The Daily Plant : Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Springfield Sensational Summer Night
On a hot and sultry summer evening, approximately 800 residents from Springfield Gardens, Queens joined Parks and Power 105.1 FM for a cool treat. After weeks of preparation, on August 2, Parks & Recreation along with Partnerships for Parks threw a remarkable “sensational summer” party in a park that usually does not see as much activity. Springfield Park’s Sensational Summer Night brought music, performances and activities into the community to help revitalize and enliven this neighborhood park. A multitude of Parks divisions and community groups were on hand to demonstrate the wide array of resources that Parks can provide and offer opportunities to get involved.
Power 105.1 FM hosted and co-sponsored the event, offering music and a lively spirit. Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, City Council Member James Sanders, Jr. and Assistant Commissioner for Community Relations Edward Lewis provided opening remarks, urging the community to visit the tents to take advantage of the games, sports, and interactive activities. The performances and raffle drawings then commenced and continued throughout the evening. Performances featured local entertainment, including the Pepper Steppers, Queens Finest Hip Hop Dance Group, Whitfield Karate Kids, Cameron Dance School, and the Lady Rockets Stepping Team.
The intent of this event was not only to provide a fun, free, and family-oriented event for the community of Springfield Gardens, but also to bring together all the divisions that make Parks such a valuable resource for residents. In attendance were Horticulture, Forestry, Marinas, Green Apple Corps, Fleet Operations, Partnerships for Parks, Adopt-a-Park, Urban Park Rangers, and City Parks Foundation. Each division offered information on programming in the area and around the borough. The Rangers hosted a very popular canoeing outing in beautiful Springfield Lake and City Parks Foundation offered free putting lessons to promote their golf program in nearby Baisley Pond Park and other sports programs in Queens. The Friends of Springfield Park, an active volunteer organization dedicated to the beautification of Springfield Park, recruited many interested members and the Eastern Queens Alliance had the opportunity to showcase their nature center in the Springfield Park house.
Kids could also explore the FDNY’s smokehouse for safety education and Recreation provided face painting, arts and crafts, and games. The event was extremely well received by the community, drawing emotional tears from one woman who said, “I am so happy that my son was able to experience the joy of a canoe ride right in our backyard.” Ms. Hawkins, a senior that lives in the area said, “It is just wonderful to learn all of the resources that Parks has to offer. This is what this community needs. We are thankful to Parks for having this in our local park.”
Hopefully the success of Springfield Park’s Sensational Summer Night will lead to the continuation of these events in Springfield Park and surrounding parks in Southeast Queens. A special thank you goes out to all the above divisions who came together with the common interest of hosting a positive event for the community of Springfield Gardens.
Written by Laura Prussin & Susan Friedman
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
(1895 – 1948)