Beach 108 Residents Beautify Median
Parks Day 2010 was a huge success here in the Rockaways. On Beach 108 Street locals from the bungalows and the towers reclaimed the Beach 108 Mall by planting 1,000 square feet of flowering, colorful gardens with five varieties of flowers and two varieties of grasses. Also assisting were four young volunteers from Beach 110’s St. John’s Home for Boys.
“We are thrilled,” said Parks Manager Roy Tellason, “that the Friends of the Beach 108th Street Mall have chosen to plant these beautiful gardens on the mall. As one of seven volunteer projects on the peninsula today, it has helped make It’s My Park! Day a great success.”
Bungalow owners Bobby Zimmer and Peter McMahon explain, “In our B 108 bungalow courts we keep a festive and community-minded atmosphere: here today on our Mall we want to do likewise and share – in a way – Rockaway’s spirit with all our neighbors and friends and visitors.” Volunteer for the day Margie Schleske – from Beach 109 - says, “I worked the two young men from St. John’s Home very, VERY hard this morning. We dug 10 pits to plant Sea Oats Grass, we trimmed back the boxwood and then we planted two dozen flowers around the Rock Park signage, and I think the three of us did a heck of a rejuvenation!” Gardeners Maryann McEvoy and Pat Ritter outlined the plan. “A little color and a few ornamentals enrich life, we believe, and so we tried to balance coloration with Rockaway’s seashore. Let’s hope we can now keep the gardens bubbling with life through Labor Day.”
The Beach 108 Friends received generous and gracious support from many sources. From conception, Parks specialists Jill Weber (Administrator for the Rockaways), LeRoy Temple and Roy Tellason (former and current Rockaway Manager, respectively) supported and encouraged the undertaking. The Citizens Committee of NYC liked the idea and granted the group $500. ‘Grow-NYC’ and ‘Partnership for Parks’ discounted flower purchases and loaned gardening tools for the day. Boardwalk Bagels (across from the Mall) donated light refreshments for the day; the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce served as ‘Financial Sponsor’; Brother Tom (from St. John’s) was a great organizer; Walsh Properties and Re Brothers made valuable out-of-pocket donations Saturday; Brown’s Hardware discounted local purchases and Frank Gallagher (former proprietor of The Snug Harbor Restaurant) supported the friends from day one.
Maureen Walsh and Ed Re, both on the board of the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association, commented, “We view this effort as far more than a cleanup and beautification. We see it as an investment … a short-term investment in B 108 and a long-term investment in the Rockaways. As a civic we want to encourage these efforts and undertakings across Rockaway Park.”