Snug Harbor’s wetlands and healing garden have been closed since October, when the storm took down about 10 large trees and caused $300,000 worth of damage, said Lynn Kelly, Snug Harbor's CEO.
“We’re talking 80-year-old-plus trees, completely get uprooted and fell down and took down everything else in their path,” she said.
Volunteers and maintenance workers cleared out about 1,000 branches from the 12-acre site, along with debris from the Kill Van Kull.
"This was hard, hard work," Kelly said. "We're very happy that we had people to help us."
While Snug Harbor still has to repair its dock and stage equipment for outdoor shows, much of the park is now ready to reopen, Kelly said.
“I’m actually very proud of the fact that we opened as quickly as we did,” she said. “This is sooner than I would have expected.”
Kelly said residents like to walk their dogs and sit in the park, and the reopening on Thursday will help many in the community return to their pre-Sandy routines.
“People in Staten Island want to get back to normal,” Kelly said. “Allowing people in this garden is a step in the right direction.”