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Ridgefield Gardeners Raise Management Concerns

The Ridgefield Community Garden is on a quiet corner off Shaler Boulevard, near retail stores. Nestor Delgado has been a garden member since 2001. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
The Ridgefield community garden was renamed in memory of scout leader, environmental commissioner, and community activist Patty Pfaff last September. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Member plots are carefully marked off and fenced. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
An herb garden planted in a sculptural rock construction. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

RIDGEFIELD, N.J. -- Community garden members intend to bring concerns over management of the quiet corner of Shaler Boulevard and Slocum Avenue to the Ridgefield Mayor and Council at a meeting Wednesday night.

The garden is a peaceful, pleasant space right off Shaler Boulevard behind some town and retail buildings. It’s a mix of fenced plots and winding paths between trees and stone sculptures. A variety of gardening methods are apparent to an observant visitor.

Nestor Delgado, a member of the garden since 1992, said there have been changes made since the borough Environmental Commission took over managing the garden in 2008, and that members weren’t consulted and don’t know why they were made.

“The garden was self-managed until 2008 when the Environmental Commission took over,” he said. “We elected officers, collected dues for plots, and had a positive balance in the treasury.”

He says the funds that came to approximately $7,000 were turned over to the Environmental Commission, and since then garden members are in the dark as to whether there is any money left, or if not what it was used for.

Harry Pfaff is co-chairman of the commission now, with Theresa Consoli, but he was just appointed in January and has only attended one meeting. 

Pfaff is a garden member, and it is named in memory of his wife Patty Pfaff, who was a scout leader, environmentalist, and community activist. When his wife died, Pfaff stepped into her seat.

Pfaff said he had heard unofficially that someone might speak at the council, but unaware what it’s about, and reserved comment.

Calls to Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez weren’t returned.

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