A new $175,000 state grant will be used during the...

A new $175,000 state grant will be used during the next five years for enhancements such as a sensory garden and pond rehabilitation at the Clark Botanic Garden in Alberston. July 10, 2016 Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Clark Botanic Garden’s 12-acre expanse will continue to be cultivated, thanks to a new $175,000 state grant that will be used for enhancements such as a sensory garden and pond rehabilitation at the Albertson facility.

The grant, which the Town of North Hempstead received in late August, will be doled out annually until March 2021.

Supervisor Judi Bosworth said the grant will allow the town to continue funding enriching educational projects over the next five years.

“Clark Botanic Garden is not only a tranquil place of natural beauty, but it also serves as a wonderful teaching tool,” Bosworth said Tuesday in an email.

The town will use this year’s $35,000 allotment to purchase a utility vehicle, shed, lawn mower and an aerator for the ponds, said town spokeswoman Carole Trottere.

The money will also allow officials to hire more horticultural interns, install air conditioning in the Clark House, and allow irrigation of the grounds and the creation of an outdoor classroom.

Long-term projects in the town’s overall capital plan include rehabilitating the garden’s ponds, making pathways handicapped accessible, paving the parking lot and creating a sensory garden.

The sensory garden, to be developed in 2018, will be filled with plants of different aromas, textures and colors where visitors can “access the plants with all of their senses,” said Town Parks Commissioner Jill Weber. In preparation, the town will research other sensory gardens, Weber added.

Pond rehabilitation is another multiyear initiative that will improve the “aesthetic health” of the ponds, Weber said. The project will also introduce new fish and plant life into the garden’s three ponds.

The grant will supplement $500,000 the town had already allocated in its five-year capital plan to rehabilitate the garden’s ponds. Earlier plans stated the rehabilitation would begin in 2016, but it has been pushed back to next year.

The grant will also add to the $500,000 authorized by the town in the capital plan to repave parking lots and walkways with a more environmentally friendly surface. That project is estimated to begin in 2018.

The botanic garden is open daily. The state grant will be used to make the 50-year-old garden more accessible, boost educational programming and open the park to a larger community, Weber said.

In a separate project, a 4,200-square-foot greenhouse is being constructed at the garden, likely to be completed in the next few months, Trottere said. That will allow staff to grow more varieties of plants, regardless of the season, town horticulturalist Bonnie Klein previously told Newsday.

This slate of improvements marks a new phase for the garden, which took a devastating hit after superstorm Sandy in October 2012, with significant damage to trees, benches, railways and walkways. The garden was closed for months.

With this funding and attention, the garden continues to “blossom into one of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the entire state,” Town Councilman Peter Zuckerman said in a recent news release.

Year-by-year beauty regimen


  • Purchase new garden equipment: mower, shed, aerator, utility vehicle


  • Hire additional horticultural interns
  • Begin pond rehabilitation project
  • Irrigate grounds


  • Create sensory garden
  • Hire more interns
  • Continue pond rehabilitation
  • Make garden paths more ADA-compliant


  • Hire interns
  • Continue pond rehabilitation
  • Irrigate grounds
  • Add more fencing, other improvements
  • Pave garden parking lot


  • Hire interns, continue with pond project, ground irrigation
  • Create an outdoor classroom

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