Restoring the Rockaways

Nestled along a residential stretch of Seagirt Boulevard in Far Rockaway, the Seagirt Boulevard Community Garden has been a green fixture in this Queens neighborhood for over two decades.

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A photograph of the space from 2009 reveals row after row of neatly planted greens, herbs and flowers — some held up toward the sun by wooden stakes and twine. An American flag stands tall alongside the garden’s center path, lined with stone grey bricks.

Over the years, the abundance at Seagirt has included kitchen staples like kale and potatoes, along with more unusual offerings of cat mint and bayberry. One volunteer plants a peanut crop.

Yet after Superstorm Sandy rolled through New York last fall — causing an estimated $19 billion in public and private losses in the city alone — little remained of the garden aside from its still-standing flagpole and wooden shade structure.

A now-faded line on the garden’s outlying fence serves as a reminder of the storm surge, which rose to over four feet at Seagirt.

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