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Forest Park

DeVoy Playground

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

Located on Union Turnpike at 71st Avenue in Forest Park, this playground is named after Joseph E. DeVoy (1926-2000), an active member of the Forest Hills community. This playground’s interactive equipment resembles an old-fashioned tree house and is colored in earth tones to reflect the nearby forest. Originally known as Community Playground, the site was rededicated to DeVoy on November 20, 2000. 

Born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in 1926 and graduated from St. John’s University in 1948, DeVoy settled in Forest Hills where he and his wife raised a family. During the 1960s, DeVoy became a Cubmaster in Our Lady of Mercy Boy Scout Troop 349. He served as president of the Forest Hills Community and Civic Association from 1961 to 1997 and as the first chairman of Community Board 9, which became Community Board 6 in 1963. DeVoy co-founded the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps in 1971. He also functioned as the co-chairman of the Federation of Civic Councils of Queens County, president of the Central Queens Allied Council, secretary of the Central Queens Historical Society, and was a member of the Bell Atlantic Community Advisory Council.

As a community activist, DeVoy helped convert a neighborhood housing project into a co-op, allowing tenants to buy their apartments. He was president of the Remsen Park Coalition, and advocated the designation of Remsen Cemetery as a New York City historical landmark. He was also instrumental in securing funds for the completion of the North Forest Hills Branch of the Queens Borough Public Library during the City’s fiscal crisis. DeVoy worked as a manager in the Universal Terminal and Stevedoring Company, and upon retirement at the age of 65 he began to work with Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio. DeVoy died on January 7, 2000. 

This beloved playground is a fitting tribute to a dedicated community leader who serves as an inspiration to us all.

Directions to Forest Park

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