Glendale residents clean community garden

By Eric Jankiewicz

Residents of Glendale celebrated Earth Day over the weekend by cleaning up the community’s garden and getting it ready for the warm season.

“It was great to see so many people from the area come out and help,” said Gian D’Elia, who runs the garden. “We mostly had people cleaning out all the dead stuff from last year.”

Dorie Figliola, a longtime Glendale resident, created the garden in 2009. The plot of green land sits on 88th Street near 74th Avenue. The land is technically part of a yeshiva that owns the area, but administrators of the yeshiva are happy to have the community garden there, D’Elia said.

Local Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, among others, spent their time at the garden cleaning away debris that had collected in the winter and preparing flower beds. Others planted vegetables and fruits.

In a few months, D’Elia said, much of what is grown in the garden will be harvested for a local Community Supported Agriculture program.

Last year, the garden was awarded $750 as seed money from the Citizens Committee of New York City to expand its composting site. D’Elia hopes to continue to expand the garden’s composting capacity and recycle his neighbor’s organic waste. With the grant money, they have added three new bins that will churn out fresh compost at a higher rate. D’Elia hopes to get more Glendale residents involved in the process and during the Earth Day events, children from PS 113 were shown the process of organic waste being broken down into a soil additive.

But the children were not the only ones who were learning. D’Elia discovered that the bee colony in the garden froze to death over the winter. He has arranged to get another bee colony and he plans on doing things differently when the cold returns.

“I’ll need to put the hive in a spot that gets more sunlight,” D’Elia said. “Some people even put blankets on them during the winter. But I’m not sure if I’ll need to do that.”

Reach reporter Eric Jankiewicz by e-mail at ejankiewicz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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