St. Edmund’s RC Church
Breezy Point, Rockaway Peninsula, Queens, New York
Client: Frassati Fellowship
Responding to the devastating damage to homes and other structures in Breezy Point after Hurricane Sandy, the Frassati Fellowship of Catholic Young Adults utilized St. Edmund’s Church as their “base” for organizing volunteers in the first months after the storm. The following spring, they obtained an anonymous grant to restore the grounds of the centrally located St. Edmund’s Church, a project carried out under the leadership of key Breezy Point community members.
As in all other areas of Breezy Point, the church grounds had been inundated with salt water during the storm, killing the majority of the trees and other plantings on the site. A new salt-tolerant planting plan was clearly required. Working closely with Frassati Fellowship and Breezy Point representatives, Being Here Landscape Architecture designed predominantly native, salt-tolerant coastal plantings for St. Edmund’s and oversaw the clean-up and replanting of the grounds using a volunteer work force. Frassati and Being Here jointly coordinated multiple volunteer workdays in 2013 to remove dead plant material and debris and replant the grounds with the new plantings.
As was envisioned by Breezy Point leaders, the St. Edmund’s site, which functions as a “town center” for this part of the community, has provided inspiration at a time when Breezy Point is still recovering from the losses of the storm. Switchgrasses and dune grasses rustle in the breeze, and other tough native trees and plants are taking hold in the shifting sands of this challenging coastal location.