Volunteers clean Garden in March for The Earth event
by Irfan Farman
Mar 27, 2012 | 346 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Con Edison Volunteers
Photos: Michael O'Kane

The Queens Botanical Garden held their second annual March for The Earth event on March 25, with volunteers from various organizations, corporate partners and schools taking part.

The event held Sunday at the Garden in Flushing, began with a bagel breakfast, followed by various spring-cleaning projects, and a group photo with volunteers and Flora, the Garden’s flower-headed bright colored mascot.

Bryan Saunders, a communications assistant for the Garden, feels the event helps the garden tremendously and does so to make the neighboring Queensboro Hill community enjoy something beautiful.

“People are committed to the cause, and that’s important,” said Saunders. “It's also important for the southern section of the Queensboro Hill community to have a nice view to look at.”

Even as rain drizzled, volunteers weren’t deterred from keeping the Garden clean and presentable. Current projects at the garden include placing new fences around the wedding garden, perennial bordering, and plans for a new rose garden.

Visiting Services Coordinator Regina Forlenza notes the continuous growth and support volunteers have shown.

“We’ve grown from 125 to around 180 in a year’s time,” she said. “We have unity in the community, and it’s very important they volunteer.”

Some of the activities volunteers engaged in included raking leaves, weeding, cleaning the Garden perimeter and Woodland garden, and spreading mulch in the new Parking Garden.

Volunteers came from St. Johns University, Hofstra, Queens College, The Girl Scouts of America, Bank of America and Con Edison.

Danielle Vega, a personal banker at Bank Of America in Sunnyside, led a group of 12 volunteers from the bank.

“Last year, Bank of America had over a million volunteer hours as a company,” she said. “We feel it’s a rewarding experience to volunteer, and especially because we get to make this garden look beautiful for spring and beyond.”

Terry Bonavolonta of Con Edison, a corporate member of the Garden, brought 70 volunteers from the energy company, and feels the mission statement of volunteers should be to make the Garden an “oasis.”

“This place we have here is so serene, peaceful and quiet, it doesn’t even feel like Queens,” she said. “The volunteers are dedicated to arranging and fixing this place throughout the year.”

The various spring-cleaning projects are also in preparation for the official opening weekend, held on the weekend of March 31 to April 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
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