It contains hundreds of labeled trees and more than 5,000 species of plants.

The Botanic Garden lost over 50 trees as a result of Sandy and had a lot of structural damage to its surrounding property including broken walkways, railings and benches. Parts of the grounds were totally impassable in the weeks after the hurricane and indigenous plant and wildlife was severely affected.

 

“We had over $40,000 worth of damage with the loss of trees and everything else,” said Parks Commissioner, Jennifer Fava. “We are working hard through the spring to get everything back in order but it definitely will be an ongoing process.”

 

The Garden has over 30,000 visitors walk through its doors on annual basis and holds exciting events, including a Winter Wonderland, Halloween Spooky Walk and the 8th annual EcoFest, which took place last Saturday and Sunday to raise awareness among residents about environmental preservation.

 

“The festival is a real treat for the family,” said Councilman Thomas Dwyer. “It will have great music and wildlife displays for the children and the beautiful scenery of a botanical garden for parents to enjoy. It will be an even more special occasion this year after the devastation caused by Sandy.”

 

The re-opening of the Clark Botanic Garden would not have been possible if it were not for donations from private donors. One of those donors was Dr. Harvey Manes who donated $10,000 to Clark’s restoration effort. 

“I read the article about all of the trees that were effected and I thought it would be a great opportunity to donate some much needed funds,” said Dr. Manes. 

Other contributors included Environmentalists Patti Woods of the Grassroots Environmental Education and Frank Morris of The Sierra Club.


News

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com