Randalls Island Park Alliance

The Comfort Zone

In What's in Bloom on February 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

By Phyllis Odessey

People  often ask us what we do during the Winter months.  The answer:  we plan the projects we want to do in the Spring, when the crew returns and the weather gets warmer.

With the addition of 5 new bathrooms on Randall’s Island, the old comfort station, which sits across from The Learning Garden has been renovated.  It is one of the few buildings from the park’s former incarnation. It’s a simple brick structure with a slate roof.  No unisex bathrooms, the words “GIRLS” AND “BOYS” are clearly inscribed in concrete on either side of the building.

We thought about how to treat the area around the comfort station and decided to link it to The Learning Garden.  The original part of The Learning Garden featured vegetables as well as perennials and annuals.  The ANIMAL ZOO is the part of the garden that features plants whose common names, like Toad Lily have an animal connotation, but whose botanical name, Tricyrtis is very different.  Every part of The Learning Garden has a teaching element. The garden at the comfort station will extend the Animal Zoo to the comfort station.

In addition, the new comfort station garden will feature ribbons of vegetables, like Rainbow Swiss Chard, Dinosaur Kale, Purple Basil and Edible Flowers.  This garden will be extension of The Learning Garden:  a vehicle for hands-on learning that connect students to food and the environment.

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