Carl Berner Has Garden Named in his Honor.
In 1994, Parks pioneered a new way of looking at the streetscape. Concrete medians, once eyesores, took on new meaning. The way Michelangelo discerned form in a lump of a marble, Parks’ foresters saw gardens hidden in traffic triangles. In every borough, they mapped and planted greenstreets. Today more than 1,700 miniature gardens bloom. Collaboration enables the Greenstreets program to exist. The Department of Transportation allows Parks to plant on their properties, and park supporters make good on their advocacy by committing to care for greenstreets on a daily basis. This season, led by Tiffany Elliott, the Juniper Park Civic Association adopted a greenstreet at the corner of 58th Avenue and 82nd Street in Queens. They are one of more than 200 community organizations that have adopted greenstreets throughout the city. Parks, in turn, maintains sites weekly.
Designer Brad Romaker enlivened the site’s 700 square feet with plants that accent neighborhood gardens. He added day lilies and flowering shrubs as well as a weeping cherry tree, blue hydrangea, sedum, and juniper. The design was celebrated at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, October 12, 2001 at which Richard Murphy, Queens Borough Commissioner; Robert Holden, President of the Juniper Park Civic Association & Vice Chair of Community Board 5; and Bram Gunther, Deputy Director of Central Forestry addressed guests. One featured audience member was neighborhood resident, Carl Berner. Berner, two months shy of 100 years old, was an original member of the Juniper Park Civic Association when it was organized back in 1938. Berner, a legendary neighbor, who even now, can be found on his friend’s roof, adding shingles and plugging leaks, was praised by Bob Holden as the community’s number #1 citizen and good neighbor…
One hundred years ago, goat herders brought their animals to the site that is now a greenstreet. Accordingly, the land was assigned the nickname, Nanny Goat Hill. In time, the Goat Hill was paved and became a busy intersection in Middle Village. Greenstreets has restored plant life to the goat hill. If any animals pass through today, they’ll be pleasantly surprised.