Giving Back

Lake Hopatcong Foundation Beautifies Former Roxbury Train Station

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Dozens of plants sit in their assigned places, waiting to become part of their new garden home.  Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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Volunteers build a 1-foot stone wall at the base of the LHF sign located near the edge of the train station's property. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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Katherine De Koninck stands atop a large soil mound, raking earth into her wheelbarrow below. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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The 103-year-old former Landing train station is currently under construction. LHF plans to turn the building into a cultural center. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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Volunteers were hard at work in the garden Saturday morning. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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Tom Wiss, the garden's landscape designer, removes plants from their pots before they are placed beneath the earth. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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Potted plants sit at the garden's edge, waiting to be assigned a spot in which they can grow. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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ROXBURY – Standing atop a tall mound of soil today, volunteer Katherine De Koninck thrust her rake into the dirt and heaved clumps of earth into a wheelbarrow waiting below.  De Koninck was taking part in a community gardening event hosted by The Lake Hopatcong Foundation at the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad station in Landing.

“We’re going to make these disappear into groundcover,” said De Koninck, pointing at another two soil mountains waiting to be spread.

In an effort to restore the grounds of the 103-year-old former train station, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation worked with Nick Karpiak, a local Eagle Scout, as well as dozens of volunteers. The grounds will be converted into a native garden where visitors can come to meditate, relax or learn more about local plants, according to Karpiak.

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Donna Macalle-Holly of the Foundation stressed the importance of native plants, particularly in a lake community such as Lake Hopatcong. “If you use native plants as a buffer along your shoreline, they help keep runoff from your lawn and storm water out of the lake,” she said.

Tim Wiss, the mastermind behind the station’s landscape design, said he hopes the garden will be used for educational purposes to demonstrate the resiliency of native plants and remind residents of their value.

“We’re trying to show people that some of the old-fashioned plants can do more than a lot of these fancy hybrids you see nowadays,” he said. “We like to show people that there are native plants that look attractive in your garden.”

The garden’s westernmost side, closest to the former station building, will boast a demonstration garden, where Wiss said they will grow deer- and rabbit-resistant plants so residents can see how they stand up to critters.

Volunteers also began to construct a 1-foot stone wall at the base of the Foundation sign onsite. Wiss said they would install clematis, a climbing flower that Wiss hopes will eventually beautify the sign’s two metal poles.

Every plant, stone and speck of soil was donated to the Foundation by landscapers throughout Roxbury. Rosler’s of Allendale donated more than $1,000 worth of perennials for the garden.

Marty Kane, chair of the Foundation’s board, said the organization has struggled to obtain county approval for the installation of a rain garden onsite that would utilize stormwater runoff for irrigation purposes. The Foundation originally wanted to transform most of the site into a rain garden, Kane said, but Morris County has strict regulations on the location of these types of gardens.

“As soon as we get their approval we’ll start right away,” he said.

ROXBURY – Standing atop a tall mound of soil, volunteer Katherine De Koninck thrust her rake into the dirt and heaved clumps of earth into a wheelbarrow waiting below. De Koninck took part in a community gardening event Saturday morning hosted by The Lake Hopatcong Foundation at the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad station.

“We’re going to make these disappear into groundcover,” said De Koninck, pointing at another two soil mountains waiting to be spread.

In an effort to restore the grounds of the 103-year-old former train station, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, worked with Nick Karpiak, a local Eagle Scout, as well as dozens of volunteers. The grounds will be converted into a native garden where visitors can come to meditate, relax or learn more about local plants, according to Karpiak.

Donna Macalle-Holly of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation stressed the importance of native plants, particularly in a lake community such as Lake Hopatcong.

“If you use native plants as a buffer along your shoreline, they help keep runoff from your lawn and storm water out of the lake,” she said.

Tim Wiss, the mastermind behind the station’s landscape design, said he hopes the garden will be used for educational purposes to demonstrate the resiliency of native plants and remind residents of their value.

“We’re trying to show people that some of the old-fashioned plants can do more than a lot of these fancy hybrids you see nowadays,” he said. “We like to show people that there are native plants that look attractive in your garden.”

The garden’s westernmost side, closest to the former station building, will boast a demonstration garden, where Wiss said they will grow deer- and rabbit-resistant plants so residents can see how they stand up to critters.

Volunteers also began to construct a one-foot, stone wall at the base of the Foundation sign onsite. Wiss said they would install clematis, a climbing flower that Wiss said he hopes will eventually beautify the sign’s two metal poles.

Every plant, stone and speck of soil was donated to the Foundation by landscapers throughout Roxbury. Rosler’s of Allendale donated more than $1,000 worth of perennials for the garden.

Marty Kane, chair of the Foundation’s board, said the organization has struggled to obtain county approval for the installation of a rain garden onsite, which would utilize storm water runoff for irrigation purposes. The Foundation originally wanted to transform most of the site into a rain garden, Kane said, but Morris County has strict regulations on the location of these types of gardens.

“As soon as we get their approval,” he said, “we’ll start right away.”

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