Group designs meditation garden for Flushing park

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Peace and tranquility are headed to Flushing’s Kissena Corridor Park if members of a local conservation group have their way.

A designer has completed plans commissioned by the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy to build a meditation garden across from New York Hospital Queens’ oncology center, and the group is starting to raise funds for its construction.

“I want the garden to be a place of meditation and tranquility,” Chuck Wade, president of the conservancy, told the attendees at the April 28 meeting of the Queensboro Hill Association. “I want people in the oncology center and their family members to be able to go there and be quiet and meditate. It will really be something nice.”

The garden, which will be handicapped-accessible and open to the general public as well as to hospital patients, is slated to cost between $350,000 and $400,000, an amount Wade said he believes its supporters, including the conservancy and the Queensboro Hill and Holly civics, will be able to raise.

They are hosting a breakfast fund-raiser from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 26 at the Palace Diner in Flushing and will have a series of other money-gathering initiatives in coming months in order to pay for the project.

There is a stumbling block standing in the way of construction beginning, Wade said, because the hospital has yet to treat the soil after using 3 to 4 acres there as a makeshift parking lot for the last couple of years.

The creation of the meditation garden, which will use half an acre of the land after it reverts to parkland, was unanimously approved by Community Board 7’s Parks Committee last month.

But the hospital has not met goals for when to complete the soil treatments which it and the city Parks Department set.

“The hospital is actually dragging their heels a little bit on getting that soil treated,” Wade said. “The Parks Department said it should be done in fall, then they said it would be done in spring, now spring is almost gone. So I think the hospital needs a little urging.”

New York Hospital Queens representatives did not return a request for comment.

Wade recommended that in order for work to begin as soon as possible, residents should respectfully call or write the Parks Department and the hospital to inquire about the delay.

Despite the roadblocks which must be cleared before residents will be able to enjoy the landscaped space, the community is already looking forward to its installation.

“I live on 56th Avenue, just a few blocks away from the hospital, and I am so excited to see the meditation garden,” said Terence Park, leader of the Our Flushing Political Coalition, at the meeting. “It’s going to be wonderful.”

The Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing also announced a new initiative recently. The Senior Garden is a new program which allows elderly gardeners to use a 5-foot-by-15-foot plot of ground to plant and grow vegetables and flowers. The gardens can be used through October. Call 718-263-9546 for more information.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 5:48 pm, October 10, 2011
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