Volunteer, Astoria Park Alliance
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Connie Arroyo contributes to the Astoria Park Alliance by attending monthly meetings and helping out with activities including cleaning up the beach along Shore Boulevard and helping organize the Astoria Shore Fest. The Fest was started four years ago and takes place over three Sundays in August and includes live music, activities for kids and pets and lots of food.
“We take pride in the park and try to instill that in others,” Arroyo said.
PERSONAL: After growing up in the Bronx, Arroyo moved to Queens, where she raised her children. Now retired, she worked as a special education teacher for New York public schools.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Arroyo said all the feedback she gets from people who use the park is her favorite memory about working for the Alliance, particularly at unexpected moments at various places around her neighborhood.
“To be complimented about working at the park, that alone is so great,” she said.
INSPIRATION: Visiting the park itself provides Arroyo her biggest inspiration for continuing her service with the Alliance. She enjoyed going for walks there so much throughout her life that she looks at her volunteer work as a way to merit everything the park has to offer.
“I felt I had to give back to the community,” she said.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Arroyo said recent cutbacks in staff present the biggest challenge the Alliance faces. The fewer workers the organization has, the more trash builds up on the shore.
“We have to try to help them as much as we can,” Arroyo said, calling on anyone willing to volunteer for the Astoria Park Alliance.