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Bayonne, NJ: Senior Citizen Community Garden Opens

  • Subject: [cg] Bayonne, NJ: Senior Citizen Community Garden Opens
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2004 09:51:49 EDT

Seniors now have a garden for flowers and vegetables
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
By Lauren DeFilippo

Journal staff writer
Nearly 20 people turned out for the dedication of a new garden at the Senior Citizen Community Center on 56th Street and Avenue B in Bayonne last week.
Following the ceremonial part of the afternoon, three seniors went immediately to work, planting young tomato plants.

According to Gary Chimelewski, the project manager for the building, the garden is part of the original concept for the Center, now in its second full year of operation. However, creating the garden had to wait until debris leftover from the refurbishing of the property was removed, he said.
The garden, a rectangular fenced in area in the northwest corner of the property, will feature a variety of different plants - some perennials and some annuals.
"It's up to the seniors," Chimelewski said. "Whatever they want . it's a community garden for them."
The actual garden is divided by a circular brick walkway that allows for planting around the perimeter while also creating a space for visitors to walk through and admire their surroundings. There also is a large bed of dirt in the back of the space, and an oval mound in its center already dotted with small, but colorful, flowers.
Shortly after noon on Thursday, Mayor Joseph V. Doria Jr. arrived and began visiting with seniors before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
After the yellow ribbon had been cut, Doria participated in planting one of the first tomato plants in the garden.
Peggy Lanni, of the City's Office on Aging, said that the center is seeking residents who are interested in working in the garden and possibly sharing their expertise with other Center regulars and newcomers that might not have as much knowledge about gardening.
She also pointed out the positive feelings about the process of getting one's hands into the dirt and working. Lanni also noted the relaxation benefits of maintaining a garden .
The three seniors who got started right away formed an assembly line of sorts, with one woman digging the hole, another adding water and the third putting each plant into its new home. A short time later, the left-hand side of the garden was populated with the new plants.
Lanni also said that the Office on Aging has already made contact with the nearby Woodrow Wilson School in the hope of having students come to the center to help seniors work on the garden in the fall.
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