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Grove of Healing in Seaside Nature Park (Great Kills)

 

Type of Memorial: Community Garden, Park, Wetland, Waterfront, Brownfield or Restoration

 

Address: Block 5303, Lot 70, Nelson Avenue

City: Great Kills

State: New York

Country: United States

 

Open to Public: Yes

 

Description:

Purpose: The site is to provide a facility for a 9-11 memorial to a local community. Turnaround Friends President Anthony Marraccini noted that there are 47,000 people living within a half-hour walking distance to the site and 470,000 people within a half-hour drive, for whom the trip up to the WTC site is to far.

Reason site was selected: The site was selected because Turnaround Friends has been involved with the Great Kills waterfront since they were formed in 1994. They have succeded so far in changing the degraded, former clamming location into a beautiful wildflower garden with many butterflies, birds, and human visitors. Turnaround Friends is a grassroots nonprofit of local residents that are dedicated to preserving the waterfront, with the official city park still being watered by Anthony Marraccini's garden hose that he used for his original squatter garden on the site. The extra 2-3 acres of land available further up Nelson Avenue is an overgrown area including a road right-of-way that the city has assured them will not be developed. They are happy to expand their waterfront site and to create a lasting memorial using the "aesthetic beauty of trees."

Events planned for site: Turnaround Friends is certain that the development of this site will continue to generate media attention and political interest, as they have had city councilmen and even the Governor come to speak at events of theirs before. This dedication, still a long ways off, should be similar. Also, volunteer prison work crews are sometimes brought in to do maintenance work. They anticipate that private, civic, religious, social, and educational groups will want to hold ongoing functions there in the future. In the long term, they hope to hold an arts festival and arts exhibit that emphasizes nature and waterfront ecologies. Currently, it is used by families, adults, kids, and teenagers alike, in a peaceful, interactive manner, for "land that is socially positive makes people behave."

Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?: The emphasis of the memorial portion "will be on trees and tranquility in contrast to the colorful wildflower garden. They will enter a sanctuary of trees that is also a home for birds and wildlife."

 

Contact: info@turnaroundfriends.org

Web Site: www.turnaroundfriends.org

 

 

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