Sprucing Up 116th


 The peninsula-wide cleanup has gotten a head start—on Beach 116th Street. On Wednesday, April 21, more than 20 planters along Rockaway Park’s shopping corridor were spruced up ahead of Saturday’s full cleanup.

“They look so good,” Liz Hanna, who has been spearheading the effort to fix the planters along Beach 116th Street said. “It’s a game changer when you turn down the block and see it.”

On Wednesday morning, crews from Lisena Garden Center were hard at work cleaning out the garbage-filled planters and planting Alberta Spruce Evergreens in each one, bringing some life and color back to the block. They planted 23 of the small trees in planters on Beach 116th Street and another nine will be fixed up along Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

The planting was made possible by $500 donations from Rockaway WISH, the Graybeards and Maureen Walsh and $2,000 raised through fundraising efforts spearheaded by Hanna. Letters will also be sent out to local businesses on the block to help fundraise for solar lights and maintenance of the planters.

This planting comes ahead of the peninsula-wide community cleanup set for this Saturday, April 24, which will include Beach 116th Street. Hanna hopes that the fixed up planters will provide some inspiration ahead of Saturday’s event. “We wanted to do this ahead of the cleanup to show what can be done,” Hanna said. “Hopefully it will put a little pep in everybody’s step and add a little brightness.”

And this is just the beginning. Hanna says in the coming weeks, there will be a community planting day in which volunteers will be able to plant some colorful additions around the spruce evergreens. “We’re going to have a day where we put the pretty stuff around them—annuals, perennials—so there will be a splash of color during the season,” Hanna said. Details will be announced at a later time.

For those interested in volunteering for Saturday’s cleanup, email Christine James at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see which locations are in need of volunteers.

By Katie McFadden


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