Tonawanda News

The City

April 28, 2013

Seeds of hope

Tonawanda woman has high hopes for community garden

Tonawanda News — Others may look at it and see an empty lot like any other. 

Nancy Rolando looks at it and sees a dream.

Earlier this week, the City of Tonawanda woman stood at one end of the small expanse of green next to Stamps Bar, at Main and Seymour streets across from City of Tonawanda Post Office, and surveyed the grassy area she hopes to turn into the Tonawanda Community Peace Garden.

“It doesn’t look very hopeful, does it?” she said. “I know; It’s not that great, it’s not that big, but there are other places gardens flourish.”

While the area still needs, well, almost everything, Rolando held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at Monday, the beginning of Earth Week. Mayor Ronald Pilozzi and church representatives were in attendance.

It all started last year when Rolando was missing the big garden she used to have at her Shawnee Road home, before she retired from the Post Office, downsized and moved to a small home near her former workplace.

“I was sitting on my front porch last year and I was thinking, ‘I wish I had a garden.’ I looked across the street and thought, ‘I wonder if Tom would let me (use) that.’ “

In October, she sent a letter asking for permission to use the space to Tom Goetz, the owner of Stamps. To her surprise, she received an affirmative — and began planning for the Tonawanda Community Peace Garden

Goetz confirmed that he granted permission for Rolando to use the space, but gives all the credit for the plans to her.

“Some people refer to it as a community garden,” he said. “Others refer to it as God’s garden. And yours truly refers to it as Nancy’s garden.

“I give her all the credit in the world.”

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