A Landscape of Resilience and Perseverance

It has been an exciting year for a group of community gardeners in the Rockaway community of Queens, NY.

Beautifying the area included ground cover plantings.
Beautifying the area included ground cover plantings. Source: Giles Ashford

Last summer we spoke with Renae Reynolds about the progress of this Nature Sacred site, and we continue to see more participation, planting and construction (in partnership with Nature Sacred, Cornell, Drury University, USDA Forest Service, Till Design, Natural Garden Landscape, and NYCHA). This site, a post-natural disaster “Landscape of Resilience“, has proved to be a strong center of community and growth.

In January, the gardeners at Beach 41st organized into a Resident Green Committee. Resident Green Committees are groups of concerned New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents who are committed to fighting climate change and preserving public housing. They plan projects, organize events and educate their neighbors about environmental and energy issues. The committee is led by a new captain who already leads by example in her winter hoophouse.

Community members of all sizes are welcome in the garden.
Community members of all sizes are welcome in the garden. Source: Giles Ashford

In May, the community gathered to celebrate new growth in their space. Beach 41st Community Planting Day brought 100 volunteers together to dig, plant, mulch, lift, haul, rake, and water.

“People came from all over the city, some visited from out of town. But one of the most rewarding things to see given all the work leading up to this event, were all of the young people from B41st who came down stairs, working as a community to plant new life in their own backyard. These young people are the next generation of green space stewards in Rockaway! The display of their energy and enthusiasm indicates that the future is indeed bright.” – Renae Reynolds

Mulch around the new plantings seals in moisture.
Mulch around the new plantings seals in moisture. Source: Giles Ashford

Congratulations to Beach 41st for your joyful commitment to stewardship, community and healthy food.

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