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New community garden opens in Brentwood

A new community garden in Brentwood officially opens today.

The garden, on the corner of McNair Street and Nimitz Avenue, is one of several started in the past few months in the Town of Islip.

“It gives people empowerment and ownership,” said Maxima Castro, who along with Ana Martinez coordinates Brentwood Gardens Community Organization, the group that manages the garden. “It keeps people active in the community. It’s going to encourage healthy habits.”

Volunteers, working with the organization, cleared away debris from what used to be an empty lot to create the space where 20 families will grow fruits and vegetables, Castro said.

The town allowed the group to use the municipal property for the garden, provided cleanup tools, and worked with the Suffolk County Water Authority to have water for the project, officials said. Stony Brook University provided a $3,000 grant to start the garden as part of an effort to promote healthy eating, officials said.

“It’s converting an abandoned lot into a magnificent garden that will raise nutritional awareness and provide food,” Islip Supervisor Phil Nolan said. “I think it’s going to be a home run.”

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