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New community garden set to open this spring in Ridgewood

Mar. 7, 2023 Elijah Hamilton

Ridgewood residents will soon have a new local garden in their community when Sunset Garden, located at Onderdonk Avenue and Willoughby Avenue, opens to the public later this spring.

Designs of the park (Courtesy of Christina Wilkinson)

According to Christina Wilkinson of the Juniper Park Civic Association, who has played a pivotal role in the development of the garden, the project started after New York state fined New York City $7 million for not having the Newtown Creek Environmental water waste management plant up in time.

The money from the fine will be allocated to fund other environmental projects throughout Maspeth, Long Island City and Greenpoint.

(Courtesy of Sunset Garden Instagram page)

(Courtesy of the Sunset Garden Ridgewood Instagram page)

It was initially meant for planting trees in an effort to soak up rainwater in Maspeth; however, when the Ridgewood Community Garden was evicted from its former location, Wilkinson realized that the space would be ideal for a new garden to take its place. 

“I’m very proud that I was involved with this,” Wilkinson said. “I think this is going to be a great asset to the community.”

Wilkinson said that the area in Ridgewood, owned by the Department of Education (DOE), was within a mile of Newtown Creek, which was a requirement for the funding.

“I looked at the map, and I said there’s a little piece of Ridgewood that falls within the criteria; it had to be within half a mile from the creek,” Wilkinson said. “The DOE, who owns the property, seemed to be amenable to having a garden there.”

Michael Ashley, one of the planters who has worked on the Sunset Garden, said that he’s excited to work in the park and thinks it will offer great volunteering opportunities.

“We’re excited there’s a real need for green space in the Bushwick/Ridgewood community,” Ashley said. “So this is going to be a nice addition if people want to get involved. There’s going to be lots of opportunities for volunteering and growing things.”

The garden is still a work in progress, but residents looking to get more information about the new garden and volunteering opportunities can follow the Instagram page @sunetgardenridgewood.

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