Looking Bay-utiful!

 Looking Bay-utiful!

By Katie McFadden and Dan Guarino

On Saturday, April 27, real estate agent Maureen Walsh, Councilwoman Joann Ariola’s office, NYC Parks and a bunch of local volunteers came out to paint a portion of the bay wall in Rockaway Park.

“Councilwoman Ariola and Parks sponsored the event and we had about 30 volunteers, mostly people who live on the Bay blocks,” Maureen Walsh said. “The event was Rockaway taking care of Rockaway.”

Despite a minor hiccup, everyone was able to pull together to make the painting day from Beach 117th to Beach 123rd a success. “Councilwoman Ariola and Margaret Powers were the heroes of the day- they got additional paint from Parks and Home Depot for us to complete the job!” Walsh said. “I can’t get over how great the wall looks!”

Volunteers of all ages came out to paint the wall as blue as the sky. One-year-old Sienna didn’t have much to say, but she was eager to pick up a paint roller alongside her parents, including her dad who came to join in right after his FDNY overnight shift. Rockaway Times writer and photographer, Dan Guarino, took some time between taking photos to pitch in with painting.

“It was a beautiful day to be out enjoying the fresh air, the bay and the breezes, working alongside people and making Rockaway even more beautiful. It was great to be a part of this,” Guarino said. “Maureen is a great organizer. And as she says, this is an example of ‘Rockaway taking care of Rockaway!’”

Guarino recalls the last time the bay wall was painted more than 13 years ago. “A number of community groups were involved,” he said. “Local artist Geoff Rawling mapped out and supervised the design and painting. That was pre-Sandy. People painted in waves, and they made stencils so kids could paint in fish all along the way.

“Then Hurricane Sandy came through, and really beat it up. Plus over time, the sun, the wind, weather, sea air, has faded a lot of it away. But I see where today some people painted around the original fish, so the original design can still live into the future with the new one! That’s exciting!”

 Photos by Dan Guarino and Maureen Walsh.

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