Remembering a Flushing Burial Ground

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Grace Meng (left) and Council member Peter Koo (center) join community members in displaying the designs recognizing the Flushing burial ground. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed via QNS)

In November 2006, after a 10-year effort, activist Mandingo Tshaka reclaimed a Flushing burial ground that had been turned into a playground, and secured a plaque to commemorate the Native Americans and African Americans interred at the location in the 19th century. Nearly 12 years later, on Oct. 26, local officials joined the mayor in unveiling designs for a $1.6 million memorial to honor the 500 to 1,000 forgotten Americans, many of them children, buried on 46th Avenue between 164th and 165th streets.

Carlotta Mohamed reports for QNS:

There will be a commemorative plaza, reconstructed pathways to provide better circulation throughout the site, a wall honoring those buried with their names engraved, and an interpretative sign to provide historical information about the site.

A butterfly garden will be added with new benches and plantings to create an area of tranquility for all visitors, surrounded by cardinal directions written in a local Native American Language.

The proposed design, developed with the input of the Old Towne of Flushing Burial Ground, will be presented to the city’s Public Design Commission in November.

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