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    The Birth of The Common Ground
    September 10, 2015 11:15 am  
    The Birth of The Common Ground

    by Barbara Fitzpatrick, TCG President

    An Honor Roll pathway is to be installed on the Candee Avenue side which will acknowledge and recognize the loving support of our founding friends, past and present members of the Board of Directors.  A dedication is to be held at our 9/11 ceremony on September 11, 2015 at 7pm.

    Most of the locals and many others know The Common Ground in Sayville as the little patch of land that sits south of Main Street between Gillette and Candee Avenues.  They come for our free events like concerts, Family Fridays, gardening yoga, labyrinth walks, Reiki and now Zumba, too.

    The Reflective Garden at The Common Ground in Rotary Park, Sayville is a Town of Islip park.  The members of The Common Ground are its caretakers but it wasn’t always that way.  Before 9/11/2001, it was largely an empty space.  The catastrophic events of that day ripped our hearts and made our souls cry.

    Two days later, according to our archives, at a Rotary Club meeting in Sayville, it was suggested to have a rose garden and a gazebo placed at Rotary Park.  It was amazing to see how many came together with just one idea…how to heal that gaping wound.  Neighbors and strangers, merchants, local clubs and organizations spent hours, months and years helping to breathe life into the park.  Some gave time, some gave money, some did both.  All gave their love so the park would be a place of beauty, serenity, enjoyment and reflection.  To aid in the reflection, a labyrinth was installed, reached by a pathway of remembrance bricks and beautiful gardens.

    In order for The Common Ground to bloom and grow, a not for profit organization was established and a Board of Directors installed.  We meet monthly at the Gillette House in Sayville on the 2nd Monday of every month except January in order to make things bloom and grow.  Bloom and grow we have.  This is the 10th year of concerts , events and our gardens.  The park has also seen its share of weddings, showers, birthday parties and Chamber of Commerce events.

    All events are free and many wonder why we have a 50/50 raffle.  We don’t make a profit but we do have expenses.  Some of the expenses we incur are for insurance, printing of brochures, posters, maintaining the gardens.  The pavilion was just repainted and we are researching a better was to surface the labyrinth.  Our performers get paid with  the exception of  our 9/11 Ceremony when all services are donated.  Everything  collected goes goes back to the park.  We also raise funds be selling engraved remembrance bricks and web ads.  Suffolk County grants help and the Town of Islip sponsors performances, too.  Local merchants donate gift certificates used at our raffles.

    Won’t you please join us at The Reflective Garden on 9/11?  Come to see who we  were, who we are.  Just think, maybe some of you will be one of us.  At…”a place where getting to know your neighbor is as easy as a walk in the park” as stated in The Common Ground brochure.  This also contains our mission statement:

    “This precious park is lovingly offered and maintained by the community.  May it stand as a breathing testament to the infinite possibilities  present when good people cherish their entire village as home and their neighbors as family.  Like the splendid garden it houses may it flourish and grow”

    Barbara Fitzpatrick, President
    The Reflective Garden at The Common Ground
    Rotary Park, Sayville, NY

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