The students of the Louis Armstrong Middle School are “teaming up” to be green.
The school’s “Green Team,” which consists of students from grades five through eight, organized a beautification project aimed at renovating Veteran’s Plaza, the school’s park, located at 32-02 Junction Boulevard in East Elmhurst.
“Prior to our ‘adoption’ of Veteran’s Plaza, the park was filthy with constant vagrancy,” said Joshua Blum, a science teacher and sustainability coordinator at the middle school. “The New York City Parks Department’s budget is stretched thin and we had an army of extremely motivated young people who wanted to make a difference in their community. The park used to be messy, have chipped paint falling off benches and railings, few rose bushes and no flowers.”
The project, which consisted of two phases, one on June 8 and the second on October 21, included washing the park’s walkways, scraping gum from pavement stones, removing weeds, planting new grass, additional rose bushes and annual flowering bulbs and painting the perimeter railings, benches and flag pole,
The students received help during the restoration from community residents and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
“I am very proud of my students for taking part in this community project,” said Blum, who led the renovation. “They were very excited, and that feeling was spread to everyone who participated. We look forward to future opportunities to help our environment within our community.”
The students who participated in the cleanup experienced the dual delight of providing their schoolmates with a place to play and contributing to the betterment of their neighborhood.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to the community,” said Carter D., a seventh grader at Louis Armstrong. “Today I feel like I did that with this park project.”