Dads observe Father’s Day in new Canarsie green space

Chef Ronald Harris, center in orange apron, and his family at the Canarsie Neighborhod Community garden’s Father’s day celebration in Canarsie on June 17.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Dozens of dads and their families celebrated Father’s Day at a Canarsie community garden on June 17. The day-long event invited fathers and their kin from all over to the green space at E. 93rd and Schenck streets, to celebrate fatherhood. And it was also a special day for men who are not parents, said one local man.

“I’m not a father but I have multiple godchildren, nieces, and nephews and I’m basketball coach, so I feel like I am one and I was happy to be a part of it,” said Cyd Scotton.

Scotton, who is an artist, led a painting workshop for youngsters at the event, and used a bench and park table as a canvas to paint. He said he enjoyed the ambiance and said the community space was an ideal place to host it.

“I thought it was awesome and very family-oriented, and I loved the fact that they were doing something great in an open garden for the community to relax and be carefree,” he said. “Everyone was really cool and it was a well-planned family event.”

The garden was vacant for years until the Canarsie Neighborhood Alliance decided to revitalize it for community use. Using the location for a celebratory day was a perfect debut of the yard to the locals, said the event’s organizer and garden member.

“Everybody was very thankful that we used a garden space that was dormant for years — a lot of community members were happy to see that it was finally being put to use and I am happy and thankful that the garden is now part of Canarsie Park,” said Floyd Jarvis Jr.

He said many fathers came out for the well-attended event and ensured that they came with relatives.

“They were happy and came out in droves, and brought their whole families,” said Jarvis.

At the event children participated in other activities including book reading and games, and Canarsie natives and reggae band New Kingston, provided some musical entertainment performing songs about fathers, added Jarvis.

Jarvis says he plans to expand the garden to create additional space for more kid-friendly extracurricular activities reminiscent of his upbringing in Guyana, and hopes area locals support the garden.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected] Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.

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