Garden Club seeks help to protect boxwoods from thieves

09/18/2013 3:30 PM |
BARBARELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Volunteers down on East Main Street in  2011.

BARBARELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Volunteers down on East Main Street in 2011.

The Riverhead Garden Club is looking for help from Riverhead Town in the way of better security, better lighting and irrigation for its Knot Garden on the town-owned East End Arts property in downtown Riverhead.

Members of the club, which was founded in 1931, have been restoring the garden between the historic Davis-Corwin and Benjamin houses on the property for many years. And in December 2011, they planted several boxwood plants there, according to Fay Young, the group’s co-president.

By the spring of 2012, she said, 11 of the boxwoods had been stolen.

TOWN HISTORIAN COURTESY PHOTO | The Davis-Corwin house with a formal boxwood garden to the east of it, as it appeared in 1976.

TOWN HISTORIAN COURTESY PHOTO | The Davis-Corwin house with a formal boxwood garden to the east of it, as it appeared in 1976.

On Tuesday, club members went to the Town Board meeting to ask for help.

“We are concerned about the security of the boxwoods,” Ms. Young told the Town Board.

She estimated the value of the stolen boxwoods at about $500. The group is hoping to plant replacement boxwoods, but the members want to make sure there is better security at the site before they do so.

2011: GARDEN CLUB RESTORES KNOT GARDEN AT EAST END ARTS

PHOTOS: KNOT GARDEN RESTORATION EFFORTS

“It’s sort of amazing that with the number of police officers we have downtown, that somebody could dig up these plants,” Supervisor Sean Walter said.

Patricia Carey, the club’s civic beautification chair, said they would like the town to install irrigation to the site, to better water the plants, and add the Knot Garden to the list of places the town is considering for security camera installation.

The Town Board recently issued a request for proposals to install a security camera system at seven locations in downtown Riverhead.

Mr. Walter said the town should be able to come up with the $500 to buy new boxwoods, so long as the Garden Club plants them.

As for the security cameras, he said its not certain if the town will even have the money to do that project at all.

Garden Club member Marge Lawrence said the fact that downtown is now designated as an historic corridor should make it possible for the club to get grants for the project.”

But the club has to “ensure that this area is not pillaged again,’ she said.

Councilman James Wooten said there is irrigation on the property; all the Garden Club has to do is tap into it.

Mr. Walter asked Councilman George Gabrielsen to work with the club because of his farming and greenhouse experience.

tgannon@timesreview.com