The Gardens are now open from noon to 5:00 pm
7 days a week!







GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT 2014



On February 14 -16, Mayor Tom Tweedy, Trustees Mary-Grace Tomecki, Kevin Fitzgerald,
and Jim Rhatigan gathered at Centennial Gardens to participate in the
2014 Great Backyard Bird Count.  Click
here for the Birds of the Gardens Booklet.

 

The History

                The 12-acre parcel of land has serviced the residents of the Village of Floral Park for over 70 years as an active storm basin (or ‘sump’ as some refer to it).  During these decades of service, the Nassau County Storm Basin #120 collected storm waters in its primary, secondary, and tertiary basins before passing excess water further down the system to a basin in Elmont. The water table dropped about 9 feet with the placement of storm sewers in the Floral Park area in the late ‘50’s thereby reducing the amount of water generally flowing into the storm basin.  Thus, most of the basin is not needed for today’s storms.

 The Village Considers the Future

       Determining the future of the basin took nearly two years, but a committee of residents living nearby recommended the use of the basin area as a passive recreational area that would capitalize on the trees and birds already in place. In considering the possibilities, it was noted that other communities, including nearby Garden City and Hofstra University, had converted a portion of a storm basin into a bird sanctuary and special planting area.  Thus, with the support of over 90% of the residents in the area, the Village initiated negotiations with Nassau County for use of the facility.  Negotiations took nearly two years, but the Nassau County Legislature finally approved a renewable, thirty-year lease with the Village of Floral Park.  With a lease of this duration, the village has the incentives to make the positive capital improvements necessary to develop the storm basin into an attractive passive recreation area.

Floral Park Conservation Society (FPCS)

                 Interested residents formed the Floral Park Conservation Society (FPCS), a non-profit organization formed to provide service to the community at the old storm basin.  The FPCS received the 501(c)(3) non-profit status through the Internal Revenue Service thus allowing donors to deduct contributions to the FPCS from their taxes.  The FPCS has dedicated over 3000 hours of labor in the last 18 months to begin the long, arduous process of transforming the barren lands into a landmark garden and bird sanctuary.  The Floral Park Conservation Society invites you to join.  Whether you are a master gardener or hardly know a thing about flowers or birds, there is a place for you in the Floral Park Conservation Society.  We need trades people, all types of workers willing to lend a hand, those with critical eyes and good ideas, and just about anyone who cares to volunteer. 

FPCS Activity

            Once the Village completed the critical task of removing the chain link fence and locating a new more decorative fence 20-feet closer to the curb, the FPCS began the process of transforming the debris-strewn storm
            basin and teen hangout into a future passive recreation park. 

*Over 100 damaged and poor quality trees were removed in the area near the new perimeter path.

            *The Village’s Public Works crew constructed the ˝ mile pathway adjacent to the fence for walking and jogging.  The pathway will be the site of extensive and diverse plantings in the coming years starting this fall.

            *Over 100 truckloads of broken glass and debris were picked up by the hundreds of volunteers who came to FPCS clean-up days.

            *In the year 2000, the FPCS received the designation as a White House ‘Millennium Trail’ for the new trail that was installed as part of the jogging and walking path.  Additionally, the FPCS received a Kodak Award
             grant of $2,000 for planning the project and achieving educational objectives. 

            *The FPCS became a member of the Wildlife Habitat Council in September of 2000.  A biologist from the WHC visited the site and prepared a master plan that incorporates many desirable improvements in the area.

            *On October 28th, 2000, the Village officially named the area “Centennial Gardens & Bird Sanctuary” in a moving dedication ceremony.

            *The development of a wildflower meadow, over 100 feet in length and width, has been completed and will be supplemented each fall and spring.

 



 

 

 

 

Page Last Updated on Friday, May 30, 2014
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