BY ANTHONY O’REILLY
COMMUNITY SERVICE: In order to ensure that Astoria Park is maintained properly, Jules Corkery, co-chair of the Astoria Park Alliance, works with all city agencies, including the Parks Department, to ensure necessary services are carried out.
Expanding from south of the Triborough Bridge to north of the Hell Gate Bridge, the park is close to 60 acres. The Astoria Park Alliance is entirely made of volunteers and not only works to maintain the park, but works to hold activities there.
BACKGROUND: Corkery, originally from Maine, moved to Astoria in 2003 and immediately fell in love with the neighborhood. Aside from working with the Alliance, Corkery enjoys bird watching and gardening.
INSPIRATION: Corkery’s love of the park stemmed from her bird watching hobby. The park is home to a variety of birds, including red-tailed hawks. When Corkery spotted the animals, she became inspired to make sure that the park was safe for them.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Corkery says she looks forward every year to the local Girl Scout Troop #4301 helping out on “NY Cares Day,” held on April 20.
“It’s always great to see them come out and take part in the day,” she noted.
Corkery said the tradition will continue this year and is anticipating working with the local troop.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: For Corkery, reaching a diversity of volunteers is the most difficult challenge for the Alliance.
“How do we overcome the language and cultural barrier? We live in Queens, which is one of the most diverse boroughs.”
The Astoria Park Alliance creates activities such as arts and crafts to get different people involved and is constantly coming up with new techniques.
- Star of Queens: Paul Di Benedetto, president, Bayside Historical Society
- Star of Queens: Yolanda Delacruz Gallagher, 25th District Leader and community activist
- Star of Queens: Lauren Laurelli, student volunteer