Tag Archives: Astoria Park Alliance

Star of Queens: Jules Corkery, co-chair of the Astoria Park Alliance

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

star of queens


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: Connie Arroyo

| MKirk@queenscourier.com


Connie Arroyo

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.