Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Daffodils Help Cheer Up Queens Community Still Reeling From Sandy

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TWC News: Daffodils Help Cheer Up Queens Community Still Reeling From Sandy
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It's a brighter spring for some neighborhoods hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, thanks to a program that provides free daffodils for schools and community groups. NY1's Roger Clark field the following report.

Students at PS 47 in Broad Channel are enjoying flowers that recently bloomed in their school garden. The school is located near Jamaica Bay, and was left a mess by Hurricane Sandy, as were the homes of many of its students.

"My room was destroyed, my house was flooded, and everything was just broken," said Mary Malloy, a PS 47 student.

"Litter and debris on this lawn through this gate that you never would have imagined would have ever been able to get through and over the gate in the first place and everything was basically lost," said Rose Hannon, a PS 47 teacher.

PS 47 was one of the schools and community centers affected by Sandy that benefited from the New Yorkers For Parks Daffodil Project. The project was founded in 2001 as a living memorial to September 11th. Since then the organization has continued the effort and expanded its mission. Last fall it distributed more than 450,000 bulbs, which were planted in public spaces around the five boroughs.

"We feel very strongly that every corner of New York City should have this kind of beauty and these flowers are so simple but when you see them it really makes a difference and it makes a neighborhood feel like a neighborhood," said New Yorkers For Parks Community Outreach and Events Coordinator Emily Walker.

For kids at PS 47, the flowers are a welcome sight. It's one they helped make possible through hard work during the fall planting.

"It's just showing color now because when Superstorm Sandy came it was like all dirt," said Madison McLaughlin, a PS 47 student.

"Everything was really dull and now that we have actual plants and flowers around they look really nice compared to what it was after the storm," said Brandon O'Carroll, a PS 47 student.

"It makes me feel happy like the storm never even hit us," said Aidan Leary, a PS 47 student.

New Yorkers for Parks says it will continue the effort to beautify areas that are still trying to bounce back.

"I think the work of rebuilding and becoming more resilient is still ongoing for those communities so it's not something that we as an organization just want to leave behind," Walker said.

Registration for the fall planting season for the Daffodil Project begins in August.

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