Bon Secours New York Healthy Communities Celebrates Ten Years of Community Gardening

Riverdale, NY, May 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bon Secours New York Healthy Communities will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Schervier Community Garden on May 26, 2016. All are invited to a celebration in the garden, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. There will be food, a garden memento to take home, tours of the garden and, best of all, the lovely people, both past and present, who have made the garden a special place for the neighborhood.

The Schervier Community Garden was established in 2006 on the property of the Schervier Nursing Care Center with a grant from the Bon Secours Health System Mission Fund. The grant provided for building 45 garden spots, a greenhouse, and hiring one part time staff member, Patti Leo, the first Bon Secours New York Healthy Communities Community Garden Coordinator.

Under Leo’s guidance the garden grew into an urban oasis that attracted a diverse group of people from all walks of life. Many of these original gardeners are still digging in the dirt today.

The garden is strictly organic, tenderly planted, and cared for by members of the community. Today, this group of 55- to 87-year-olds creates half a ton of compost each season – garden waste that goes back into the ground, not the landfill. The current Community Garden Coordinator, Barbara Denson, a horticultural therapist, worked with the NYC Compost Project under the auspices of the Department of Sanitation and the New York Botanical Garden, to have the garden certified as an official compost learning site. In line with the goal of creating an environmentally sustainable space, two rainwater harvesting systems were installed in 2011 that collect a combined 600 gallons of water for use in the garden.

The activities don’t stop with gardening. There are a variety of programs offered to the community throughout the year. Each month, Compost Work Days become a social event where plant material is processed for compost, a setup not unlike an old-fashioned Quilting Bee.

Once the season is up and running Denson brings in food and recipes for the popular Vegetable or Herb of the Month meeting. Garden-inspired art programs offered by Denson also get creative juices flowing. Yoga in the Garden is offered so senior gardeners can maintain their strength and flexibility to continue working outdoors.

Garden programs feature guest speakers presenting on a variety of topics from butterflies, the importance of native plants, companion planting, and how to harvest weeds.

Location:  behind Schervier Nursing Care Center, 2975 Independence Avenue, Riverdale, NY.


About Bon Secours New York Health System

Bon Secours New York Health System (BSNY) is a not-for-profit, Catholic healthcare system committed to providing a range of compassionate health care services in the New York Metro area. BSNY is comprised of Schervier Nursing Care Center, a 364-bed long-term nursing facility providing skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, palliative care, and care in a secure environment for those with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments. In addition, short-term rehabilitation and cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation programs provide services for those recovering from illness and injury and returning to their home and community. The Schervier Apartments offer 154 units of federally-subsidized housing for independent living to seniors and heads of household with disabilities. BSNY Healthy Communities is sponsored by the mission fund of Bon Secours Health System and is committed to creating communities of health, hope and well-being. For more information, visit or its Facebook page for frequent updates at


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