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Press Releases

Monday, April 22, 2013
No. 28

Willow Lake Trail Renamed For Pat Dolan

Daniel Miller

On Sunday, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Administrator Janice Melnick joined Borough President Helen Marshall, Congress Member Grace Meng, Comptroller John Liu, State Senator Toby Stavisky, Assembly Members Michael Simanowitz and David Weprin, Council Member Karen Koslowitz, members of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy and local residents to rename the trail that runs around Willow Lake in honor of the late Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy president and founder, Pat Dolan. After the ceremony, Urban Park Rangers led a nature walk around the renamed trail.

“Pat Dolan was a passionate community leader and stalwart parks advocate,” said Flushing Meadows Corona Park Administrator Janice Melnick. “She was responsible for pushing forward many of the improvements that have been made to Willow and Meadow Lakes, so I am honored to have the opportunity to rename the Willow Lake trail in her memory.”

“Pat Dolan defined the words civic leader and parks advocate,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “She was tireless and relentless in her pursuit of all things that made her neighbors, community and borough better today and well prepared for a new generation. Today, we have the privilege of honoring her life and legacy with an honor that will sustain our memory of her for generations to come.”

A civic activist, Dolan was president and founder of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy, president of the Queens Civic Congress, and closely involved with many other Queens park groups. Among her achievements were advocating for Urban Park Ranger programs at Meadow and Willow Lakes, installing bird blinds at both lakes, and working toward the shoreline restoration of Meadow Lake, and installation of an osprey pole and nest at Willow Lake. Pat was also instrumental in providing crucial letters of support that bolstered Parks Department grant applications and was a tireless advocate for the funding of essential maintenance equipment.

The site of two twentieth century World's Fairs, Flushing Meadows Corona Park continues to draw millions of visitors every year. The largest park in Queens, it also contains the Meadow Lake, the City’s largest. Both Meadow and Willow Lakes were created from the Flushing River for the 1939 Fair.

In recent years, many improvements have been made to the Park’s ecosystem. In 2011, a new dock and renovated boathouse were opened on Meadow Lake. Last year, several projects restored the natural habitat and reconstructed pathways along the Meadow Lake’s perimeter.

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