The Sweet Smell of Success - A Restoration Project by Bohemia Gardens

Ecological restoration is more than an action.  It’s a mindset.  You can’t simply fix the effect, you have to alter the cause.  That’s exactly what is happening in prominent Flushing Bay located near the former World’s Fair site in Queens, NY.  Flushing Bay was known more to its neighbors by its heinous stench than its ecological benefits, prompting New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection to make a change – a change that started with a $200 million dollar clean up to restore the wetlands of its beleaguered shores.  In addition to dredging the spoils of historical pollution created by two major sewer outfalls and industrial activity, the project includes upgrades to the sewer systems to redirect sewage and storm water runoff away from the bay and into water treatment plants during heavy rainfall occurrences.  At the heart of it all was the planting of over 100,000 salt water species to help filter the bay’s water as a way a natural functioning system should in a healthy ecosystem.  This type of work comes with great responsibility, which is all the better for Bohemia Garden Center, who has been specializing in projects like this for 30 years under the tutelage of president Donna Defede.  Donna, and her team, take the success of their project to heart, paying great attention to detail every step of the way.  This type of work ethic has led to numerous accolades, such as receiving the 2008-2009 NYSDOT Prime Contractor of the Year.   

When it came to providing the salt marsh plant material Donna trusted no one more than Pinelands Nursery. “The success of any construction project depends on working together as a team to bring it to completion, and to what the architect envisioned in their design.  A very important part of that team is our suppliers.  Pinelands is the best, and that is well known throughout the industry and why we have worked together for over 20 years,” said Defede, reflecting on their relationship. “Pinelands will work with you every step of the way in getting their quality plant material grown, accepted and delivered to the job site in the time frame given.  Any questions you have about that plant – Pinelands knows the answer and is always willing to help in any way they can to make that project a success.”  Already, this project is being considered a success.  According to the DEP’s project manager, Shrinivasen Sewgobind, “Some species are coming back…horseshoe crabs, turtles, and birds we’ve never seen.”  Along with the wildlife, the residents have enjoyed the bay’s rebirth as well.  The smell of sweet success far exceeds the smell of failure.  Just ask any longtime Flushing resident.

Written by Fran Chismar
Sultan of Sales
Pinelands Nursery