NYC Parks and the NY/NJ Super Bowl Committee joined forces and spearheaded the effort that brings a new forest to a nearly forgotten spot of land between the Edgemere Houses and Jamaica Bay.
The park, officially called the Rockaway Community Park, is now home to the “largest single-site tree planting event in MillionTreesNYC history,” according to Parks Commissioner Veronica White. “These new trees will provide an important buffer to the adjacent Rockaway community by protecting against wind and rain and will help to catch storm water runoff and prevent erosion.”
This spring, NYC Parks, in partnership with the National Park Service, launched the Jamaica Bay/Rockaway Parks Restoration Corps. Approximately 200 workers were hired to assist in clean-up, restoration and reconstruction of Jamaica Bay and Rockaway parks. Prior to, and in preparation for Saturday’s planting event, the Corps was able to remove weeds, invasive species, litter and debris.
According to the Parks Department, Rockaway Community Park is situated on 253 acres on Jamaica Bay in southern Queens. Rockaway Community Park offers a great opportunity for wildlife and nature lovers. Bird watchers can observe exotic birds in their natural habitat, while fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines in the wide open watersheds.
With PlaNYC funding, NYC Parks has been working to restore coastal forest and maritime shrub-scrub habitat to the bayside of the Rockaway peninsula since 2009.
MillionTreesNYC, a cornerstone of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC vision to establish a healthier, more sustainable New York City, is a public-private partnership between the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project, through which one million trees will be planted and cared for throughout the five boroughs by 2015. As part of MillionTreesNYC is the reforesting of hundreds of acres of parkland into new, ecologically healthy, multi-story forests. New forests help expand canopy cover in New York City, increasing the myriad environmental benefits already provided by our urban forest. Since MillionTreesNYC was launched in October 2007, the initiative is two years ahead of schedule, with 796,732 trees planted as of Saturday’s planting.