My mental health has been getting the best of me recently. I’ve been in a very dark and depressive state. I’ve been easily triggered by reflections of the painful experiences I endured throughout the course of 2021 as well as my distant past.
I took a much needed trip to the beach as a form of ecotherapy. Absorbing the calmness of the water, the soft sound of the waves enveloping the shore was extremely therapeutic for me. Watching the seagulls glide along the water’s surface with such ease gave me a feeling of freedom. I felt as though the mental prison I was locked in, I was slowly becoming free from.
We sat on a bench for a bit taking in the crisp winter air and the fresh smell of salt water. After that, we took a short hike and discovered a place that’s been sitting at our fingertips for many years. My family came to this country when I was 1. I’ve lived in the Bronx all my time in this Country. I’ve gone to Orchard Beach hundreds of times. I never heard of or been to Twin Islands. What we discovered is right around the corner, yet a world away.
According to records, Twin Islands is a 19 acre salt marsh at the northern point of Orchard Beach. It is one of New York City’s last remaining salt marshes. Salt marshes are an extremely valuable natural resource for New York City as it acts as a natural filtration system preventing contaminants from our septic and sewer systems from harming our bays and oceans. The salt marsh reduces erosion, and provide for rich wildlife habitats.
Records also show that Twin Islands was once inhabited by an indigenous American tribe. The Siwanoy Tribe performed regular spiritual ceremonies on the island during their occupation. They were fishers and hunters. The island is now home to a wide variety of animal and plant life. I recommend you visit Twin Islands. I strongly suggest you visit during low tide as some of the trail will become inaccessible during high tide.