Our Gardening Angel Remembered


Time and construction had taken its toll on Pat Brackley Park, located on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 123rd Street.

The park is named for Patricia Brackley, a courageous lady who, in the 1950s, brought to Rockaway, the idea of garden clubs and the awareness of the importance of "green." She served as president of the Shore Garden Club and vice-president of the Second District of the Garden Clubs of New York State. Brackley died in 1999 after a long battle with cancer. The park is a tribute to her and is enjoyed by many.

On Friday, September 18, Brackley’s family, members of the Belle Harbor Garden Club and others joined at the park to continue to honor its namesake.

Through the years, the park has been under the watchful eyes of Pat's husband, Al Brackley; son, Patrick and his wife, Sonia, and their three children. Patrick spoke at the gathering on Friday of how he remembered going there as a child with the family and helping to assist Pat to fulfill her dream.

The Belle Harbor Garden Club stepped in with President Peggy De Matteis and Nadia Murphy to bring the park back to the park it once was.

During Friday’s ceremony, a beautiful Crepe Myrtle was planted. Pat's three grandchildren symbolically put the last shovels of soil to the planting.

The gathering became a well-attended, lovely celebration of Pat's life. There was a blessing by Deacon Armand D'Accordo and music by Dorothy Wagner.