Originally Posted on July 25, 2014

Today, Council Member Margaret Chin joined representatives from the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, NYC Parks Department, Chinese-American Planning Council’s Chung Pak Daycare Center and the Museum of Chinese in America to celebrate the recent installation of a new community garden in the Columbus Park Pavilion.

The community garden, which represents the Greener, Healthier Chinatown Initiative by Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, includes a butterfly garden, a small greenhouse and planters, and was officially installed in mid-May. The goal of the Greener, Healthier Chinatown Initiative is to expand the use of the Columbus Park Pavilion as an active public space in which community members can be physically active while also being engaged to learn and socialize.

The new garden was made possible by a $4,000 discretionary funding grant from Council Member Margaret Chin, who strongly supports the Greener, Healthier Chinatown Initiative. The overall plan and design of the garden resulted from a collaboration between Charles B. Wang, the NYC Parks Department and CPC Chung Pak Daycare Center, with a volunteer consulting effort by Todd Haiman, a landscape designer and longtime Lower Manhattan resident.

To increase the garden’s ability to engage local children and families, the Museum of Chinese in America also contributed to the project by creating a scavenger hunt that allows participants to learn about the history of Columbus Park while staying active and healthy.

“I am always proud to support programs that help keep our children active and healthy, while also providing a warm and welcome gathering place for families,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “This beautiful garden is already bringing joy to the Chinatown community, and it will continue to be a fantastic space in which children can play and have fun as they learn the history of their neighborhood. I thank the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center for putting forth the Greener, Healthier Chinatown Initiative, and I also thank all the collaborators on this project, including the NYC Parks Department, CPC Chung Pak Daycare Center, the Museum of Chinese in America and Mr. Todd Haiman.”

“The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center appreciates the funding from Council Member Chin to implement the Greener, Healthier Chinatown Initiative,” said Dr. Shao-Chee Sim, Chief Strategy Officer at Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. “Through partnerships with the NYC parks department, Chung Pak Day Care Center, the Museum Of Chinese in America, and support from volunteers like Todd Haiman, we have been able to contribute to beautifying and activating Columbus Park. We hope community members will take advantage of the greenhouse, butterfly garden, and the scavenger hunt to stay active, utilize the park, and learn about the history that surrounds Columbus Park.”

“We have enjoyed our partnership for the last five years with the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, which has worked with us to provide a variety of successful programs for neighborhood residents in Columbus Park,” said Kim McNeal, Manhattan Chief of Recreation for the NYC Parks & Recreation Department. “The butterfly garden is another example of this special relationship. Together we have transformed a small area in the park into a more active and colorful space for the community’s children and families.”

“Our goal is to promote a sense of responsibility for the children by providing valuable hands-on experiences,” said Lijung Chan, Assistant Teacher at CPC Chung Pak Daycare Center, and coordinator of the garden project.

“Fundamentally, a Landscape Designer’s role is to assist people in their enjoyment and appreciation of outdoor space, to increase their quality of life,” said Todd Haiman, landscape designer and longtime Lower Manhattan resident. “Being able to contribute to my community in a small way through this project, gives me a great sense of accomplishment.”