SAYREVILLE – It’s been nearly 10 years since Superstorm Sandy decimated the community along MacArthur Avenue in Sayreville, destroying homes and displacing families. Some of the homes have been repaired, and others have been replaced, while others remain gone. And on a vacant piece of land, vacant courtesy of that storm, a new community garden was dedicated on April 23.
Thanks to the Sayreville Environmental Commission, and the handy work of a Life Scout as part of his Eagle project from Troop 96, 42 box plots were constructed, providing a space for residents to have a place to gather and cultivate the fruits and vegetables of their choice.
The Borough of Sayreville also received a bee hive as part of a grant, which will be a part of the garden.
“I’m thrilled to have helped our Environmental Commission make this happen,” said Councilwoman Michele Cassidy Maher. “It will bring life back to MacArthur Avenue since it suffered a great loss after Hurricane Sandy.”
“It’s something we can be proud of,” Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said during her opening remarks before the ribbon cutting, “and something that will continue to grow and get bigger.”
Ernie Read, vice chair of the Sayreville Environmental Commission, said the idea started with his wife Shirley Read, also a member of the commission.
“This whole idea started about two years ago,” Read said as he addressed the crowd. “But because of COVID, we couldn’t meet in person. It started when my wife Shirley said that we should have a community garden … and it took off from there.”
The land dedicated to the garden is directly across from the ball field next to MacArthur Manor. As part of a project, the scouts built the box plots. Fresh top soil is set to be added, and those participating are also encouraged to make compost.
“We have to extend our sincere thanks to Sayreville’s Department of Public Works, Parks Department and Parks Director Phil Quigley, the scouts, and their families for gathering materials and installing the box plots,” Maher said. “They were a huge help in making our dream a reality.”
There are still some plots available and people are encouraged to go to the Sayreville Community Garden Facebook page, or call Elyse Barone at the borough’s offices at 732-390-7008, to apply for a plot.