BC Subway Station Garden Gets Much-Needed Facelift

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If you are entering or exiting the Broad Channel (BC) Subway Station, get ready for an eye-pleasing shock. On Friday, October 13, the Broad Channel Civic Association (BCCA) got their hands dirty, and joined the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC) and Councilman Erich Ulrich’s office in giving the Station’s community garden a much-needed cosmetic facelift.

According to Dan Mundy, Jr., BCCA president, community volunteers removed 22 bags of weeds and debris from a nearly 3,000 square foot garden space adjacent to the Station. A weed barrier cloth was installed to help limit future maintenance needs at the site and loads of woodchips were placed across the garden. Twelve native flowering plants and trees were planted including beach plumb, holly, gray birch and andropogon. Also, the group installed two signs at the site recognizing the work of the BCCA to maintain the garden in partnership with the JBRPC.

In 1990, BCCA ‘adopted’ the Station’s garden and received a grant to beautify it with plants and trees. However 12 years later, Hurricane Sandy decimated it. BC resident Barbara Toborg said, “Sandy wiped out all the tender loving care locals diligently gave to the garden in all those past years, transforming what once was beautiful into a garbage-littered eyesore. Then a few years later, the Metro Transit Authority (MTA) stepped in by building a wall and planting a nursery. However, we knew that we had to pitch in and revitalize the garden back to its glory days with our BC green touch.”

As documented in the book, Broad Channel (Images of America: New York) authored by Liz and Dan Guarino, “In 1880, the New York, Woodhaven and Rockaway Beach Railroad began service and BC became a stop in 1881. The new community's hub was the railroad station, the line having been taken over by the Long Island Rail Road. Then in the 1950s, after the LIRR trestle had been plagued by interruption of service over the years by fire and the havoc that ice in the bay worked on the miles of open trestle, the line was transformed into a subway line by the NYC Transit Authority. The BC Subway station is now a major destination and transfer point for commuters.

Mundy, Jr. said, “The garden’s transformation is amazing, making the entrance to our town’s train stop look really beautiful. It was great to see locals coming out to beautify our community.”

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