We have been working hard and we want to keep you all informed of our
latest efforts. We will be presenting this report to the Mayor Randy
Casale,the City Council and The Beacon Recreation Commission who have
all been working with us to make Sargent and Downing Gardens a
success for our community. I know that we all get really busy in the
spring so I want to give you all a heads up on our proposed schedule
of events. Keep these dates and events in mind and think locally and
support these great efforts in our community. We Thank you all for
your support last year and we promise to make it better this year.
The dates are subject to approval by the Mayor,City Council and the
Recreation Committee, so please pencil these dates in and I will
confirm them as soon as we hear the City of Beacon
administration.2012 Sargent & Downing Gardens Report to the Mayor &
City of Beacon
Sargent and Downing Garden and Nursery is free to surrounding
communities. We provide educational and recreational opportunities
for all ages through gardening and the arts. We also provide free
food, plants and flowers to volunteers in the community who help
throughout the season. The Sargent and Downing Garden and Nursery is
completely funded and made possible by donations and the work of
1- Bee Project- We would like to ask for approval to have a beehive
in the permaculture area near the Children's Horticulture Educational
Center. It would be completely fenced in and under lock and key,
with proper signage. Attached to this report is a separate report
pertaining to the safety and importance of maintaining beehives for
the City Council and the Recreation Commission of Beacon.
2- Children's Educational Horticulture Center
a) We would like permission to begin using one section of the
building as the Sargent and Downing Children's Educational Center.
· One part will be used to hold our Executive Board Meetings.
· One part will contain museum-style horticultural displays which
will highlight the rich history of Beacon and the role it played in
American horticulture. Tribute will be paid to Henry Winthrop
Sargent, Andrew Jackson Downing, Tioronda/Craig House, Wodenethe,
Rosenethe, the University Settlement Camp and Mount Beacon.
b) Educational Programs
· Another section of the building will be for educational and
recreational programs for children and the surrounding community. We
will cover horticulture, agriculture, gardening, organic methods in
the garden, flower arranging, sustainability & permaculture. We will
invite guest speakers who will give talks about herbs in the garden,
art and music in the garden, composting 02 vs. traditional, and soils
and insects of the garden. We will also lead hikes in the woods for
children from this center.
· There will be a library study area in the educational center with
books, magazines and reference materials. We will be working on
obtaining computer and audio visual equipment to make the
horticulture learning experience come to life.
d) Movies at the SD Children's Educational Center - Fundraiser
special events and kids movies
· Members will receive a subscription of Green Teacher Magazine
courtesy of a donation made to the Sargent and Downing Gardens from
the sales of "The Mystery of The Magical Cucumber Tree" book by
Richie Cabo. The Green Teacher Subscriptions will include six back
issues and the new 2012 Spring , Summer, Fall & Winter editions.
This is a great educational tool for environmental learning for young
and old alike. Many of our educational programs will be based on this
magazine and will be formulated by Rob Lieblein,* our environmental
a) Permaculture forest garden - We cleaned out this forest area
which is attached to the main garden and the Educational Center with
I.B.M. It will be used to grow native woodland plants, berries, nut
b) The Sargent and Downing Garden - A vegetable, culinary herb and
medicinal herb garden, with native shrubs and tree sapling nursery,
butterfly garden and perennial garden. There is also a beautiful
assortment of annuals to give color to the eye throughout the entire
c) Garden expansion -
· We would like to expand the length of the garden by 30 feet
towards the top where it is a very wet area. This will help to absorb
some of the water runoff. We would also like to widen the garden by
ten feet to allow us to plant trees outside the garden to create a
tree walk, which will also help retain some of the water runoff.
· Rain barrels. We would like to install rain barrels to capture
some of the water runoff from the nature center above. This water
would be used for the gardens, which would reduce our water
consumption. Creating a more sustainable way of gardening is an
important lesson for the families of Sargent and Downing Gardens and
· Composting (We request approval) - Adjacent to the Educational
Center Building, we would install an O2 composting system which was
donated by the 02 Compost Company. It runs off of a small ¾ horse
fan, timer and it cycles on every 30 minutes for 30 seconds. It plugs
into a regular 110 line. We will also teach about traditional
composting in the garden and home.
4- Garden Talks - Regular Saturday or Sunday half hour educational
Garden Talks followed by children's play dates in the park.
2012 Calendar of Special Events
1- Tioronda Working Group Monthly Meetings
A) Jim requested to have a monthly meeting discussion group at the
Yoga Center in Beacon on Main St. We approved it.
