Commack residents are hoping to work together to create a community garden, but are still looking for a home.
Commack Civic Association has spent several months searching for a place willing offer land for a community garden. The civic association has found two potential sites but neither spot is secured.
Bruce Ettenberg, president of the Commack Civic Association, has been in communication with Smithtown Town officials in efforts to see if they would be willing to permit the installation of a community garden at Hoyt Farm.
In July, the Commack Civic Association received a letter from Town Attorney John Zollo saying while he holds certain reservations, it would be possible to move forward with creating a community garden at Hoyt Farm. He would require the civic association to sign a hold-harmless agreement with the town, a contract stating the town would not be liable or sued for anything related to the community garden.
However, Zollo wrote a letter dated Aug. 2 to the Commack Civic Association stating Smithtown Parks Director Charles Barrett said he felt the community's request for a community garden at Hoyt Farm should be denied. To grant the civic association rights to create a community garden, would mean the town would have to grant other land-use requests, according to Barrett. He also expressed a fear of people taking vegetables from the garden, food poisoning and potential allergic reactions.
The Commack Civic Association plans to take their request to Town Council members and set up a meeting with Barrett to address his concerns.
The community has also tried to meet with the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center to see if they had land not in use, where they could create a community garden program with members of the Suffolk Y. These two groups have yet to meet to further discuss potential plans.
We'd like to ask: Would you support at Commack community garden? What work woudl you be willing to do? What vegetables, plants would you like to see grown?
Tell us in the comments below.