$10,000 boosts Clark Botanic Garden restoration

Ryan Torres, director of Clark Botanic Garden and Ryan Torres, director of Clark Botanic Garden and a horticulturist with the Town of North Hempstead, stacks logs that come from some of the many trees that were lost to Superstorm Sandy. The Albertson garden sustained devastating damage and is temporarily closed. (Jan. 29, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

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A fundraising campaign to restore Clark Botanic Garden, which lost some 40 trees in Albertson during superstorm Sandy -- including a rare Franklinia -- received a $10,000 donation Tuesday from an area nonprofit.

Old Westbury resident Harvey Manes, an orthopedic surgeon, attorney, philanthropist and a onetime candidate for village mayor, runs the Manes-American Peace Prize Foundation, and said he was inspired to donate the award after reading a recent story in Newsday detailing the garden's damage.

Manes said the organization was created four years ago and offers prizes to individuals or institutions that "promote peace," he said, "between ethnic groups, religions, and countries." The prize was appropriate, he said, owing to the garden's history: Grenville Clark, who donated the land that became the garden, was a prominent peace advocate.

Manes' foundation has awarded nearly $1 million to about 10 groups or people, Manes said.

So far, the nonprofit that does fundraising for the garden, the Fanny Dwight Clark Memorial Garden Inc., has raised more than $8,000, half its $15,000 goal, officials said. On top of Manes' donation, said Jerilyn Dreitlein, who chairs the nonprofit, another donor has promised to pledge at least $2,500.

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Officials from the Town of North Hempstead, which has owned the garden since 1989, said that although Clark is eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, replacing rarer (and larger) tree species will prove more costly.

Ryan Torres, horticulturist for the garden, said starting with larger trees would speed the restoration. The garden is expected to reopen April 1.

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