Before and after!
By Nuala O’Doherty
This year with the help from a grant from the Citizen Committee of New York, we focused again on our 69th Street Project. We picked up trash, whacked weeds, pulled weeds, planted herbs and flowers, and spread mulch.
We had a brave group of adults, who cleaned the area around what will soon be our new composting area. Since homeless people have been living in the area, this was a big job. With the help of our new composting partners we moved a mountain of trash from the area. We cleaned around the bushes and put in mulch to keep the area looking clean. We also hung a banner for the New Composting Center on the fence were we will be setting up the composting center this summer. New York City Department of Environmental Protection came and opened the gates, so we were able to get in and clean the area under the BQE out.
We also spent a lot of time weeding the garden we planted last year. This was great work for little hand and we had lots of little hands with the help of a local girl scout troupe and children from a local pre-kindergarten class. The kids also went into the tulip garden and cleaned out the trash. Given the large bushes the smaller you are the easier it is to get inside.
After a lot of weeding and a little complaining, the kids were finally allowed plant an herb garden. While the adults, turned over the soil, the kids planted the garden and surrounded it with rocks. The garden now has basil, thyme, oregano, mint, and dill. We also added more strawberry pants and added one cucumber plant. Yes, I know that this is not an herb, but my daughter really wanted to see a cucumber grow. Our parsley, rosemary and sage wintered well and looked great.
The girl scouts after pulling many weeds, planted some perennial flowering ground cover and some annual flowers. We planted cuttings along the back fence .
After all the planting we moved a mountain of mulch. Thanks to the NYC Parks Department, we had plenty of mulch this year so we will have less weeding in the future.
Luckily my husband was able to fix the weed-whacker and we cut down the weeds between 37th Avenue and 35th Avenue. That is a lot of weeds!
We had pizza and soda, before we brought all the trash bags to the corners for the Department of Sanitation picked up.
Prior to the clean up we ran a new hose from the fire hydrant all the way to the garden, but on Saturday night and into Sunday, nature did the watering.
It was a great feeling at the end of the day to see how much was accomplished.
Thanks to everyone who came out to help and to the Citizen’s Committee for funding our efforts. There sign now is hung in our garden.