A Great Day For Dune Planting!

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As Rockaway has started to enjoy the warmer weather, many of its residents have begun the process of adding to the peninsula’s restoration and resiliency.

On Sunday, April 19, at Firehouse 59, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance along with partner organizations, Catalyst and Gibney Dance held a community volunteer day that culminated in what they described as a “celebration of caretaking of the land and water.”

Around 75 people attended the event. Children played kickball at the firehouse before they started. Then everyone enjoyed some light refreshments and storytelling, after which they walked over to the planting site at Beach 49th street.

The group planted shrubs and native grasses to create a natural protective buffer of dunes along the east end of the Rockaways.

“We have planted over 400 shrubs and trees down the shoreline already, said Sebastian Rahman, an intern with RWA. “We’re going to keep expanding!”

Choreographer/director Emily Johnson from Catalyst Dance was among the volunteers at the event.

In addition to joining with RWA to help strengthen Rockaway’s resiliency, she has created the SHORE dance performance, with the hope of uniting people through art and community involvement.

“(The performance) is a response to displacement, to feeling disconnected from place, people, ceremony, and tradition,” said Johnson. “The equal parts of SHORE place the emphasis on gathering and on each other and remind us of the possibilities, of the histories- known and unknown – embedded in each of us and in each place.”

SHORE began its run on April 23, and will end on April 25 at PS11, 320 W. 21st St., New York. For more information, visit catalystdance.com.

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