Second Community Garden Possible In Croton

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Members of the Croton community garden's steering committee discuss a map of a second proposed community garden on municipal grounds.
Members of the Croton community garden's steering committee discuss a map of a second proposed community garden on municipal grounds. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – A second organic community garden could make its home on the Stanley H. Kellerhouse municipal building grounds by as soon as the fall.

"It's an opportunity to get people to access that property," said Niall Kelleher, a member of the community garden's steering committee. The garden would be behind the municipal building, which faces Brook Street. The site is west of a three-story outdoor set of concrete stairs which are currently chained off, and is overgrown by trees.

Village Engineer Dan O'Connor said this was an opportunity to trim neglected trees hanging over the stairs and possibly begin a rehabilitation process of the stairs, including installing a hand rail.

Kelleher said the garden would hold 50 plots, significantly more than the first community garden, which is directly across from Silver Lake Park. Although the garden has an irregular shape, on average it would be about 150 feet long by 50 feet wide. If gardeners keep the plot dimensions from the first community garden, plots would be 3 feet wide by 17 feet long.

The new garden would have a slightly different fiscal structure than the original garden. Dues would be split between the steering committee for the garden and the Croton Recreation Department, 25 percent and 75 percent, respectively. The goal of the steering committee is to defray the costs of initial construction of the garden through the ongoing contribution of member dues to the village coffers; 25 percent of member dues would be a sort of general fund, used to buy garden tools and compost, for example.

Dues are $50 per year for a whole plot, plus 10 hours of volunteer work per year. Plots are also available in half-size for $25 per year, plus 10 hours of volunteer work.

If the village board approves the cost of the project, a large fence would need to be erected around the garden to project against animals, such as deer. The cost of the fence is estimated at $6,000 by steering committee members. The costs of rehabilitating the stairs and trimming trees are not included in the costs that would be defrayed by member dues, since, as O'Connor said, those should be considered normal maintenance activities.

If the village board decides to fund the startup of the garden, interested participants will be placed in a lottery for garden plots. Interested candidates should visit the garden's website.

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