Tag Archives: Astoria Park

Christmas Tree Collection to Begin January 3


| brennison@queenscourier.com

After the presents have been unwrapped, the stockings unstuffed and the new year has passed, comes the time to take down the decorations and discard the Christmas tree.

Beginning Tuesday, January 3, the Department of Sanitation will collect the curbside Christmas trees that should be removed of tinsel, lights, ornaments and stands.  The program will run through Saturday, January 14.

The trees must not be placed into plastic bags.

The trees will be chipped and turned into compost and spread throughout the city in parks, ball fields and community gardens.  Compost is a natural fertilizer and is a soil enrichment that promotes the growth of plants and grass.

“The department is very pleased to offer this special recycling service.  Providing collection and recycling options for residents is environmentally valuable and benefits our neighborhoods,” said Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty.

The city’s Parks & Recreation Department will also hold a Mulchfest on Saturday, January 7 and Sunday, January 8.  Residents can bring their trees to one of the 70 designated locations around the city — 10 in Queens — for mulching.  New Yorkers who drop their tree off at the event will also be able to pick up free mulch.

For more information on Christmas tree collection and recycling and/or Mulchfest 2012, visit www.nyc.gov/sanitation or www.nyc.gov/parks or call 3-1-1.

Here is a list of Queens Mulchfest locations:

  • Astoria Park* (19th Street & Hoyt Avenue)
  • Brookville Park* (Brookville Boulevard between 144th Avenue & Caney Road)
  • Cunningham Park* (Visitor Parking Lot & 196th Street)
  • Forest Park Bandshell* (Forest Park Drive, west of Woodhaven Boulevard)
  • Juniper Valley Park* (80th Street between Juniper Boulevards North & South)
  • Kissena Park (Sunday Only*) (164th Street at Underhill Avenue)
  • Land Restoration Project Compound* (Queens Plaza South & 10th Street)
  • Rockaway Beach (Shore Front Parkway & Beach 94th Street)
  • Roy Wilkins Park (Park entrance at Merrick and Foch Boulevards)
  • Travers Park* (78th Street at 34th Avenue)

* Free mulch will be provided

Astoria pool set for rebirth


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

Elected officials are diving right in to a project to repurpose a long-neglected pool in Astoria Park.

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski announced plans to convert the dive pool at Astoria Park into an outdoor performance space, the first of its kind in the neighborhood.

“I’m especially proud to work with the Parks Department to turn what has become an eyesore into sorely-needed performance space,” said Vallone, who allocated $1 million for the project. “Some of the city’s brightest performers call Queens home, and they deserve one of the most beautiful locations in the city.  Nestled between the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges with a view of the East River and the skyline at sunset, it will evoke the theaters of ancient Greek and Rome and will be truly majestic.”

The project will include pouring concrete into the pool, removing debris and existing small diving boards, creating seating areas, installing flooring, a new perimeter concrete walkway and tent canopy shade at the bleachers, among other improvements. The pool’s three-level diving board will remain and be refurbished.

Construction is tentatively set to begin in 2012, with possible completion coming in 2013.

“Astoria Park has long been one of Queens’ flagship recreational facilities, with opportunities for swimming, running, tennis and even skateboarding,” said Lewandowski. “Thanks to Councilmember Vallone’s generous allocation, we are now ‘diving’ into a new area of use – public performance space. This long unused space will be transformed to bring music, theater and more to residents of Astoria and the borough of Queens.”

Vallone is also providing $2 million for renovations to the Astoria Park pool rooftop and terrace and hopes to see a café-type concession there one day. Since taking office, he was instrumental in conceiving and funding Astoria Park’s state-of-the-art skate park.

Taryn Sacramone, executive director for the Astoria Performing Arts Center, said that the stage – in the center of one of the city’s most beautiful parks – will make the performing arts more accessible to the community.

“It will draw people to Astoria and provide artists with a unique space to share their talents,” she said. “The location is absolutely inspired and the possibilities are endless. Astoria will be much richer for it.”

Walk honors D’Amico legacy


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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The late Gloria D’Amico always encouraged exercise and healthy living.

To honor her, residents of Queens gathered in Astoria Park on Saturday, September 17 for the sixth annual Honorable Gloria D’Amico Fun/Run/Walk.

The event, which was organized by the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, included a 3K run around Astoria Park for participants of all ages, a power walk for seniors, a quarter of a mile run for teens and a 50 yard dash for young children.

Other attractions were a tug-of-war, blueberry pie eating contest, face painting and bouncy castle. “Gloria D’Amico was a big supporter of the Queens community,” said Terry Hughes, the executive director of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens. “She was a board member of the Variety Club, and she wanted to have a day to celebrate health and families. We want to continue honoring her legacy by having this event.”
David Mercado and Denise Ryan were the men’s and women’s first place in the 3K run. Mercado also placed first for the men in the quarter mile sprint, with Guadalupe Roldan crossing the finish line first for the women. Gina Villevera finished first in the senior power walk.

D’Amico, former Queens County Clerk, passed away on December 21, 2010 after a battle with cancer. Her son, Leonard, presented the Variety Club with a $10,000 donation from the D’Amico family at the event’s closing ceremony.

“I think this event recognizes the commitment my mom had to the community,” said Leonard D’Amico.