NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The North Salem Community Garden, which sprouted its very first buds last year, was officially opened this year on June 20, with a few short speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“People who live here tell me over and over again how much they enjoy North Salem’s rural atmosphere,” Deputy Supervisor Peter Kamenstein said in his remarks to the audience. “The question is, how does one preserve it? There are three important factors. First the presence of agriculture in the community, such as our horse farms, orchards, and hay fields. You can hear them cutting the hay right now,” he said.
“Second, we have to thank the North Salem Open Land Foundation, which has preserved over 1,200 acres here that will remain undeveloped forever. And the final factor is education. It’s essential that our children realize the importance of the environment.”
In this respect, said Kamenstein, North Salem can thank Assistant Principal George Bovino for supporting the community garden, where students can learn the principles and value of agriculture.
In addition to the 35 beds of lusciously blooming plants, the garden is adorned with student artwork, created by a cooperative effort of the eighth-grade art and English departments. The focus is “Our character is what we do when no one is looking,” and the artwork is created from recyclables, including hundreds of color-coordinated bottle caps.
North Salem High School student Cailyn McCarthy briefly described her project of educating middle school students about composting and sustainability. It is one aspect of her overall objective in earning a Girl Scout Gold Award.
Bovino thanked the many people who pitched in their time, services and, in some cases, money, to help the North Salem Community Garden reach its highly successful completion.
The official ribbon-cutting was followed by a musical interlude performed by four student flautists, and the serving of refreshments, centered around a cake created by Sue Quigley, which was almost too beautiful to cut.
The garden is on the grounds of North Salem High School, 230 June Road, North Salem.
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