Locals To Beautify Beach 108 Street Mall
The Friends of the Beach 108 Street Mall, with the full support and cooperation of the New York City Parks Department, will be cleaning up, rejuvenating and beautifying the Beach 108 Mall on Saturday morning, May 15 from 9:30 a.m. till noon. The event’s coordinators invite all local bungalow residents, Surfsiders, homeowners and residents to join in.
Friends will be planting two 50-foot flowerbeds and sprucing up the signage on Beach 108 Street and the boulevard. Light refreshments – graciously donated by Boardwalk Bagels – to be available.
The Friends of B 108 was established last August in a sit-down meeting at Frank Gallagher’s Snug Harbor Restaurant, where LeRoy Temple, former Parks Manager for the Rockaways, laid out a beautification plan that has evolved over the last eight months. The Friends were awarded a $500 ‘Love Your Block’ grant from the Citizens Committee for NYC that goes towards out-of-pocket flower purchases.
Bungalow owner Kevin O’Rourke says, “For too long I looked out across my porch to the dumping on our Mall, and am very excited we are now revitalizing our common spaces to their former luster.” Pat and Vic Ritter and Maryann McEvoy, gardeners from Surfside say, “We love gardening and truly believe flowers and grasses will enrich the block, all our residents and hopefully our visitors, too!” Long-time Beach 109 Street homeowner Rosemary Sullivan Murphy says, “I am so happy to participate in something that will bring back the glory that was Rockaway, and now is Rockaway.” Jill Weber, Rockaways’ Administrator for the NYC Parks Department, comments, “Partnership is very important for us to assure longterm solutions, and so we’re delighted to partner with this new Friends group to clean up and restore B 108 as an important Rockaway gateway.”
The Love Your (NYC) Block Campaign is a partnership between NYC Service and Citizens Committee for New York City. The campaign provides each group with a $500 grant to cover project costs as well as direct links to services provided by city agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Sanitation and Parks and Recreation. Sixty neighborhood groups were selected to take part in the campaign. The city agencies working with these groups are providing support services such as graffiti removal, cleaning vacant lots, repairing damaged or missing street signage and streetlights, ticketing illegal dumping sites and replacing worn-out or missing litter baskets.
“Restore, improve and beautify,” explains Rob Endall, president of the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association. “These are the kinds of projects and collaborations that are essential for advancing Rockaway and building a better neighborhood.”