The long-time dream for two women came to a reality when the River and Roots Community Garden opened during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in downtown Riverhead on Friday
Amy Davidson and Laurie Nigro spearheaded the community garden, which is located facing West Main Street and bordered by the Peconic Riverfront. It was a labor of love for the women who believed in the community from the start.
"This is really the result of so many people stepping up and doing what we knew Riverhead could do, and what we knew Riverhead could be," Nigro said during the opening presentation. "It's a testament to everyone that lives here, works here, and visits."
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilmen James Wooten were present and assisted during the ribbon cutting, officially opening the garden.
"Having this whole corner turned around in just a few short months is fantastic, it's just contagious," Supervisor Walter said.
The children's garden was dedicated to former community member Dr. John Goldman. It will now be called the Dr. John Goldman's Children's Garden. Goldman was an active member of the Riverhead community and a child psychologist who died in 2003.
Dr. Goldman's oldest son, Robert Goldman, traveled from Providence, R.I. to attend the ceremony. A young fig tree was planted to honor the late Dr. Goldman.
Mr. Goldman has been involved in community gardening for over 30 years in various locations where he has lived. He believes his father would have enjoyed the garden.
"This couldn't be a better event or thing to memorialize my dad," he said.
Susan Wilk from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, Family Health and Wellness also spoke at the ceremony.
"I am so proud to be collaborating with Amy and Laurie and the whole community garden," she said.
Wilk presented the women and community garden members with a produce scale to be used in the garden.
Liz Stolks from Riverhead High School's Council For Unity presented the women with a how-to gardening book that she would be donating to the Riverhead Free Library in their name.
The River and Roots Community Garden is tended to by local families, individuals and even a Girl Scout troop.Members maintain their own 10-foot by 4-foot garden bed and some community herb beds.