Sometimes, a garden isn’t simply a natural oasis replete with flowers and shrubs.
It can also be a community meeting place – a goal that members of the United Canarsie South Civic Association (UCSCA) have in their sights when it comes to the verdant patch they plan to tend on Schenck Street.
The vest-pocket garden has long been in the organization’s purview. It is UCSCA’s members who clean and clear the garden, and plant there.
In recent years, it was their efforts that secured a wooden gazebo for the enclosure, as well as the fence recently added by the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation, which means that the group members can start making more concrete plans for the community garden they have long coveted.
“Are we just going to walk by and say it’s beautiful or are we going to plan something beneficial to the community?” asked Lenny Fogel, UCSCA’s vice president, at the group’s May meeting.
“Many communities use their garden to have various events take place,” he told the group gathered in the auditorium at the Hebrew Educational Society (HES), 9502 Seaview Avenue. “We need a committee to brainstorm exactly what we are going to do with the garden other than just enjoy the way it looks.”
Among Fogel’s suggestions were “storybook time,” when youngsters in the neighborhood can gather there to enjoy being read to, a wine-tasting event for adults “where we can get to know one another a little better,” and even a talent show, “Canarsie Idol,” he remarked.
What will be planted there is also up for discussion. “Tomatoes,” suggested one member. “Azaleas,” said another.
The garden’s future is not entirely up to UCSCA. “Ultimately, whatever we want in the garden has to meet with the approval of the Parks Department,” Charlie Zambrana reminded the group.