Tag Archives: Andrews Grove Playground

LIC’s Shady Park reopens following Sandy repairs

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

The first phase of restoring the beloved “Shady Park” back to its former glory has been completed.

The Parks Department began repairs in June at Andrews Grove, located on 49th Avenue between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard in LIC, after the park was left with significant damage from Sandy.

Play equipment, safety surfaces and fencing was damaged and eight of the park’s signature tall trees were felled. After that, only a small part of the park was accessible to residents.

After more than two months of working to restore the 2.3-acre park to its original state, local elected officials, Parks Department officials and community members gathered on Friday to cut the ribbon reopening the green space.

“I am proud to open the newly restored Andrews Grove, a park that has long been embraced by the Long Island City community for its lofty trees and colorful playground,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski.

The fixes to the park came through more than $90,000 in city funding and included removing all damaged items, repairs to the playground equipment, new safety surfaces, benches, concrete and asphalt work.

The next phase of bringing “Shady Park” fully back is the planting of eight new trees where the old ones once stood.

Working together with the Friends of Shady Park — a group of neighbors advocating for the repair of Andrews Grove Playground – Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer was able to secure $10,000 in private funding from jetBlue and Warner Bros. to help bring back the trees lost during the storm.

“The reopening of one of Long Island City’s most popular parks marks an enormous day in our city’s efforts to fully recover after Sandy,” said Van Bramer. “This is part of the city’s recovery, this is part of Long Island City’s recovery and when we plant those trees in the fall, it’s going to be another very beautiful day.”

Sheila Lewandowski, founder of Friends of Shady Park, selected the new trees that will be planted in November.

“Within an hour after the construction equipment was cleared the swings were filled with smiling children,” said Lewandowski. “I knew the park was re-opened when the sound of many more children laughing echoed down the block. Now we can heal. Next we replant.”





Long Island City park secures funding for Sandy repairs

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Paul

A beloved Long Island City park, nicknamed “Shady Park” for its signature tall trees, will finally regain some of the shade Sandy took away.

Working together with the Friends of Shady Park — a group of neighbors advocating for the repair of Andrews Grove Playground – Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer’s office has secured $10,000 in private funding from JetBlue and Warner Bros. to help restore the 2.3-acre park to its original state.

Andrews Grove, located on 49th Avenue between Fifth Street and Vernon Boulevard, received significant damage to its play equipment, safety surfaces, fencing and immense trees from Sandy.

Sheila Lewandowski, co-founder of Friends of Shady Park, recalled being heartbroken as she looked out of her window and saw trees fall one by one during the storm. She started Friends of Shady Park with Caroline Paul the day after.

“Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer’s efforts and his success in securing the funds to restore Shady Park is like healing our hearts. We can’t wait to help replant the first tree,” said Lewandowski.

The park reopened in December, yet a damaged section remains closed for repairs.

“It’s a changing community, and this park was one of the gems that continues to bring all generations together,” said

Lewandowski. “It’s something very special about it that crosses generations, and it appeals to people whether they’ve lived here for 60 years or they just moved in.”

Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates