Sacred Place Directory

Landscapes of Resilience: Beach 41st Street Houses | Queens NY


The Landscapes of Resilience project suggests that green spaces can contribute to community resilience and can support recovery. Two Open Spaces Sacred Places were created: one in Joplin, MO, and one in Queens, NY.

Community park

38-20 Beach Channel Drive
Queens, NY 11691

The Sacred Place at Beach 41st Street Houses in New York is the only community garden within the Nature Sacred Network. It had been a vital part of the community for more than two decades when it was suddenly destroyed in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy struck and devastated much of Queens. The garden’s 30 plots were washed away by the storm surge. After the water receded, one year passed and then another; weeds thriving where residents had once cultivated vegetables and flowers.

Then in early 2015, change arrived. Supported by a National Nature Sacred Awards grant, the garden was restored and improved through an effort involving social scientists from the US Forest Service, researchers from Cornell University, community members and organizers, and landscape designers. Today, the plots are reclaimed and once again thriving. Added to the garden area: a pavilion and benches to further encourage community building as well as individual reflection.

As with all National Nature Sacred Awards projects, the Queens community garden has also doubled as a research site. Here, scientists observed and learned about how community engagement in greening efforts aids in social resilience following disaster.

  Articles & Research for this Sacred Place

Hurricane Healing Garden

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Disaster recovery and a nature fix

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A filmmaker’s perspective; Alden Stoner on Hurricane Healing Garden

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“Prioritizing Disaster Recovery Projects Through a Social Resilience Lens” — Route Fifty

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“Film documents rebirth of Queens garden” – Builder

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“5 years after Hurricane Sandy: One Queens community heals” – AccuWeather

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Short documentary film tells a different kind of Hurricane Sandy story

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In the wake of natural disasters, here’s what we need to do better

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How nature helped one Rockaway community recover following Hurricane Sandy

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There’s a blindspot in most post-disaster recovery efforts, and it may surprise you

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