project leader
Catherine M
183 B96th St.
Queens (Rockaway Beach )
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the project

smallwater is a grassroots disaster relief initiative based in the Rockaways. Formed by first responders in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the initiative is led by Rockaway residents who are deeply invested in rebuilding a sustainable Rockaway community. smallwater served as a pivotal disaster relief center in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, providing services, supplies, and to coordinating action.

As the needs in Rockaway have shifted, smallwater has moved to provide long-term services by transforming the relief center into an active community center. Services at the center have included a weekly farmer's market, beach clean-ups, yoga, and educational events. Currently, the programs at the Center are acupuncture, Arts in Parts art education, EMDR, and cooking classes. The Center is now initiating a transformation of its outdoor space from a vacant lot to a garden including apple trees, vegetable plant boxes, and a chicken coop. The Garden will provide a space where local vendors and community members can host events, gatherings, and workshops.

We need your help to transform our vacant lot into the educational Garden and multi-use space that we imagine.

the steps

The Garden will take a lot of helping hands and funding to get off the ground. Steps for establishing the Garden include: 

  • Building planter boxes
  • Planting trees and shrubs
  • Building a structure to hold garbage and recycling
  • Building benches for community gatherings and films 
  • Outdoor mural painting
  • Constructing a fence

A volunteer event on June 23rd will mark the kickoff of the Garden rebuild. Projects at the event will include: building planter boxes, planting trees and shrubs, building a structure for garbage, constructing benches, and painting a mural.

Following the kickoff, we will continue the work on the garden with the long-term steps. Plans currently include enclosing the space with a fence and gate and a permanent terrain solution for the remainder of the yard.

why we're doing it

Rockaway lacks gathering places for kids and adults. In addition, there is limited access to produce and neighborhood gardens. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, now more than ever, the community needs a space for residents to gather, engage, and express ideas. The smallwater Garden will provide a solution to both of these challenges: an outdoor space and a supply of fresh local food. The Garden will also serve to open a conversation about building a stronger and more sustainable Rockaway.



Soil - for planting boxes, plants for smallwater, the kids potting station, apple tree and shrubs
Seeds or starters for planter boxes, plants for small water, and  kids potting station 
Saw - circular saw 
Artist tape - 3 rolls 
Primer - 3 gallons 
Pots - 10
Plants - 10 
Shrubs - 6 to 8
Grass or grass alternative for permanent terrain
June 23 overall day needs:
  • projector/screen
  • port-o-potty 
  • water station 
  • (3) Tables


SUBTOTAL = $5,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $150



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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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