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Arbor Day fests highlight of job for Botanical Garden board chairman

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Mirvosky noted that although the Flushing garden has 39 acres of exhibits, collections and teaching gardens and serves more than 300,000 diverse visitors from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, it is little known outside of the borough.As a youngster growing up in Massapequa, Mirvosky started gardening with his father and raised corn and other vegetables for the family. After graduating from high school, he did a stint in the Navy as a "plank owner" or first crewman, on the aircraft carrier the John F. Kennedy.Currently supervisor of aircraft maintenance service at LaGuardia Airport, Mirvosky has worked with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for over 25 years. He has degrees from Hofstra University and Nassau Community College. Other work experience includes working at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., where he was a member of the team that built the Lunar Excursion Module.In speaking of the Queens Botanical Garden, Mirvosky referred to the second chapter of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," in which the author describes the area the garden now occupies as "a valley of ashes." But, from its origins in the 1939-40 World's Fair, the horticultural display was eventually transferred to its present location as the beginning of QBG.During his years as chairman of the garden board, Mirvosky presided with Executive Director Susan LaCerte over numerous functions, including memorial tree plantings and the annual Rose Ball Gala, the garden's black-tie fund-raiser. But of all the ceremonial occasions, the one he enjoys the most is the annual Arbor Day Celebration, when 30 or more schools are invited to the garden where the young students are educated by such diverse exhibits as seed plantings and by a host of other organizations, including the Fire Department, the Dinosaurs Moveable Museum, the Sierra Club, Queens Library and entertained by the Big Apple Circus and the Verizon Nova Clowns.Currently living in nearby Forest Hills, Mirvosky plans on staying on the QBG Board's Advisory Committee and thus continue to promote the garden at every opportunity, he said.

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