Roy Wilkins Recreation Center

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Friends Group Hosts Celebration At Roy Wilkins Park

On April 1, approximately 200 people gathered at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens for a ‘Get Acquainted’ reception. It was designed to increase community awareness of all the wonderful resources that Roy Wilkins Park has to offer. The Friends of Roy Wilkins Park, a non-profit organization of park volunteers, sponsored this event. It was funded through a Partnerships for Parks capacity fund grant, and was co-sponsored by the Southern Queens Park Association and Parks & Recreation.

Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski attended the event as its keynote speaker. She said, "I really give credit to this group for all that they do. Not only do they host events such as these for the benefit of all the clubs and organizations that utilize this park, but they’re also right here every day ensuring a clean and safe environment for all park goers. I commend their dedication and commitment to New York City’s parks."

The Friends of Roy Wilkins Park formed in 2003 as a group of concerned and passionate park patrons. They decided to band together in order to beautify sections of Roy Wilkins Park and advocate on the Park’s behalf. Since its beginning, the group has planted and maintained two flower gardens, successfully advocated for the installation of Life Trail exercise equipment for the track, and hosted numerous clean-up days.

"This park really is the jewel of our community," said Yvonne Richardson, founder and President of the Friends of Roy Wilkins Park. "It’s really important that Queens residents be made aware of all the wonderful opportunities here at Roy Wilkins Park. That is why we decided to organize this event today."

The gymnasium of the Roy Wilkins Recreation Center was buzzing with activity as the sound of a jazz quartet entertained the crowd. Entertainment was also provided in the form of the Pepper Stepper double-dutch team from Sorrentino Recreation Center and a dance aerobics demonstration. Former City Council Member Archie Spigner attended to demonstrate his continued support for the Park. He was joined by a myriad of organizations including St. Albans Jamaica Little League, Southern Queens Camera Club, John Hancock, Rosedale Martial Arts, AARP, Ford Creative Counseling Services, Fruta Vida International, DEP, Women’s Sports Foundation, St. Albans Kiwanis Club, the Roy Wilkins Cricket Club, and the Cub Scouts.

This site is named in honor of civil rights leader Roy Wilkins (1901-1981). Born in Missouri and raised in Minnesota, Wilkins grew up with an interest in journalism and civil rights. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Wilkins worked for The Kansas City Call, a weekly newspaper dedicated to African-American issues. In 1931, he began his career with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Wilkins rose to the position of NAACP President and was its guiding force from 1955 to 1977. As president, he worked tirelessly to promote voter rights legislation, fair housing laws, and equity in wages. During his tenure he received the Spingard Medal, the highest award given by the NAACP.

Partnerships for Parks is proud to work with groups such as the Friends of Roy Wilkins Park to build working relationships between the community and Parks & Recreation. Partnerships such as these are success stories that ensure the vitality of our city’s Parks.

Written by Laura Prussin


"What matters is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it's the size of the fight in the dog."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

(1890 – 1969)

Directions to Roy Wilkins Recreation Center

  • Eastern Wheelchair Basketball Conference Games I
  • Eastern Wheelchair Basketball Conference Games III
  • Eastern Wheelchair Basketball Conference Games II
  • Roy Wilkins Recreation Center
  • Roy Wilkins Recreation Center
  • African-American Hall of Fame at Roy Wilkins

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