Written by Gary Simeone Friday, 03 May 2013 00:00
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.