Tag Archives: Fort Totten

Parks Department postpones decade-long Whitestone project


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Parks Department

The completion of Little Bay Park’s comfort station is being postponed yet again, officials said.

The Parks Department said the most recent delay was due to a harsh winter and an unusually high amount of soil that had to be removed from the construction site.

The new deadline for completion is set for next spring and, once finished, it will end a project that has sputtered along for a decade.

State Sen. Tony Avella and former U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman secured millions of dollars in 2004 to install bathrooms and expand the parking lot.

As of now, visitors to the park and Fort Totten must use portable toilets.

The department finally broke ground last year and announced that the whole project would be finished this fall.

But that deadline is going to be missed, according to a spokesman for the Parks Department.

While the bathrooms won’t be completed until next year, the Parks Department plans to complete a 100-space parking lot and install bioswales to absorb stormwater runoff this fall.

The current budget for everything is $6.659 million, a higher amount than Avella and Ackerman collected in 2004.

As construction continues, the majority of the park, which is named after the bay it faces, is fenced off.

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Structures at Fort Totten set for renovation


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

Upgrades are coming for buildings at the historic Fort Totten Park.

The Commanding Officer’s House and the chapel at Fort Totten are set to be revitalized, according to the Parks Department, which oversees both structures and announced Aug. 8 that it is accepting bids for a contractor to do the work.

The deteriorating roof on the Commanding Officer’s House, which is used as administrative offices for the Parks Department, will be replaced with new slate shingles, and the building’s columns and cornices will be restored to their former glory.

Also, the capitals atop the columns will be replaced with ones from the building’s original design, and the metal balcony on the second floor will be repaired.

The chapel, which hosts weddings and other catered events and is used by a Korean church, will also get new shingles for its roof and steeple. And new gutters and leaders will be installed on the roof. The project will also repair, replace and paint exterior woodwork.

Fort Totten was originally built during the Civil War, and was named in honor of Gen. Joseph Totten, who died during the war.

Many people go to Fort Totten, now a park, to swim in the pool, play on the baseball field and view the historical structures.

 

 

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Beat the heat at free outdoor pools in Queens this summer


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of nycgovparks.org

Instead of sitting in air conditioning, try cooling off in one of the borough’s free outdoor pools starting Friday, June 27. All locations are open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (with a break for cleaning between 3 and 4 p.m). The season ends September 1.

Astoria Park
19th Street and 23rd Drive
Olympic-sized Pool

Fisher Pool
99th Street and 32nd Avenue
Outdoor Intermediate Pool, Outdoor Wading Pool

Fort Totten
338 Story Avenue
Outdoor Intermediate Pool, Outdoor Wading Pool, Outdoor Diving Pool

Liberty Park Pool
173rd Street and 106th Avenue
Outdoor Intermediate Pool, Outdoor Wading Pool

Marie Curie Park
211th Street and 46th Avenue
Outdoor Mini Pool

P.S. 10
45th Street and 30th Road
Outdoor Mini Pool

P.S. 186 Playground
Little Neck Parkway & 72nd Avenue
Outdoor Mini Pool

Windmuller Park
54th Street and 39th Road
Outdoor Mini Pool

 

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Queens native explores borough in new children’s book


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Illustrations © Rick Sanders

Demetra Tsavaris-Lecourezos is taking young readers on a journey around the world with the first magical stop in Queens.

Tsavaris-Lecourezos, who was born in Jackson Heights and raised in Woodside, is the author of a new children’s book and series titled “Young World Travelers and the Magical Crystal Globe,” where a group of kids from Florida are transported to any time period they want, wherever they want.

The first book of the series debuted Sunday at the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival. It takes these young world travelers back in time to experience the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, the Queens County Farm, before it was a museum, and a Civil War fort in Fort Totten.

“You pick up books in the bookstore and you are learning about the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, but never about the structures in Queens,” Tsavaris-Lecourezos said.

The concept of the “Young World Travelers” series began nine years ago when Tsavaris-Lecourezos gave birth to her daughter Katerina, the year after marrying her high school sweetheart. Together with her husband, Constantinos (Gus) P. Lecourezos she began to come up an initial concept of writing a movie script that would be educational for children and revolve around traveling to Greece.

After realizing the large costs that involved turning the script into a film, Tsavaris-Lecourezos decided to create a children’s book. She wrote four books in total with the characters traveling to places in Egypt, England, Greece and New York.

In 2009, her husband passed away and Tsavaris-Lecourezos moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida with her daughter.

At the end of last year a friend suggested she take her concept to a publisher and when Tsavaris-Lecourezos approached publisher thewordverve inc. her ideas were accepted.

“It was all falling into place, I had no idea,” she said. “I’m rolling with it and I’m really excited.”

