As ribbon-cutting ceremonies go, you couldn’t ask for a better setting than the one held Sept. 22 at the new $4.2 million waterfront recreation space at Sunset Cove along Jamaica Bay in Broad Channel.
NYC Parks announced it has completed the second phase of the project that created a new outdoor classroom and installed a boardwalk that was partially constructed with wood from the old Rockaway Boardwalk that was obliterated during Superstorm Sandy nearly 11 years ago.
“This use of reclaimed Rockaway Boardwalk wood in the construction of this wonderful recreation space at Sunset Cove is symbolic of Broad Channel’s remarkable recovery from Hurricane Sandy and of the fact this neighborhood and all of Queens are being built back better than they ever were before,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Thanks to this project, residents and visitors will be able to easily enjoy the beautiful Sunset Cove wetland area and all of its spectacular sunsets. I’m very proud the Queens Borough President’s Office joined our partners in government in funding this critically important project.”
Phase one of the project, previously completed in June 2019, restored 4.5 acres of salt marsh and 7 acres of maritime upland in the park to improve habitat, enhance public waterfront access and reduce wave and wind impacts during storms.
“It’s great to see this space be revitalized and turned into a true asset for the community,” Councilwoman Joann Ariola said. “This is an amazing project that will bring enormous benefits to Broad Channel for years to come.”
The recently completed second phase of the project has constructed an 8-foot-wide boardwalk adjacent to the newly restored wetlands at Sunset Cove Park, and leads to a covered outdoor classroom that has interpretive elements, including inset seasonal sun position information and binoculars. A new bioswale has also been built at the park entrance to collect stormwater.
The $4.2 million phase two project was funded through a New York Rising grant, with additional support from the Office of the Queens Borough President, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., and then-Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder, with continued support from Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato.
“Sunset Cove is magnificent! This revitalization is what happens when community partners come together,” Pheffer Amato said. “Thank you to NYC Parks’s Elizabeth Jordan and Broad Channel’s own Dan Mundry Jr. The new Sunset Cove brings this neighborhood to a whole new level and I can’t wait to see the benefits the boardwalk and outdoor classroom bring to our community.”
The recently released Mayor’s Management Report shows that the administration’s focus on public safety, public space, and people continues to pay off. In FY23, NYC Parks completed 141 capital projects, exceeding the target of 125, with 88 percent of project construction completed on time or early and 91 percent within budget, also surpassing targets.
“I am beyond thrilled to complete the second phase of the Sunset Cove project, completely revitalizing a space that was for years inaccessible to the community,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said. “With restored natural areas, a new boardwalk and an outdoor classroom for the children of this community to explore the natural world, this project truly strikes to the core of our work at Parks, which is to further enrich the lives of New Yorkers through environmental stewardship.”