Farmingdale State College graduate Sarah Caltabiano, a resident of Floral Park, made sure before finishing her BS in Horticulture Technology Management that she would leave a behind a legacy that would enhance the campus and bring joy to the students, faculty, staff – and especially the children who attend Farmingdale’s day-care center – by designing a garden for them.
The garden was the fruit of a senior project Sarah did for the Spring 2014 semester. She was given a plot of land in front of the college’s Children’s Center, where she went to work designing a garden that is both aesthetically pleasing and educational. Said Sarah, “I created something that includes medicinal and edible plants, is consistent with the Northeast’s native wildlife, is appealing to animals and insects, and is, of course, beautiful.”
Sarah funded her project with donations of money and plants by several Long Island nurseries and greenhouses, and from money she raised from a website she built as part of the project.
But Sarah didn’t just design the garden and leave it behind. Even though she is working a full-time job in Manhattan, she returns weekly to inspect, weed and water it.
The Department of Urban Horticulture and Design educates versatile leaders for the billion-dollar green industry. With the opening of the Sustainable Garden, environmentally friendly practices are learned through classroom and laboratory experience. Created early in the history of Farmingdale State College – which was founded in 1912 – the Teaching Gardens are famous nationally.