ls-parkLittle Silver resident John Heidema clears out brush and concrete Wednesday, doing his part to get the borough’s memorial garden into shape. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


John Heidema has put his gardening gloves to the test the last few days.

He was out Saturday and again on Tuesday at Little Silver’s Memorial Garden, pulling away brush and picking through dirt piles to get rid of leftover concrete.

“And I’m doing some now ’til we get things going,” he said Wednesday, waiting for a meeting with other volunteers — who failed to show on time — to help put the finishing touches on the borough’s once-empty patch of grass to a memorial of Little Silver’s deceased. “The idea is to get this manageable.”

It looks close.

The major work — installation of a reflective pool, benches, flagpole and clock — is done, leaving the remaining duties up to local green thumbs.

“It’s gotten started,” Heidema said.

The borough’s plan is to make the space a reflection area, honoring lost war veterans and victims of September 11, 2001, backdropped by community-tended gardens.

“It’s going to be volunteer stuff,” Heidema said, “because there’s certainly not a budget for it.”

Heidema, who is on the Environmental and Shade Tree commissions, said he’ll continue to be a part of the effort to get the garden in order — even if he’s the only one there.

“I’m just treading water, time-wise,” he said Wednesday, “until this group gathers.”