The history of the Linear Garden stretches back over 30 years.
The original three perennial gardens were started in 1984, the year of Rochester’s sesquicentennial.
In 2003 the North Winton Village Association obtained a $2,500 grant from the City of Rochester’s Community Development Department to plan the Linear Gardens at Mayfield Street. The NWVA hired the Design Center to assist in the plan and bring consensus with the NWVA committee. This took three years to develop. Then the NWVA obtained a grant for $6,500 from the United Way and Bank of America for the first phase of the plan, consisting of a path and fence. The PETCO Foundation donated $500 to purchase a bench and installation of a concrete pad for it to sit upon.
Stacy Estrich from the City of Rochester Parks Department designed the plan for the long garden next to the pathway. Mayfield resident Karen Olyslager donated funds to purchase the perennials for this pathway garden. Also, Karen purchased a riding lawn mower.
The County of Monroe donated rose bushes, and the City of Rochester donated numerous trees to compliment the design, several boulders to prevent cars from parking on the grass, and a Doggie Station for dog walkers.
The Rochester Area Community Foundation contributed funds for signage.
Approximately eight years ago NWVA was given a verbal donation from Washington Mutual to add to Liner Gardens the two-thirds of an acre of vacant land that they owned at 2299 East Main. After they donated the land to the city, when Chase Bank became the owner of the property next to this land Assemblyman Joe Morelle assisted in communicating with Chase Bank for two years. Chase Bank kept the promise, and Rochester City Council approve a land-use agreement specifying that this land will not be developed for commercial purposes, and will allow the NWVA a fifteen year agreement to “develop” this addition to Linear Garden.
The current NWVA goal is to extend the walkway to East Main Street, add a custom designed and built Arbor, as well as some additional landscaping and benches. NWVA also hopes to add electricity so the Garden may be used safely at night. To this end, NWVA sought and obtained a $5,000 grant from the State of New York, and sponsored by Joe Morelle, our NYS Assemblyman.
Maintenance of the gardens has been a continual community endeavor, with various groups and citizens freely donating their time to make this garden and green space beautiful and available for everyone to enjoy.
The Center for Youth worked two summers (2008–2009) watering, weeding and planting perennials. Rochester Lawn and Landscaping, along with the Rochester Sting football team volunteers, have mulched and edged for two summers. Numerous neighborhood volunteers work endlessly to continue the development and ongoing maintenance. Also volunteers from throughout the community assist on the mayor’s Clean Sweep Day and the United Way volunteers also help in the gardens.
The North Winton Village annual Festival of the Arts is held in the Linear Gardens and 2012 will mark the 6th year of this neighborhood festival.
The neighborhood enjoys the green space; any day you might find dog walkers, people sitting and enjoying the views, kids playing, or volunteers helping enhance the gardens, with the goal of making sure the North Winton Village is a walkable, friendly community. The Linear Gardens gives people a place to rest and relax away from the busy world.