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Mosaic Success Garden

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

The Mosaic Success Garden is named for the Alianza Mosaic Beacon Center of P.S. 11, the community center that oversees the garden’s maintenance. Success Gardens are a project of the Parks Council in collaboration with local non-profit, community, and volunteer organizations. Other Success Gardens are located in East New York, Brooklyn and Harlem, Manhattan.

A natural rock outcropping more than 20 feet high and 100 feet long dominates the landscape of this garden. When the garden was first opened, a solar-powered waterfall flowed over the rock face into the pond below. The pond, landscaped with water plants and stocked with an ever-growing number of goldfish, continues to function as a science and ecology laboratory for students from the local school district.

Work began at the garden during the winter of 1994. In April 1995, volunteers from Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation joined the Parks Council’s Urban Conservation Corps and local residents to clean and clear the site. This was followed by installation of the pond, perimeter fencing, and stonework. Mitsubishi, which has worked with the Parks Council to design its corporate volunteer program, provided a grant of $40,000 toward the construction. The plan for the ‘water garden’ site was created by Gail Wittwer-Laird, a Parks landscape architect. Her garden plan incorporates elements from the designs of students who participated in a workshop she taught at the Mosaic Community Center during the summer of 1994. Financial and technical support for the pond/ecology lab design and installation was provided by the federal Urban Resources Partnership, which has provided sponsorship for ponds at three other Success Garden sites.

On November 3, 1995, the garden was opened and dedicated, and in December of 1996, the land was transferred to Parks jurisdiction under the City Spaces program of the Trust for Public Land (TPL). Through this program, TPL works with community organizations to identify City-owned vacant lots that can be developed into viable, open, public spaces. The Mosaic Success Garden, located on Ogden Avenue and 169th Street in the Bronx neighborhood of Highbridge, contains a cinder path, wooden benches, bushes, and trees, among them a large weeping willow (salix babylonica). There are two additional sitting areas outside of the garden. Borough President Fernando Ferrer funded $68,000 in site improvements that were completed on September 24, 1999.

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