Updated 01/30/2013 01:53 PM
S.I. Parklands Grow Back From Sandy
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The Snug Harbor cultural center and botanical garden on Staten Island's north shore will soon reopen for the first time since Hurricane Sandy.
The campus has been closed since the storm caused widespread damage, costing about $300,000.
The area lost about 60 trees in the storm and hundreds of branches were scattered all over the property that's popular with runners and local dog owners.
A newly restored boating dock was completely ruined and there was also structural damage to several buildings.
"This was part of people's normal routine and so much of Staten Island just wants to go back to a normal routine so we hear from the public you know, 'When are you opening?' 'How long?'," said Snug Harbor President and CEO Lynn Kelly.
Organizers are hoping to have it fixed by the spring, but say the project will likely span several years.
"We had a lot of hangers, which is a lot of branches hanging in the trees. So that was a lot of dangerous conditions. Some of the trees had actually snapped and we had to take them up. We had a few down in the wetland that were completely blown over. There were three large willows and a black locust and some other trees down there," said Snug Harbor Horticulture Director Gregory Lord.
"It affected all of us in many different ways and we're sensitive to that on the same token this is a site that's been around since 1801 and it needs to be here for the community and the city of New York so we have no choice but to look forward and rebuild," Kelly said.
Much of the cleanup work has been done by volunteers. For information on how to join the effort or to make a donation, visit snugharbor.org.