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Gardens out of garbage

What draws a person to make an afternoon trip to a local garden? Are they anxious to identify the shrubbery? Walk for the exercise? Stop and smell the flowers?

I think in the urban sprawl that is metropolitan New York City, it’s the sense of finding some patch of the rural in close proximity to home. Two unique examples of this exist in western Nassau County – Centennial Gardens in Floral Park and the Garden City Bird Sanctuary in Garden City.

In 1995 Rob Alvey started ‘Sump-thing’ as an environmental educational project to establish a bird sanctuary in a 9 acre storm drain in Garden City, NY. In 1999, volunteers in neighboring Floral Park commenced the transformation of a 14 acre sump in their community into Centennial Gardens.

Through local fund raisers and volunteer programs of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and school groups an astonishing improvement has occurred. Formerly trash strewn property with bent and rusting cyclone fencing have been metamorphisized into a destination for residents to enjoy on many different levels.

Specimen trees and flower beds are splendid in themselves, but they also attract different species of birds and animals that young and old alike delight in watching. The gardens exist on so many different levels that they attract residents for a variety of reasons: nature, walking, bird watching are just a few.

Enclosed in the gardens you are visually surrounded by the simple sight of nature without the intrusion of our modern time.

visit their web sites:


  • elaine naismith 5 years ago

    hey there steve. interesting read on floral park. you are a very interesting writer with interesting facts. keep up the good work! elaine and ian naismith

  • Sue Mignano 5 years ago

    Hi Steve...I enjoyed reading the article, and I look forward to reading more from you in the future!

  • Linda Cicalese 5 years ago

    This article illustrates the great things that can happen when people have vision and are willing to work toward a common goal. A refreshing change from all the doom and gloom...

  • Helaine Vecchione 5 years ago

    Great articles Steve! Centennial Gardens has become a real treasure in Floral Park thanks to a lot of volunteers and good neighbors!

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