The “Young World Travelers” series is dedicated to Tsavaris-Lecourezos’ husband and mother. In the book the children receive a magical crystal globe, which allows them to time travel, from Mrs. Eva, who was named and inspired by Tsavaris-Lecourezos’ mother.

The 43-page book’s illustrator Rick Sanders is also a Queens native. Though Tsavaris-Lecourezos and him first met through thewordverve, they were coincidentally born in the same hospital.

During the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival, Tsavaris-Lecourezos held two readings to share the book with visitors of all ages.

“I was so honored to have been invited to such an event,” she said. “It was amazing and an opportunity of a lifetime to be able to debut my book there.”

To preorder “Young World Travelers and the Magical Crystal Globe,” click here.

 

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Community Board 7 votes to name park after fallen fire marshal


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Randall Wilson

A fallen Queens fire marshal may soon be honored in a way that would allow his young twin boys to grow up realizing their father’s legacy.

Community Board 7 voted Monday to name a playground in Fort Totten after Martin “Woody” McHale, 50, who died of a heart attack in his car Christmas Eve 2012.

McHale, who lived in Hollis Hills, suffered the attack on his way home from work and crashed his car into a tree less than 200 feet from his house, police and the Queens Medical Examiner’s office said.

“Woody was a role model. He was a mentor. He was a fireman’s fireman,” said his boss, Commander Randall Wilson of the FDNY’s Bureau of Fire Investigation. “His heart was always in the right place, and if more people had a heart like his, the world would be a much better place.”

McHale, a member of the FDNY for 23 years, was assigned to the bureau’s Citywide North Command in Fort Totten. He would bring his twin 4-year-old boys to the currently nameless playground next to his job on his days off, Wilson said.

“He only had a few short years to spend with his sons,” the fire commander said. “Many of those days were at the playground on Fort Totten. His boys loved it there and Woody cherished the time spent at the playground with them.”

The change needs to be approved by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s Parks Department commissioner.

A bar in the West Village was named after McHale while he was alive.

“Having this park named in his honor would show generations of children just how wonderful he was,” Wilson said. “It would be a legacy for his family and for the fire marshal’s department.”

Community Board 7 also approved a $2.4 million capital Parks Department project to rebuild the crumbling sea wall at Hermon A. Macneil Park in College Point.

The City Council funded plans also include creating a separate fishing area and a kayak launch at the park. The plans still need state Department of Environmental Conservation approval.

 

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Beat the heat at free outdoor pools in Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of nycgovparks.org

Instead of sitting in air conditioning, try cooling off in one of the borough’s free outdoor pools starting Thursday, June 27. All locations are open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (with a break for cleaning between 3 and 4 p.m.).

Astoria Park
19th Street and 23rd Drive
Olympic-sized Pool

Fisher Pool
99th Street and 32nd Avenue
Outdoor Intermediate Pool, Outdoor Wading Pool

Fort Totten
338 Story Avenue
Outdoor Intermediate Pool, Outdoor Wading Pool, Outdoor Diving Pool

Liberty Park Pool
173rd Street and 106th Avenue
Outdoor Intermediate Pool, Outdoor Wading Pool

Marie Curie Park
211th Street and 46th Avenue
Outdoor Mini Pool

P.S. 10
45th Street and 30th Road
Outdoor Mini Pool

P.S. 186 Playground
Little Neck Parkway & 72nd Avenue
Outdoor Mini Pool

Windmuller Park
54th Street and 39th Road
Outdoor Mini Pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTA cancels plans to re-route northeast Queens buses


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Construction at Little Bay Park will no longer affect local bus routes, officials said.

The MTA had plans last month to re-route buses traveling from Fort Totten to Flushing for a year due to ongoing joint projects at the park.

Work from building a comfort station, expanding the parking lot and repaving the bus turnaround terminal at Little Bay Park prevented the Q13 and Q16 from making normal stops, the MTA said in a May 7 letter to elected officials.

The transit agency originally wanted to redirect the Q13 up 212th Street, passing local schools and homes before it gets back on track to Bell Boulevard, according to correspondence. It also proposed ending the Q16 at a new stop on Willets Point Boulevard.

“We did not want the buses going through residential areas,” said Assemblymember Ed Braunstein. “It’s dangerous. It’s noisy. It’s not right.”

Braunstein said the MTA and local leaders were able to quickly come up with a less intrusive route.

The buses will instead enter and briefly drive through Fort Totten before leaving and continuing on normal routes. Regular stops will not be impacted, the MTA said.

“This way nobody is inconvenienced,” said Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. “This agreement proves that when people make a good faith effort to find solutions to difficult problems, exceptional things can happen.”

 

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Center for the Women of NY returns to Fort Totten


| mchan@queenscourier.com

A women’s resource center has been given the green light to come back to Bayside.

