Ever since CJ Reilly III started work two years ago as groundskeeper for the Irvington Woods Park, the 400-acre preserve between Mountain Road and Harriman Road has been abuzz with activities. Reilly has led volunteers on forays to remove invasive species. He helped design the ten demonstration gardens adjacent to the O’Hara Nature Center, and most of all, he has devoted countless hours to teaching Irvington’s school kids all about nature and how to protect it.
In recognition of Reilly’s impact on children especially, the Garden Club of Irvington at its June meeting presented him with the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award—a national Garden Club of America honor—recognizing “direct involvement with children under the age of 16; use of innovative programming to actively engage young people …[and who] serves as an inspiration to youth that has left a lasting legacy.”
The citation was presented by longtime Irvington Beautification Committee chair Anne Myers. Along with a handsome framed citation, Reilly got a check for $1,000 for his personal use.
Accompanying Reilly to the Garden Club luncheon was Recreation & Parks Department Superintendent Joe Archino, to whom Myers presented the Club’s Civic Improvement Commendation on behalf of his entire department.