by Deirdre and Tom Graziano
Lincoln Central Park faced its own set of challenges during this year’s pandemic. The drought took its toll on many of our plantings. And yet, the park survived and in its own way flourished. Butterflies and bees came to our butterfly garden area. The new plantings that survived proved sturdy and have blended in well with our older established plantings.
We have had many heroes this year. Paul Shea, Angie Goudschaal and Beau Fleming, all generous neighbors who went over and beyond using buckets to water our stressed plantings. Beau was relentless in transferring buckets and buckets of mulch from the parkway to our garden plants so they would be better protected during the stressful hot spell.
No matter the difficulty with the weather, with the recent disheartening times, this small park continued to offer a soothing green space of comfort – often providing a special joy to the many who came. The fountain, after a new motor was installed, once again provided us with graceful dancing waters. The unending supply of chalk allowed our children, teens and even adults the opportunity to create delightful drawings and pastel messages of hope and joy, drawing smiles and sometimes outright laughter from passing neighbors. In the early hours of the morning, our “regulars” of all ages with their coffee and reading materials so they can peacefully sit and steal a few moments of magic as the fountain welcomes and sings to them.
We appreciated our Christy Webbers workers, our Fountain Guys, Carlos and his great partner. They never failed to impress us with their hard work and dedication to the park. Bob Thomas and Jeff Conrad, paint cans in hand, have renovated our benches and removed any graffiti that may appear – this is a rare event which in many ways shows the love the community has for this pocket park.
Patty Harris once said the park seems to have been dropped from a small piece of France. Viva Sweet France and Viva Our Park. Young lovers often sit cooing to one another, nannies and parents bring the children under their care, dogs prance around the fountain, a few even jump in. Our local childcare centers escort groups of their children to the park so the delighted young ones can take off their shoes and enjoy a splashing of feet as they cool off from their long walks. Teens congregate, join in the chalking and often offer to help when they see us working making the park even more magical since it brings out the very best in all of us.
We encourage children to use our stone paths. Many youngsters take stones only to return them to the park with colorful and whimsical paintings added to the smooth surfaces so we can all enjoy a smile when we see them. Our own fairy space.
We are sorry that the new yews planted along Lincoln Ave did not survive the drought, but please send ideas on what you would like to see replace the bushes we have lost. We also wish to thank the secret gift givers who have left us beautiful hibiscus plants. These secret green volunteers would just leave us their special gifts including a sculpted evergreen without seeking any recognition or praise. So to our secret Gardeners, to all who have stopped to talk with one another and with us, we say Merci, Merci Beaucoup.