Peter Blake died on May 12th, 2016 at age 84 from complications after open heart surgery. He loved his garden so much and always gave a donation each year with his dues. Peter and his wife, Claire, go back as members of RIGC to the gardens over the subway, as evidenced in one of our earliest master lists from 1989. He was part of the gardening team who built our current gardens in Octagon Park. Peter loved growing tomatoes and helped us with gravel raking last spring for the pathways project. He brought the most delicious bread to our fall harvest picnic at Rivercross last November. A longtime Post copy editor, Peter Blake's obit is a tribute to this "kind, strict, loving, and funny" grandfather, fisherman, gardener, and more. His steady, quiet presence and wry humor will be sorely missed by those who knew him in our club.
On Friday, April 22nd, while nations signed the Climate Agreement at the UN, RIGC witnessed local learning and education. iDIG2Learn's founder, Christina Delfico hosted a workshop by GrowtoLearnNYC on pollinators and beneficial plants for school groups. We had school leaders from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx who made their way to the stand just outside our gates at the Butterfly Corridor Site. Grow to Learn staffers Rasheed Hislop and Jessie Kerr Vanderslice facilitated this talk and garden walk about bugs that help us! We looked at insects that play a critical role in the life cycles of your garden plants. Participants were able to take seeds back to their local school groups and also painted lady caterpillars. iDig2Learn caterpillars became butterflies in May and were released at the gardens!
It was a historic moment when Roosevelt Island's historian, Judy Berdy, asked the Roosevelt Island Garden Club to help with plantings in front of the Tourist Visitor Center down hill from the Tram station. With the upcoming celebration of the Tram's 40th birthday, we jumped into action. We joined forces with the tram operators by stringing their hose and hooking up three of our hoses to get water all the way to the visitor center and a small team of volunteers (Neal Weissman, Julia Ferguson, Sande Elinson, Curtis Lowrey, and JT Poirier, one of our wait-list connections) pitched in and helped with the planting of new roses, hyssop, and portuluca rose moss. Now when people come home on the tram, they can look down and see some additional beauty which wasn't there before.
IDig2Learn says "Thanks for a spectacular day!"
Thanks to the custodial staff at 217, school leadership and PTA, Roosevelt Island Garden Club and iDig2Learn today we witnessed full circle our weekend food scraps collected by BigReuse, through NYC Compost project, return to our soil. Jeff, Kenny, and the entire custodial team made beautiful garden border beds and tilled the soil to prepare the beds.
RI Garden club member Anthony Longo and son, Anthony alongside, parent Dee and Ms. Fokine sifted the soil and added the BigReuse compost. iDig2Learn sourced native plants including phlox paniculata "Jeana", lobelia cardinalis, milkweed, alongside some yarrow, ajuga and mums from the Central Park conservancy. Today children and their families had their gloves and trowels in hand and incredibly planted over 100 pollinator friendly plants in 35 minutes! Thanks to Joey and Dimis for turning on the water to soak both the plants and us.
RIGC is so glad to be a part of all this! We say thanks again to everyone in this circle and .... "Remember to bring your food scraps on Saturdays to the RI Food Scrap Drop Off Site run by NYC Compost hosted by BigReuse!" Since late November 2015, Roosevelt Islanders have brought in 10,504 pounds - over 5 tons of food scraps with over 2,242 drop offs and 2,761 interactions. Spread the word and keep bringing us all full circle from food scraps to gardens!
Enjoy this collage of photos of the amazing transformation.
May 7th, 2016 Saturday morning 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Our Roosevelt Island neighborhood school, P.S. / I.S. 217, won a competitive grant thanks to Ms. Ursula Fokine. The grant allowed children and their parents to enjoy weekend art classes at various local spots including the Noguchi museum, and Four Freedoms Park. Our own RI Community Garden was selected as a must-see part of the program, and iDig2Learn was happy to connect the school to RI Garden leadership to make it happen. On May 7th, Studio in a Schoolartists demonstrated watercolor techniques so that students could unleash their inner artist. Ms. Ursula Fokine, and RIGC leaders, Julia Ferguson and Anthony Longo, enjoyed watching budding young artists create art inspired from beauty of our gardens. Pictures say much more than words!
Every Thursday from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. with RISA on the Senior Center Terrace