Garden party for Hudson River Park


By Jessica Mintz

At check presentation for new garden in Hudson River Park, left to right, Margaret Sullivan, chairperson, New York Committee of Garden Club of America; Howard Abel, partner in Abel Bainnson & Butz, the firm that designed the park’s Greenwich Village segment; Niels Johnsen, former Garden Club president; and Robert Balachandran, former president of the Hudson River Park Trust, who announced his resignation Nov. 20.

A garden planned for the Hudson River Park in celebration of the new millennium is finally about to be planted.

The New York Committee of the Garden Club of America presented $100,000 to the Hudson River Park Trust at a Nov. 18 brunch event on Pier 40 for the planting of the Millennium Garden. The garden will be in an approximately 450-sq.-ft. area next to a bow notch once used by docking ocean liners between Piers 45 and 46, near the Christopher St. entrance to the Greenwich Village section of the park.

The garden, whose looping pathways have already been laid but whose beds will remain under mulch until spring, will include forsythia and juniper and beds of indigo, azure and white salvia flowers (a type that grows upward in spiky shoots), according to the Trust. There are no plans for seating in the small garden, but a bench-height marble wall fronts the space.

The Millennium Garden was first proposed in the 1990s, and designed by the late Elise Deans, chairperson of the G.C.A. New York Committee at the time. Its construction was put off after the 9/11 terrorist attack, according to Chris Martin, the Trust’s spokesperson. The spot in Hudson River Park was always earmarked for a garden in the original plan, but the G.C.A.’s design added the winding path, while the funding will allow for higher-quality plantings.

The New York Committee of the G.C.A. is part of the national nonprofit organization, and is entirely made up of volunteers. The New York Unit of the Herb Society of America also contributed funds for the project. According to Martin, the garden will be planted in the spring and will be maintained by the Trust.