Derrick McEady Downtown's Master Landscaper

Derrick McEady
Landscaping Coordinator
Trenton Downtown Association

A few years ago, downtown Trenton’s green spaces were neglected, and people avoided Mill Hill Park, which was overgrown, unmaintained, and under-used. Enter Derrick McEady. With constant attention and an eye for detail, Derrick singlehandedly reclaimed Mill Hill Park into the breathing, beautiful heart of downtown. The park is now the lively home of events ranging from TDA’s weekly Farmers Market, to music and cultural festivals, to family gatherings like birthdays and barbecues, to the place downtown’s workers flock at lunch on any warm day. As a member of the SAGE Coalition, Derrick was also instrumental in turning a vacant lot on East Hanover Street into the Gandhi Garden, an arts and community green space carefully designed to be both lush and low-maintenance.

He is outside almost every day, in all weather, planting, pruning, weeding, making sure everything looks right. Downtown regulars are used to the sight of him on a bike – sometimes a very tall bike – pulling a trailer of flowers to the park through Broad Street traffic. Visitors from all over the state write in to praise his magic touch. For Derrick, the greenscape of downtown Trenton is a matter of pride, a work of art that reflects on Trenton as a whole.

Photographed by Jonathan Gordon on East Hanover Street.

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