This week, we celebrate two sure signs that summer is on its way: our spring It’s My Park Day and the annual beach openings.
It’s My Park Day
On Saturday, May 19, New Yorkers rolled up their sleeves and dug in to make their neighborhood parks shine as part of It’s My Park Day. Parks and Partnerships for Parks, along with dozens of community groups and volunteers citywide, came together for Parks’ largest volunteer day.
It’s My Park Day is a semiannual event sponsored by Partnerships for Parks, a joint program of the City Parks Foundation and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. More than 6,700 volunteers from nearly 200 community organizations and agencies contributed their time to improve and to celebrate New York City’s parks. This spring, volunteers completed 170 projects in over 150 locations across the city, working to clean, paint, weed and plant, as well as enjoy free fitness activities, arts & cultural events, and games.
At Soundview Park in the Bronx, volunteers spruced up the park by cleaning, planting and taking care of trees throughout the park. At South Oxford Park in Brooklyn, volunteers cleaned and painted, and local community members read stories to children. At Mathews-Palmer Playground in Manhattan, volunteers worked on a retaining wall. At Astoria Park in Queens, volunteers cleaned up and painted benches. And at Tappen Park on Staten Island, volunteers cleaned, raked and planted in garden areas and throughout the park. Additionally, at Kissena Park Corridor Park, our staff at GreenThumb led a flower planting to prepare for the construction of the park’s Meditation Garden.
I’d like to thank all the staff and community members who came out to make this another successful volunteer day. Mark your calendars for October 20, when we will hold our fall It’s My Park Day.
This past Saturday, our eight beaches were opened to the public, and we saw extremely high attendance throughout the weekend, with over 1.4 million visitors to our beaches on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. This number is a huge increase over last year’s total of 475,000 visitors during opening weekend, due at least in part to the high temperatures and the Memorial Day holiday. On Monday (Memorial Day), over 1 million people visited our beaches, with over 775,000 of them heading to Coney Island.
Our City beaches span a total of 14 miles and include Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Midland Beach, South Beach, Wolfe’s Pond Beach, and Cedar Grove on Staten Island. All City beaches are free to the public.
Ana Portela, Public Outreach Associate for GreenThumb, played a huge role in organizing GreenThumb’s It’s My Park Day work at Kissena Corridor Park. Ana started out as a JTP and was so successful at her job that her supervisors fought to retain her after her time was over as a JTP. Ana now serves as GreenThumb’s Public Outreach Associate and helps everyone out whenever they have extra activities that need to be attended, whether they fall during regular hours, weekends or evening hours. Ana has a passion for the arts and loves mingling with GreenThumb’s gardeners and partners.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
(1757 – 1827)