Teaneck's Reading Garden Opens
Thursday, August 10, 2023 01:24 PM

by Ben Alter

“As soon as I stepped onto these grounds, I felt peace,” said Mike Pagan, the Mayor of Teaneck.  He wasn’t alone.

On Sunday, July 30, close to 50 people attended the opening of Teaneck’s reading garden.  Sponsored and managed by the Garden Club of Teaneck (GCT), it is the latest addition to a town-owned property that once was a wastewater treatment plant.  It joins the town-managed Community Gardens, a greenhouse, and an area with individually-managed vegetable gardens to be enjoyed by the citizens of Teaneck.

A view of the newly opened reading garden.

The side entrance to the reading garden, with the Little Free Library kiosk in the backgroundThe reading garden has walking paths, benches for reading and contemplation, a sharing library, two arbors at its entrances, a trestle, and, of course, lots of plants.  The plants are beautifully laid-out in sections within the gardens, and have foot-signs that describe each plant species and how people can help the environment. 

In her remarks at the gathering, Dr. Marilyn Figueroa, who managed the project, thanked the dozens of volunteers who lent their expertise to develop the reading garden, and their time and energy to build it.  Among the enthusiastic volunteers was Debbie Hoffman, who “lives” for the gardens.  Olga Newey, a volunteer who was undeterred after a recent stroke left her partly paralyzed said: “This club has been so good to me.  I can still be useful to society.”

The LSRPA Foundation funded the project with a $1,500 grant through its partnership with ANJEC, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions.  The LSRPAF is providing grants to other such projects in New Jersey through its partnership with ANJEC and other organizations, and scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who are aspiring to become environmental consultants.  To support projects such as this one, go to LSRPA.ORG and click on the Big Green Button.

Mayor Mike Pagan with some edible take-aways from the vegetable garden