Oyster Bay Pocket Park Gets A New Look

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Photo by Theresa Skvarla

A small park adjacent to Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay, has just received a major lift thanks to a grant given by the North Country Garden Club of Long Island (NCGC). The park also adjoins a municipal parking lot and while it is not clearly visible from the street, this small, yet important public space serves as the gateway into the museum’s lovely historic garden.

The project involved a major clean-up of the landscaping including pruning of existing shrubs and removal of invasive plants. Boxwood, Crape Myrtle, “Nellie Stevens”’ holly tree, rhododendron, and pachysandra were installed. Several Annabelle hydrangeas were also transplanted from the Raynham Hall garden. Visitors to the park now have better visibility into the historic garden as they sit on the benches among the ginkgo trees. Next spring, 245 daffodil bulbs will emerge in the beds of pachysandra. Miller Nurseries Inc. of Glen Head served as the landscape contractor.

The rejuvenation of the Pocket Park is a project on which the NCGC embarked as part of an initiative to celebrate the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted, who designed Central Park with Calvert Vaux, believed residents of urban areas benefited from restorative time outdoors. As evidenced during the pandemic, this has proven to be true. The initiative, spearheaded by the Garden Club of America, of which NCGC is a member club, is called Parks: Where Nature Meets Community. It focuses on the importance of parks and open spaces throughout the country, whether created by Olmsted or not. NCGC is pleased to take part in this initiative and support the Oyster Bay community by the improvement of this civic space.

“We all need to be surrounded by a little bit of nature at least,” Raynham Hall Museum Executive Director Harriet Gerard Clark said. “So we are so grateful to the NCGC for its contribution of a little bit of nature to our surroundings. Olmstead would have approved.”

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