Village restores Tranquility Garden


With the coordination of the village’s highway, parks, and building departments, Valley Stream’s landmark Japanese Tea House at the Village Green has recently been restored to its original condition — and the gardens surrounding it have been revitalized. Renamed the “Tranquility Garden,” residents now have another place within the village where they can relax, reflect, and unwind surrounded by the beauty of nature.

The renovation, which took about a month to complete, included repainting the Tea House building in traditional colors, replanting flowers that are more representative of a Japanese garden, and installing sprinkler systems, according to William Hartig, supervisor of the village’s parks department. In addition, the fountain, which had been filled with dirt and used as a planter for about 40 years, has been completely restored to function once again. 

“We all put our heads together and we decided this is what we’re going to do — we’re going to bring it back pretty much to its original state,” Hartig said the goal was to make the area a showpiece again. “It’s a place where people can go and relax, and it’s nice. It’s not somewhere people feel like they just want to walk by anymore.”

Ronald Rivosecchi, a grounds keeper with the village’s parks department who helped with the project said that the residents have seemed pleased with the renovation, noting that it is a popular place for photos after special events, such as weddings.

“It’s beautiful . . . Most people are very happy with it because they take wedding pictures there,” he said. 

Additionally, while space for memorials in Hendrickson Park has become limited, the village is planning to  sell memorial pavers beginning in the fall that can be placed at the Tranquility Garden.

“There was an idea to utilize the area by the Tea Garden to create a new area [for memorials],” Barbara DeGrace, deputy village clerk said the newly revitalized garden and Tea House will offer residents another place in the village where they will be able to remember their loved ones. “[It] will be a new opportunity for people to start memorializing their loved ones in a beautiful and tranquil area.”