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Rockaway Partnership Waterfront Tribute Park (Rockaway Park)

 

Type of Memorial: Park, Waterfront

 

Address: Block 16190, Lot 18 at corner of Beach 116th Street and Beach Channel Drive

City: Rockaway Park

State: New York

Country: United States

 

Open to Public: Yes

 

Description:

Purpose: According to Rockaway Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Sulik, the park is a place for renewal of spirit and healing. It is to be filled with trees, gardens, amenities, and the sound of children laughing. As a US Forest Service Living Memorial grantee, this project upholds the values of the restorative power of trees and nature, the importance of public access, and the need to remember September 11. Sulik envisions a "lively place," rather than one that is dark or somber. It is a place for the people to use, to enjoy nature, to create art--to move forward in the wake of tragedy.

Reason site was selected: This undeveloped and overgrown site is a small piece of parks land where Rockaway residents gathered on September 11 to view the WTC. In need of a beach reventment and redevelopment already, this use by the community gave the site new meaning. Moreover, the presence of the tide is significant for the memorial site. Sulik noted, "something about the ocean is so renewing. The tide goes in and out; life goes on." The community will gain both a meaningful memorial space and a useful beach-front park. The sunsets, waterfront, and bird life already beautify this site, which is just at the beginning of its development process.

Events planned for site: There will be a public September 11 groundbreaking with many dignitaries, survivors, family members, fire and police personnel. In the long term, there will be arts programming, wheelchair accessibility and a shaded seating structure, school and healing gardens with signage of various plant names, a canoe/kayak launch, a telescope for viewing wildlife and the Manhattan skyline, and much more.

Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?: Although Sulik called the site "an extraordinarily special place with God all over the place," she believes that "sacred" is not the appropriate word for this site, reserving that term for houses of worship. She noted that the park will have meaning for all that come to it, not just for people that suffered loss. It is to serve the whole community as a place to come and renew the spirit.

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Contact: rockawaychamber@aol.com

Web Site: www.rockawaychamberofcommerce.com

 

 

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