Now that spring is here, old and new members of Serenity Community Garden (SCG) gathered together at 4402 Avenue L on Saturday, April 15th to take stock of the garden, acquaint new members with the history and purpose of the group, and map out future plans.
SCG founders Paul and Nebert Jackson have been taking primary care and stewardship of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT) owned property in recent years. It is known for its outstanding beauty and collegiality among its diverse membership.
Nebert handed out SCG bylaws and collected member dues, explaining that the success of the garden is dependent on recruiting new members now that original seed money and a grant to establish the garden in 2017 has been spent.
“We’re always in the process of upgrading things,” Nebert said. “Paul does most of the construction, but we’re looking for help.” She said that they need some manpower to help with the placement of pavers for an ADA-accessible paved path, the construction of new garden beds and assembling a shed.
They have plans to begin planting in stages on Saturday, April 29th with frost resistant plants first because the weather is so unpredictable. Last year, they lost some plants to an unexpected frost.
They will continue to have public and educational events throughout the year, but they must concentrate on recruiting new members and fundraising to sustain the garden and its activities; there is always work to be done.
While there, some members helped remove the invasive dead nettle plants that carpet many of the growing beds and paths. Although the dead nettle’s purple flowers are attractive, it is considered a weed.
“I was just walking around and was captivated by the beautiful garden,” new member Cassia said. “Last year, I came in and someone offered me tomatoes and I said, ‘you know what, I’m going to come back to this garden in ‘23.’”
Flatlands Civic Club President Joan Gilbert also stopped by for a visit. “The garden is as utopian as one could get,” she told the Canarsie Courier. “It’s a beautiful place.”