On Tuesday May 14th a cloudy morning turned into a bright afternoon as the sunlight peaked through the rain to shine down on the groundbreaking of the Boys and Girls Club new Garden, Outdoor Education & Play space.

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” Gertrude Jekyll.

For almost 20 years there have been efforts to turn this formerly vacant eyesore on Centre Street into a productive use. The site formerly was three abandoned and dilapidated lots which the City granted over to the Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County during Mayor Jackson’s administration. The hard work and dedication of many came to fruition this day as the Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County introduced us all to their new garden & outdoor education & play space that will service the whole community through a variety of programs.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said it best when he stated “This is not just a pocket park, but a community park that will offer numerous services and enrich the community”. This park will make it possible for thousands of Trenton youth to be able to play soccer on the grass, learn about the environment in an outdoor STEM class, be inspired to create art in and from nature, read a book outside, learn gardening to grow vegetables and herbs, and later use them in the Boys and Girls Club’s many healthy cooking classes.

While the garden in itself is truly a beauty, the fence in itself is a work of art that stole the show at the groundbreaking. This “fence” was designed by Trenton’s Wills “Wheels” Kinsley who teaches youth about bike repair and maintenance at the Boys and Girls Club Bike Exchange along with his colleagues Geoff, and Dave.

The Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County wished a special thanks to the city of Trenton and its political and department leaders and council people and the many, many volunteer work groups: Lowes, Isles, West Trenton Garden Club, Trenton Rotary Club, Terra Cycle, NJ Realtors, Stony Brook Garden Club, Dan Loughner & Tarry Truitt, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Hopewell Investors and our wonderful benefactor who put both money and lots of volunteer time into this investment in our community– Novo Nordisk.

In addition to Novo Nordisk as a major project sponsor, other support included Munich Re, New Jersey REALTORS, West Trenton Garden Club, Dr. Jane Rholf & Ted Boyer, The Housing Opportunity Foundation, Clarksville Sod Farm, Hopewell Investors, Dan Loughner & Linda Cooper, Herb & Parvine Moore, Stouts Bus, Zoubir, Erika, Jasmine Yazid and David & Stacey Anderson.

To learn more about this new garden, outdoor education & play space consider taking a visit to the Boys and Girls Club located at 212 Centre Street in Trenton. The garden is located directly across the street (you can’t miss the fabricated bike fence).