Transforming waterfront dumping ground into a picturesque park
Closed for more than a decade, Sunset Cove Park reopened in 2019 following the restoration of 4.5 acres of salt marsh and seven acres of maritime upland along Jamaica Bay, which aimed at enhancing public waterfront access, improving the wildlife habitat, and providing important storm protection to reduce wave and wind impact on the Broad Channel community.
New York City Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue joined local elected officials, community leaders, and representatives from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, last week, for a groundbreaking ceremony on phase two of the project.
“I am thrilled to break ground on the second phase of the Sunset Cove project, as we continue to revitalize a space that was for years inaccessible to the community,” Donoghue said. “This project strikes at the core of our work here at Parks, at the intersection of greenspace expansion, environmental resiliency, and fun educational amenities for the youth in our communities – we look forward to unveiling the new boardwalk and outdoor classroom in the near future!”
The $4.2 million phase two project includes the construction of a new boardwalk—made from reclaimed wood taken from the former Rockaway Beach boardwalk, which was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012—and a new outdoor classroom designed to help build the next generation of environmental leaders.
Partially funded through a New York Rising grant, the $4.2 million project has received additional support from Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, and former-Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder.
“Thanks to its unique location, Sunset Cove is well positioned to tell the story of how Jamaica Bay’s wetlands perform critical functions that safeguard our environment,” Richards said in a statement. “The kids who will walk this boardwalk and use this classroom will be able to learn about their surroundings in a way they couldn’t before, giving them a more thorough understanding of the environment and the threats posed to it. Hopefully, the lessons learned here will prompt our next generation of leaders to be more supportive of what needs to be done to protect our environment and our communities, which have been devastated time and time again by Sandy, Ida, and other severe weather events that have been exacerbated by climate change.”
Plans call for the construction of an eight-foot wide boardwalk adjacent to the newly restored wetland area and a covered outdoor classroom with interpretive elements, including inset seasonal sun position information and binoculars. Two new bioswales will also be built at the park entrance to help collect stormwater.