At Summer Solstice week 6-22-17 From Rick Leopold Click here or on the picture to enjoy.
On Saturday June 10, 2017 we held a garden club picnic under the cottonwood tree. David Nisthaus brought his record player and vinyl collection including 45 rpms and hosted us all in style. Sande Elinson created a get to know your neighbor (and your plot number) game with prizes, and we free raffled a food scrap container just for the fun of it (and to encourage composting!)
A generous spread of salad and pizza, pasta and sandwiches, homemade muffins and brownies kept us healthy and relaxed. Arlene Jacoby brought sugar coated chocolate covered rose petals! We also worked to reduce waste by bringing cutlery to wash after instead of adding plastic to landfill and by using our great water cooler instead of bottled water!
After the party David wrote: "I want to thank all that participated in the picnic. It was tremendous success. The food, drinks, music and good company was just amazing. Thank you Sande and Julia for setting up the tables. Everyone walked away with a full belly and new garden friendships." This pretty much says it all! Enjoy the pictures and send more in to email@example.com if you have any!
Our RIGC Landscape Borders and Common Areas are a very important part of what we share with our visitors. Julie Lipp served as RIGC Chair of the Landscape Committee from 2013-2016,working very hard with her team to clean up and clean out. For many years prior, Julie had already helped with the perimeter and common areas creating beautiful spaces like the iris bed just east of the cottonwood tree and the beds with David Austin Wildflower Roses to the north east. In addition, Julie Lipp brought in experts like landscape architect Daryl Beyers (currently NYBG's Gardening Program Coordinator) to guide and teach the committee. Julie helped RIGC to focus on design and to refresh, rethink. Along with the committee, she added significant plantings to border areas like the west bed and added anchor plants and bulbs in the north beds. Her constant work brought the revitalization of the landscape beds and common areas into full swing.
This year, Johan Marfey is serving as Chair of the Landscape Committee. He has worked with the 2017 team for a plan that he calls "comprehensive landscape enhancement." They have already finished work to improve the soil and stabilize by plantings in the north beds with mulching and soaker hoses. The committee is now identifying every plant for signage, so that the entire perimeter and front common area of our garden will have small signs with the names of the plants. These signs will match the current southwest border and create a look much like a botanical garden for the benefit of members and visitors alike. In addition, Johan and the 2017 group are working with the Board to review and update benches in the garden for safety, accessibility, beauty, and comfort.
RIGC Outreach and Publicity shared free plants on Roosevelt Island Day again this year. Last year we tried basil and chives seeds. This year we had basil seedlings and wheat grass seeds. RIOC generously allows us to set up across from the Food Scrap Drop Off Site from NYC Compost hosted by BigReuse. So we added NYC compost to every pot and people who drop their food scraps could benefit first hand from the hyper local compost!
The rain dampened the turn out this year, but not our spirits. This may have been the driest, calmest spot in the whole Island celebration between 12 and 1 p.m. A special thanks to Robert Ostergaard, Jérôme Dutilloy, and the Longo family who all helped out and brought friends!
Two different classes from P.S. IS 217 and also some Roosevelt Island Day Nursery students were hosted in the gardens for visits in May and early June. Anthony Longo as well as Gen and Cory Katana were our hosts for these visits. We love for students to visit, learn about seeds, explore and observe the flowers and trees. Spring is the perfect time to get out of the classroom!
If you know a group who is interested in a mid-week visit to the gardens, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work to set up a time with a volunteer host. We will also see if we can set you up with a scavenger hunt or another small hands on activity! We can never get too much nature when we live in a big city and RIGC enjoys sharing our gardens.
Early in February the emails were exchanged, and by mid-March the Saturday date had been set with the Outreach coordinator of NYC Compost Hosted by Big Reuse. Erycka De Jesus saved Saturday, June 3rd, for our RIGC community connection date. Anthony Longo began searching for the name and he found it -Weekend Organics Recycling Mission+Sifting - W.O.R.M.S!
Roosevelt Island is fortunate to have NYC Compost hosted by Big Reuse offering our weekly Food Scrap Drop Off Site near the Farmer's Market. As of a last count in March, Roosevelt Islanders had diverted over 35,000 pounds from landfill. (That's about the weight of an 18 wheeler semi truck!) RI has also received give backs of hyper local compost from the Queensboro Bridge site for gardens, trees, and schools on Roosevelt Island.
