Open Voices Blog

News and conversations about the growing evidence of the healing power of nature and green development in cities

How nature helped one Rockaway community recover following Hurricane Sandy

Posted on 09/22/17

New short documentary film set to launch next month

The past month has seen our television screens filled with images of cities and towns inundated with flood waters — the result of an Atlantic hurricane season considered by various meteorological standards to be the worst in years.

For those who’ve lived through rising waters before, the images can be particularly painful to watch. But they are also a reminder of what they – we – have learned about nature, resilience, and recovery following natural disasters.

Next month, on the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, we will release a short film that tells the story of one community in Rockaway, NY; of how a garden helped draw them together, aiding in their continuing recovery, following the “super storm” that left this area of the city particularly devastated.

The garden, which is steps away from the beach, was originally established in the 1990s, and serves residents of the B 41st Street Houses, a New York City Housing Authority Property. The garden’s 30 plots, where residents cultivated vegetables and flowers, were washed away by Sandy’s storm surge.

Our film, the second in a series we have created on the healing power of nature, will show what happened after the waters receded. You’ll hear the voices of residents, city leaders and the team that led the project to restore the garden.

Follow us here – or on Twitter or Facebook – to be among the first to watch when it launches October 27.

In the meantime, catch a sneak peek of the garden (click images to scroll through):

For another dose of inspiration, watch Butterfly Angels to see how a healing garden played a role in Joplin’s recovery following the historic EF5 tornado that struck there 6 years ago.

Butterfly Angels from TKF Foundation on Vimeo.

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    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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