Downtown community garden well under way

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Geese walk past the site of the new community garden in downtown Riverhead Saturday.

What was just a few weeks ago an grassy field, the lot just south of West Main Street and Griffing Avenue is now surrounded by a wrought iron fence.

Inside the border there are 16 planting beds and running water.

Soon the land will be home to a downtown Riverhead community garden.

Work on the garden — more than a year and a half in the making — is nearing completion, said co-organizer Laurie Nigro.

Ms. Nigro a downtown resident who along with friend Amy Davidson founded the nonprofit group River and Roots Community Garden, said they are anticipating installing at least 20 more beds this week.

“We have a gorgeous fence and 16 empty beds,” Ms. Nigro said Sunday. “To us, it’s beautiful.”

She said the group will meet with those who have signed up for plots next weekend to assign the spaces. Only gardeners, town officials and town police will have a key to the garden, Ms. Nigro said.

The Nigro and Davidson family, as well as a few community members spent their Mother’s Day installing the beds. She said several people applied for a plot while she was working at the garden Sunday.

Ms. Nigro said a few of the 10-by-4-foot plots are still open. The cost to maintain a plot for 2011 is $25.

The group has so far raised well over $15,000 for the project, including a $10,000 grant from Cornell Cooperative Extension and $5,000 from the Riverhead Business Improvement District.

A cocktail party fundraiser will be held at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead Thursday. Tickets are $30 and are available at The Blue Door Gallery on Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead or by contacting Ms. Davidson or Ms. Nigro on the River and Roots website.

See previous coverage:

Community garden project could get big grant from Cornell

Riverhead Town designates spot for community garden

Community garden projects hits a snag

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