Anyone who wanted to learn more about composting was invited to join Roosevelt Island Garden Club and NYC Compost hosted by Big Reuse this Saturday, June 3rd for a Compost Connection Event.
This was our first open composting event in RIGC community gardens (across from 750 Main Street) and we were ready and set up for visitors between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. on June 3rd!
However, the visitors came even before 1:00! As soon as baseball players on the field north of the garden saw Anthony Longo setting up, they were there and present and searching for worms and learning about composting! We had a great afternoon with both middle school and teen volunteers, RIGC hosts and volunteers and children and adults learning and experiencing compost sifting first hand! I addition we sifted about 3 cubic yards of compost from mulch that had been cold cooking outside the fence for a year and gardeners quickly scooped it up! Don't worry, there is more..always more!
April 27, 2017 PS IS 217 and RIGC
Spring brought nearly 90 second graders from P.S.217 to the community gardens again this year for the annual iDig2Learn kick off. What better way to get students excited about photosynthesis, food, and nature then to start with a visit to the beautiful gardens of RIGC. Students met RICG leaders, learned what a community garden is, visited the compost station, and got inspired. At the end of the visit 217 students learned they would start their very own gardens at the youth center outdoor courtyard with Spring iDig2Learn science enrichment sessions. Celebrating five years, iDig2Learn initiative founder, Christina Delfico, was thrilled that RIGC welcomed 217 from the beginning in 2012. A huge part of initiative, which allows children to explore science and the origin of food through plant life, was building bridges with other Roosevelt Island organizations. P.S. 217's Ms. Fokine, the teachers and PTA volunteers are often eager to enjoy the tour and all remark on the beauty of the gardens. This year, Christina sent this email in gratitude to the Board member hosts. Thanks also to Christina! RIGC is so glad to be able to reach out to children and help with their environmental STEM learning program!
Dear RIGC Board Members,
A joyful day! You all touched my heart today - I learn so much from you every day and today was no exception - I feel so lucky to know you all!!
With love and respect,
Roosevelt Island Garden Club can be seen and experienced as a microcosm of our world. Our members bring many national heritages and languages. We come from many professions, walks of life, and represent all kinds of diversity in many important ways.
We also share a love and interest in nature, in growing plants, in time spent outdoors, and in a commitment to care for our earth.
RIGC encourages us all to find out more about this earth and to participate in caring for the environment in the way that best matches our interests and strengths.
This link brings you to a wonderful initiative and site for World Environment Day. Take a look! You may want to to send in a picture to this celebration of all the places that matter!
This four year project is almost completed! We hope to finish in only three years thanks to last year's grant from CCNYC! This year's gravel pathway work began as early as possible in April. We have almost distributed all of this gravel and will need one more small load to complete the entire garden!
We have involved many gardeners and many teens who need community service for their high school programs. Most recently we had three college freshman return to help out for the third year in a row. The work is backbreaking and heavy duty, but also rewarding and some gardeners use it as their cardio and core work replacement. Stay tuned for our celebration!
Pathway Maintenance Advice:
The Human Rights Commission has visited and studied our garden. They have made recommendations for how we can make our site more accessible. Please remember to keep ALL items out of the pathways when you are not working in your garden. Pick up any boards or items that are related to ongoing projects. Roll up the hoses neatly as you do and let us know if you would like a hose stand. For accessibility purposes and for safety and insurance, we must keep all pathways open by thirty six inches and clear of any steps, chairs, or personal property.
Every year for the past four years, RIGC has been honored by an April workshop with Consulting Rosarians from the Manhattan Rose Society, one of 300 local societies of the American Rose Society.The Rosarians visit, educate our gardeners, and work on our beautiful roses.They teach and model the best techniques of the fine art of pruning. We love these visits from specialists who enjoy the extensive collection of roses which are found in our Rose Garden. The beautiful plants of the Roosevelt Island Garden Club are tended and provided by Marjorie Marcallino and her Rose Garden Committee
The garden is always filled with a concentrated quiet as they worked in the early spring air. The five rosarians, who trained for many hours to hold the title, Consulting Rosarian and this year's group included Mrs. Pat Shanley, current serving as President of the 8000 member strong American Rose Society.
For more information please see: http://manhattanrosesociety.org/
Now that June has arrived, our amazing roses are in full bloom! Enjoy seems to be a word that is not nearly enthusiastic enough! Delight in our beautiful roses!