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Schenck St. garden waits on fence

Growing seasons come and go, but the community garden on Schenck Street is still lacking its long-awaited fence. According to Neal Duncan, the president of the United Canarsie South Civic Association (UCSCA), “There’s been a problem getting the fence installed.” UCSCA adopted the garden several years ago, and has been tending it every since, with the goal of beautifying the community, as well as using the space for neighborhood events. While, Duncan said, funding for the fence had been allocated a couple of years back by City Councilmember Lewis Fidler, representatives of the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation had told him that the fence would be installed, “Later in the project, because they want to complete the other end first.” In addition, said Duncan, the fence’s installation was slowed down when the Parks Department realized that adjacent homeowners had unwittingly encroached on parkland. Duncan spoke about the situation during the group’s January meeting, which was held at the Hebrew Educational Society, 9502 Canarsie Road. Installation is being done as part of the larger, Canarsie Park renovation, which is being done in stages. The first stage is currently underway. While area residents worry that installation of heir garden fence has stalled, Bryan Lee, a spokesperson for Fidler, stressed, “The fence is definitely included in phase one,” which is due to be completed this year. Phil Abramson, a spokesperson for the Parks Department, agreed., “The fence really hasn’t been delayed,” he reported. “It was included in the Canarsie Park reconstruction and the end date for that is fall, 2007, so we remain confident that we will be able to install the fence by that time.” As far as the encroachment issue is concerned, Abramson said that the agency had been “communicating” with the homeowners involved. “Three homeowners have already moved their fences back to their own property lines,” Abramson told this paper, “and we are still in the process of communicating with the others to do the same.” The funding allocated for the fence was $35,000, in the fiscal year 2005 budget, according to Lee.

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