10 years of Baldwin Community Garden


Members of the Baldwin community are invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Baldwin Community Garden at 1980 Grand Ave., the garden’s location, on June 21st.

The celebration, organized by the Baldwin Civic Association, will feature live music by the local jazz band Musically Inclined, as well as raffles and hors d’oeuvres. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m.

Elissa Kirchner, the association’s beautification chairperson, said guests dressed in their best garden cocktail attire should expect a communal celebration consisting of floral decorations, raffled gift baskets and a jazzy ambience.

“We’re going to make it a wonderful giveback kind of celebration — appetizers, and live music, and BYOB and just a nice, enjoyable community event,” Kirchner said.

Studies have shown that plants respond positively to music, so it was a natural choice for Ronnie Roddy Jr. on keyboard, Joe Gallagher on drums, Matt Mener on tenor saxophone and Erik Vlesmas on bass, of Musically Inclined, to create a soothing ambience for both the audience and the garden itself.

The band has been deeply involved in the community, having delighted audiences at past association events and performances at the Baldwin Public Library.

“They’re a great local band that is also giving back to the civic association themselves and doing this as a courtesy,” Kirchner said. “It’s a great connection that we have together, and we always love to bring live acts to the garden for the community.”

The garden dates to when Rita Cavanaugh, who led the civic association’s Beautification Committee in 2013, introduced the idea of creating a green space in Baldwin and was backed by then Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran. Cavanaugh collaborated with local businesses and schools to turn her idea into a reality. 

The civic association created the garden in 2014 when the group received a five-year lease from Nassau County to develop a plot of greenery into a sculpture park with benches. The garden has evolved from a plot of land into an interactive space with various plants, art installations, and events such as concerts and fundraisers for the Baldwin community.

A decade later, Kimberly Malone, the civic association’s president, told the Herald that the garden is an important place for Baldwin youth to celebrate their achievements, to support local businesses, and remain the center of the community. Baldwin Girl Scouts and Eagle Scouts, in particular, have taken full advantage of the garden, as one Eagle Scout built a gazebo and the Girl Scouts organized an event that taught participants how to effectively compost.

“All the things that we do are about community-building,” Malone said. “The more people that we can engage through these fun activities, the more people that we hope to bring into the civic association. The more voices that we can have, the more different points of view that we have, the better we can make our overall community.”

For more information, visit BaldwinCivic.org/buy-tickets.html.