The Gardens are closed for the winter
and will re-open sometime in April, 2015.
here to become a member or make a
Centennial Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
GREAT BACKYARD BIRD
On February 14 -16, Mayor Tom Tweedy, Trustees Mary-Grace Tomecki, Kevin
and Jim Rhatigan gathered at Centennial Gardens to participate in the
Great Backyard Bird Count. Click
here for the Birds of the
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.
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.
Park Conservation Society
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.
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
basin and teen hangout into a future passive
100 damaged and poor quality trees were removed in the area near the new
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.
100 truckloads of broken glass and debris were picked up by the hundreds
of volunteers who came to FPCS clean-up days.
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.
October 28th, 2000, the Village officially named the area
“Centennial Gardens & Bird Sanctuary” in a moving dedication
development of a wildflower meadow, over 100 feet in length and width,
has been completed and will be supplemented each fall and spring.