A new Hampton Bays rain garden is an aesthetic and ecological win-win

The Hampton Bays Beautification Association, which adopted the post office years ago, is taking on another project at the site facing Ponquogue Avenue. After removing hedges and planting grass, adding a sprinkler system and brick walkway, and planting flowers, association president Susan von Freddi Gassman announced the addition of a rain garden.

“It is important to have ecosystems in the community — that you don’t just plop a garden somewhere, you try to make it sustainable and economically advantageous,” von Freddi Gassman said of the rain garden, which will replace an old and unused driveway. “It will also be a teaching thing — for students to come up to and learn about it.”

Preview of Grow Food Taking Place in the Hamptons

"It is a documentary about you, me, and the current state of our planet - but most importantly it is about solutions - the solution - Grow Food," the filmmakers stated. "It may sound strange, but it turns out the solution to most of our environmental and health problems is right beneath our feet - soil."

"The core of the film revolves around the story of a native Long Islander, Jim, who quit his job to farm on peoples' front lawns and inspire change through growing food." By revitalizing the soils and better monitoring food production, the health of future generations as well as climate change, food availability and chronic disease can all be improved.

"We tie in big picture ideas with practical actions through the guidance of experts and newcomers alike to show that we can all be part of the solution to our global environmental crisis and local health movement," the duo added.

Community Remains Hopeful Nonprofit Can Steward Girl Scout Camp In Hampton Bays

As Emma Hughes frolicked in her East Quogue backyard on a recent sunny Monday afternoon, the curious 3-year-old bent over and plucked a nearly ripened radish out of the ground to give to her mother Doria.

The radish was among a collection of plants and vegetables Ms. Hughes is growing on her half-acre property. Throughout the past several months, Ms. Hughes, a novice gardener, has been transforming her grassy yard into a blooming garden filled with more vegetables than she could possibly need to feed her family of five.

Ms. Hughes picked up gardening in the early spring when she enrolled in a series of adult classes offered by the Ecological Culture Initiative, or ECI, a nonprofit based in Hampton Bays, started two years ago by Marc Fasanella.

The nonprofit encourages residents, homeowners and even business owners to incorporate traditional, pesticide-free agricultural practices into their landscaping as some of the first steps to improving the environment.

Initiative Evaluates Hampton Bays' Assets

Hampton Bays, originally established as Good Ground in 1740 as an agrarian and fishing community, contains distinctive ecological characteristics—now threatened by development—that still play an important role in the community’s deeply rooted identity. The Ecological Culture Initiative (ECI), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to using geospatial mapping and examination to evaluate cultural, historic and ecological assets, which, when taken collectively, bring to light a rationale for why Good Ground can serve as an example of regenerative neighborhood development.