While Super Storm Sandy's tidal flood waters and winds may have decimated the Piermont Community Garden, the gardener members of the waterfront space have plans for a big comeback.
Within days of the storm's passing, the garden members, along with other volunteers, banded together to clear out some of the debris.
“It was a heart-wrenching site,” explained Denise Oswald, a longtime member. The place that we had all worked so hard to make green was destroyed. It was filled with tons of trash, all the garden beds were torn out of the ground, fencing was upheaved and the tool shed had floated to the far corner of the garden,” she added.
The garden was devastated, but the spirits of those who work to create this growing place was not. The effort to rebuild was initiated in December with plans to create new brick-lined walkways and improved irrigation.
“We're building a garden that we hope won't wash away,” said Dan Sherman, founding member and professional landscape architect, supervising the restoration.
Since 1995. the community garden on the bank of the Hudson River has served hundreds of residents who have planted and harvested flowers, fruits and vegetables in their 4 foot by 9 foot plots. Besides residents, visitors admire the garden and surrounding Parelli Park, with scores of flowers, shrubs, herbs and fruit trees.
“The Community Garden is not only an aesthetic asset to the Village, but it is also part of the unique fabric of Piermont - reflecting collaboration and the volunteer spirit of our residents,” said Piermont Mayor Chris Sanders.
“It hasn’t been the first storm to wreak havoc on the garden, but we agree that the time is now to upgrade. In the end, we’ll have a more efficient and certainly more beautiful garden,” said Mary Lukens, garden coordinator.
A new design for the garden includes the installation of more than 10,000 bricks and pavers, and the garden members have begun a fundraising campaign to seek both cash and in-kind donations. Those wishing to help out can donate online through the garden’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/PiermontGarden or by mailing a check made payable to Piermont Community Garden, c/o Village Hall, 478 Piermont Ave., Piermont, NY 10968.
Established in 1995, the garden members represent a diverse group of about 60 residents who enjoy gardening on the Hudson River. Members grow food and flowers in a manner that does not harm the environment and encourages friendships and cooperation through regular meetings, educational seminars, work parties and social events.