Volunteers restore salt marshes of Alley Pond Park

Mina Kim
Photos courtesy of the Natural Areas Conservancy

A volunteer effort on Saturday organized by the Natural Areas Conservancy worked to restore the salt marsh of Alley Pond Park.

More than 30 people of all ages attended the event from all over the city and even Nassau County. An entire 20-foot dumpster was filled with debris after the first cleanup stage, primarily with lumber fallen during major storms.

After clearing out the targeted area, participants planted native grasses in the site, which has suffered severe damage from scattered debris and trash from storms such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Over 1,000 grass plants were transplanted into the ground as part of the revitalization effort.

The new vegetation was specially chosen because it can adapt to live in salt water and flooded conditions, and the area will provide a habitat for local wildlife and add recreational value to the community.

Alley Pond Park is the second largest park in Queens, and has varied natural features such as freshwater and saltwater wetlands, tidal flats, meadows and forests. It is named for The Alley, a commercial and manufacturing center which had been located there during the 18th century.

The Natural Areas Conservancy is an nonprofit organization that works with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to protect, restore and manage expansive natural areas already within the city’s urban park system.