STAR OF BROOKLYN: Javier Acevedo, Owl’s Head Park Horticulture

COMMUNITY SERVICE: A passionate gardener, Javier Acevedo is president of Owl’s Head Park Horticulture. He started the group three years ago.

“One day I was walking [in the park], and I saw that I could make a difference,” Acevedo said. He took a small group of around 10 people, and set out to “bring a smile to people when they come to the park. That was the original idea.”

The organization runs mostly on donations, which come in either monetary or plant form.

The gardens contain many different species of plants, including daffodils, tulips, black-eyed Susans and chrysanthemums.

“The gardens are a morale boost. When people go to the park and see a nice garden, it brings a smile to their faces,” Acevedo said.

The group partners with the Parks Foundation to host kids in the community during “It’s My Park Day,” which happens twice a year, in May and October.

PERSONAL LIFE: Acevedo was born in Puerto Rico, and moved to New York City when he was 18, settling in Brooklyn. His family still lives in Puerto Rico, but Acevedo has been living in Bay Ridge for over 20 years.

CAREER: Acevedo spent the early years of his career working as a computer technician, but abandoned his office job for a more relaxing occupation as a gardener. He left his earlier job in order to share his gardening knowledge with the community.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Acevedo said the biggest challenge he faced in his efforts to help beautify Owl’s Head Park was wondering if the gardens he helped to create would be well received.

“Would people like the gardens and respect them? I wasn’t sure,” Acevedo said. Acevedo’s fears were proven wrong, as Ridgeites love the new additions to Owl’s Head Park.

“I love the feeling I get when I see people playing in my gardens,” Acevedo said.

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