2-Children's Namesake Tree Planting
Date: March 31, 2012 Location: Main St. Beacon
Children's Namesake Tree Donation Program. Parents or businesses can
donate $100 for the purchase of trees which will be planted at the
University Settlement Camp with name tags so children can follow the
trees throughout their lifetime as they grow in Beacon.
NOTE: Dog Park Namesake "Doggie trees" to be picked up at the Sargent
and Garden's Nursery approved. Cost will be $100 per tree as in our
children's program. We can grow them in pots for easy pick up for a
season if desired. Larger trees available 2-3 inch caliper.
3- First Movie Fundraiser at the Theater Fundraiser to help complete
supplies, furniture and paint for our center.
Please reserve the theater and approve use if it is available
"FRESH" April 22, 2012 after 3:00 pm (tentatively)
4-Mothers Day Fundraiser Flower and Plant Sale May 11th and 12th @
Girl Scouts Clean up and also a H.S. Community Leadership Program
Event Painting and Clean Up For The Educational Center developed by
University Settlement Camp
2nd Annual Sargent and Downing Gardens Community Planting Festival
Featuring the Children's Leadership Community Service Project Event
on May 12th
NOTE*Request Approval Beacon City Council and Beacon Rec. Commission
* We will not sell flowers on Main St. we will sell at the University
5- Fathers day pancake breakfast
Sat. June 12, 2012
*6-Country Fundraiser Festival, Pig Roast & Veggie Grill
Sun. October 14, 2012
Will also feature (Second day of Sukkut. in sukah)
Note*Secure date at the Theater Building with Mark Price & Beacon
Sargent and Downing Gardens Beekeeping Project -
Bees are in danger of disappearing from the face of the earth. It is
an indicator of things going wrong in the environment. We would like
to have the bees as part of the educational component of our
Children's Educational Center at the Sargent and Downing Gardens.
Bees are important to the flowers and, more importantly, needed in
the food chain in agriculture.
You can learn more about Beekeeping at:
In NYC, the Parks Department has been keeping ten beehives at the NYC
Citywide Nursery without any danger or incidents.
In NYC, it is legal for residents to keep beehives.
The nycbeekeeping organization has donated the woodwork for our first
hive. They have also agreed to give us training on beekeeping and
tech support. There also has been a generous outpouring of community
bee keepers in our area who have volunteered to help educate children
and members on the importance of keeping bees for the environment. We
would like to ask the City Council and the Recreation Commission to
permit us to place a beehive in the permaculture wooded area near the
Sargent and Downing Gardens. The beehive site will be completely
fenced off to the general public for extra safety precautions.
Children from the Sargent and Downing Gardens have raised the funds
to purchase a queen bee and starter colony.
Sargent and Downing Gardens Beekeeping Project HoneybeeLives.org is a
group working in the Hudson Valley. Here is a testament to the
importance of beekeeping from Chris Harp Beekeeper/Bee Doctor:
"Nature is to be found in her entirety nowhere more than in her
We can learn many things through a love and respect for nature.
Honeybees are amazing, gentle creatures. They live in colonies that
function as a single organism, each honeybee working for the good of
the whole. They nurture the beauty and fecundity of the earth with
their gift of pollination, and through that pollination mankind gains
strength, and nature diversity. Honeybees are also in dangerous
decline, and we all need to take notice.
*Modern society, with its suburban sprawl, genetically modified
vegetation, and insecticides, as well as a plague of varroa mites,
threatens the health of the honeybee, and in turn our own survival on
this planet. Backyard beekeepers, with a conscience towards
respecting the needs of the honeybee, can effect positive change in
this balance. Farmers and the general public can also have a positive
impact through simple choices about when to spray or mow, as well as
planting trees and flowers that provide valuable food for both
domestic and feral bees.
HoneybeeLives is working to strengthen the honeybee population, and
heighten the awareness of their incredibly valuable role in the
earth's health. HoneybeeLives teaches classes for adults and children
throughout the year, organizes potluck dinners for beekeepers to
exchange experiences and build a beekeeping network, and offers
apiary services in the Hudson Valley and the New York City area.
HoneybeeLives takes a natural, organic approach to beekeeping. We
encourage beekeeping that respects the instincts of the honeybees and
a gentle approach in their care. Beekeeping is not as simple as it
once was, but the rewards are many. We can all learn from
contemplating their cooperation, and nurturing their wellbeing.
"A gift of honeybees is a gift of life." Chris Harp & Grai St. Clair
New Paltz & New York City
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