It seems like such a long time ago that we had the “Harvest Festival” at the JFK Spirit Garden (formerly the Westside Park Community Garden). Even though it was only last October everyone is eagerly waiting for the snow to melt, the ground to defrost and to dust off the garden supplies. School #5, one of our community partners has already scheduled a “Community Garden Build” for April 18th. On this date more garden boxes will be built, along with more picnic tables and benches for the garden. Aptly named Elysian Fields the garden caters to those residents living in the immediate area. It was so successful that it merited expansion. This is one of the ways in which we’ll measure improvement. Mr. Choudury, a key organizer, has been amazing in reaching out to the growing Bengali community in the area. We are well on our way to providing the residents with opportunities to socialize, exercise and reap the fruits of their labors. Between the three community gardens in the area we will be able to provide healthy produce via the farmers market and garden produce sharing. Of course we won’t be able to measure friendships created, vitamin D absorbed or recipes shared..but we’ll try!
When the ground defrosts the permanent walking path markers will be installed. The signs have been reproduced from vintage photographs and postcards from “back in the day” when boating was popular on the Passaic River and the gardens were in all of their glory. We’re hoping that completion of this will coincide with the scheduled, “Step to the Plate” 19th Century Baseball Game scheduled for June 6th. Our community partner, the Paterson Historic Commission, is hosting this event to call attention to the historic significance of Westside Park and highlight its many qualities, among them the new and improved walking path with historic signs along the way.
It’s all coming together!