05/21/12 3:57pm
05/21/2012 3:57 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The new playground at the River and Roots Community Garden in downtown Riverhead.

There may be a new playground at downtown’s River and Roots Community Garden, but the work isn’t done yet. The River and Roots group is now seeking donations to install a fence around the newly-built park.

While the Riverhead Rotary Club has agreed to make a donation for the fence project, River and Roots still needs $1,000 to cover the full cost.

The new playground – the only one in downtown Riverhead — was finished last week and is located next to the garden near Grangebel Park. It includes a slide, seesaw and jungle gym.

The playground cost the town $51,374 to build, according to a contract awarded by the Town Board four months ago. The project is being funded by a Community Development Block Grant, which comes from federal funds, rather than town property taxes.

River and Roots organizer Laurie Nigro wrote in a press release issued Monday that any donation, “large or small, will go far and help us complete the transformation of this little piece of downtown.”

Checks can be made payable to Riverhead Rotary Charities, which is accepting donations on behalf of the garden members, and mailed to River and Roots Community Garden P.O. Box 2129 Riverhead, NY, 11901.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that the Rotary Club was raising funds for the fence.

05/14/12 11:56am
05/14/2012 11:56 AM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Construction on the new playground at the River and Roots Community Garden began Monday.

Downtown’s River and Roots Community Garden is getting a new addition this week: a playground for local kids.

Installation on the playground – the only one in downtown Riverhead — began Monday morning and is expected to wrap up in the next two to three days, said contractors at the West Main Street site.

The playground will be located next to the garden near Grangebel Park, and will feature a slide, seesaw and jungle gym.

“It’s not going to look like a regular jungle gym,” said foreman Anthony Barbato of Louis Barbato Landscaping. “Everything will be very modern.”

Contractors said they had to pull up a cherry tree on the site that was “no good” and will lay wood chips down around the park to provide a cushion for kids.

The playground will cost $51,374 to build, according to a contract awarded by the Town Board four months ago. The project is being funded by a Community Development Block Grant, which comes from federal funds, rather than town property taxes.

psquire@timesreview.com

05/13/11 1:02pm
05/13/2011 1:02 PM

Downtown’s new community garden got some help from an unlikely source Friday — the county jail.

More than two dozen raised garden beds, built by inmates in the Suffolk County Jail’s apprentice program, were delivered to the River & Roots community garden on West Main Street.

“The jail’s Vocational Training Program was established as a tool to reduce inmate recidivism in our communities,” according to a press release from the sheriff’s office announcing the event. “These frames will allow families to plant, grow and maintain gardens and flowers along the Peconic River Waterfront in Riverhead.”

The garden is currently under construction on a town-owned plot just south of West Main Street and Griffing Avenue.

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BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Inmates Earrol Whitaker and Jay Topczewski unload one of the 25 4-by-6-foot cedar garden beds they built