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07/06/15 9:00am
07/06/2015 9:00 AM

Six-year-old Summer Realander loves coming to the River and Roots Community Garden with her mother, Kristen. (Credit: Chris Lisinski)

“Mom! Mom! I love this garden!”

That’s what six-year-old Summer Realander shouts to her mother, Kristen Realander, across the River and Roots Community Garden on a sunny Wednesday morning. (more…)

05/04/14 1:00pm
05/04/2014 1:00 PM
Southampton Councilwoman Christine Scalera planting herbs Saturday morning.

Southampton Councilwoman Christine Scalera planting herbs Saturday morning.

Local gardeners were busy at work planting herbs, vegetables, and even roses outside the David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders Saturday morning.

The plantings marked the true start of a community garden in hamlet. (more…)

03/06/14 6:00am
03/06/2014 6:00 AM

River and Roots vice president Brian Nigro waters seeds with the help of his daughter, Rita. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

A new website launched this week offering educational materials and locations of community gardens, which are single pieces of land gardened collectively by a group of people. (more…)

01/20/11 8:29am
01/20/2011 8:29 AM

A section of town-owned land north of Grangebel Park and south of Griffing Avenue was officially designated as the site for a community garden at Wednesday night’s Riverhead Town Board meeting.

The Town Board also authorized Supervisor Sean Walter to sign a license agreement with the River and Roots Community Garden, a non-profit organization that will run the garden.

The idea behind a community garden is to allow residents to sign up for a plot in which to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and other plants.

River and Roots is planning to have 36 garden beds, two herb decks to be shared by gardeners and a perimeter planted with berries and fruit trees, to be shared by gardeners and passersby, according to co-founder Amy Davidson.

Mr. Walter said the specific details of how the community garden will run have yet to be devised. But he said people looking to garden on one of the 36 beds should contact River and Roots, rather than the town.

[email protected]

12/03/10 11:30am
12/03/2010 11:30 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Laurie Nigro (left) and Amy Davidson hope to build a community garden near the intersection of Griffing Avenue and West Main Street

A proposed community garden on West Main Street in downtown Riverhead is back on the Town Board’s radar.

A public hearing on using land at the intersection of Griffing Avenue and Main Street for the garden is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 28, at 2:15 p.m. The Town Board schedule the public hearing during its meeting Tuesday.

Two Riverhead women, Laurie Nigro and Amy Davidson, began talking about building a community-maintained garden downtown about a year ago. But plans stalled after it was reported that a local veterans group had already claimed the site where the women had hoped to establish the garden. That parcel was thought to be the perfect spot since it would also serve as the entrance to the recently renovated Grangebel Park. But town tax assessor Paul Leszczynski said the plot had already been promised to vets for a memorial. The trouble was he couldn’t remember which group.

Several local veterans group were contacted, but after a few months, no organization has stepped forward to claim the land.
“Nobody has any recollection that this was donated,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said at last Thursday’s Town Board work session.

The public hearing will ensure that there is not a group laying claim to the property.

“We should have done something a lot sooner,” Mr. Walter said.

Ms. Nigro welcomed the news, and said she hoped to have seeds in the ground by early March.

“Of course, we’re very excited,” she said. “This is the best spot with Grangebel Park being finished. We’d really like to get started in early February. The earlier the better.”

Ms. Nigro and Ms. Davidson envision the garden as a congregating place for community members, especially young mothers, and as a way to tidy up downtown.

Ideally, anyone in the community would be able to sign up for a plot, which he or she would then be responsible for maintaining, the women said. They also envision leaving two plots open, one for children to tend and another to be used for education purposes.

The project has gained support in the community and beyond. Long Island Compost donated 60 cubic yards of compost; the Second Star Foundation made a cash donation; and the Riverhead Business Improvement District board agreed to pay for decorative fencing around the garden.

Those who wish to join the community garden movement can visit the Facebook group River and Roots Community Garden or sign the online petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/river-and-roots-community-garden/.

[email protected]