The Center for the Women of New York (CWNY) received approval and funding from the state’s Dormitory Authority to go through with a project to renovate the exterior of a historic Fort Totten building and refurbish its first floor.

The 207 Totten Avenue site will be CWNY’s new home by next year, officials said. The walk-in resource center for women will have a cultural and conference center and offer career, legal and financial support services.

“I’m thrilled,” said CWNY president Ann Jawin. “We’ve been waiting a long time. It’s good to know we’re finally on the main track.”

The Center for the Women of New York, founded in 1987, is a volunteer-based nonprofit.

Its Fort Totten operations were suspended in 2002 when CWNY was pushed out by a city Fire Department facility.

CWNY has been operating in Kew Gardens in a donated classroom space at Queens Borough Hall since then, but Jawin said the space is too small to be completely efficient.

The organization went from a 12,000-square-foot location to a tiny office, she said.

“Here I’m extremely limited in what I can do,” Jawin said. “I had a wonderful operation going there. It was very successful. I should not have been forced to leave.”

The state approval comes after a decade of legal battles and ongoing talks to return to Fort Totten.

Officials are completing designs of the new 10,000-square-foot space and expect to bid out the first phase of the project later this year. They hope to secure more funding.

The project received a unanimous approval by Community Board 7 last February.

 

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Star of Queens: Paul Di Benedetto, president, Bayside Historical Society


| editorial@queenscourier.com

QC03282013

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

COMMUNITY INVOLVMENT: As president of the Bayside Historical Society, Paul Di Benedetto heads the board of directors and helps to define its mission.

The group, formed in 1964, works to archive and preserve Bayside’s history by maintaining those properties that have already been landmarked, as well as working to landmark other sites in Bayside. Di Benedetto said the group was originally formed to save Fort Totten and the Lawrence Cemetery. The two sites are now a NYC landmark and since then the society has been working to provide maintenance for both.

The society also works to educate people about Bayside’s history.

Di Benedetto has been president of the society for a year. He is also a member of Community Board 11.

BACKGROUND: Di Benedetto has been living in Bayside since 1995. He said he originally moved there because of its proximity to Manhattan, where he was working at the time, and fell in love with the historical houses in the area.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Di Benedetto says his favorite memory in working with the society is seeing the look of joy in children, and even adults, as they learn of the area’s history. “It’s great to see how they take [history] up too and how it relates to them.”

INSPIRATION: Di Benedetto said he didn’t like the fact that land developers would come in and destroy many of the homes in the area.

“I didn’t like the fact that developers and short-sighted people were coming and buying the houses,” he said. “They’d clear the properties and put all this asbestos in the air.” In working with the society, Di Benedetto hopes to halt, if not completely stop, this kind of development.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “It’s a lack of understanding,” Di Benedetto said about trying to get sites landmarked. “People are afraid for some reason.” Di Benedetto said he tries to get people to understand that by landmarking a site, their house or property is “locked in time.”

 

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What to do this weekend in Queens


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

SATURDAY, JANUARY 5

Starting at 9 a.m., Church on the  Hill, located at 167-07 35th Avenue, Flushing, will be holding an auction. Items will include collectibles, artwork,  jewelry, antiques, furs, furniture, household items, linens, new and vintage items and more. Door prizes,  lunch, refreshments and take-out will  also be available. Admission is free. For more information, visit churchonthehill.org.

Starting at noon, Bayside Historical Society, located at 208 Totten Avenue, Fort Totten, Bayside, will be holding a Kids Walk-in Workshop. Families are invited to bring their children so that they can enjoy playing and crafting in the Step Back in Time Room, a space dedicated to the young and curious. Admission is $3 per child and free for parents and guardians accompanying children. For more information, call 718-352-1548 or visit baysidehistorical.org.

York College Performing Arts Center, located at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, Jamaica, presents “Black Wall Street,” a play set in 1921 about a small community in Tulsa, Oklahoma inhabited by African Americans, Native Americans and Jews, all fleeing oppression and living and doing business with each other harmoniously. The play begins when the more influential members of the community gather to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their success, when outside forces threaten to tear down everything they’ve built. Shows start at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. For more information, contact Matthew Katz at 718-262-3750 or mkatz@york.cuny.edu, or visit http://www.yorkpac.com.

At 6 p.m., Holy Cross Elementary School, located at 12-01 150th Street, Whitestone, will be holding its 2012 Frenz for a Cause Zumbathon. Zumba instructor Cryss Fitness, along with others, will be leading a 90-minute Zumba class to raise money for the Thoracic Research Fund at Sloane Kettering. For more information, contact Crystal Varellas at 718-629-7762 or cryss.fitness@me.com.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 6

At 9:30 a.m., Temple Tikvah, located at 3315 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park, will be holding a blood drive for the new year, sponsored by the Sisterhood of Temple Tikvah. For more information, call 516-746-1120.

At 1 p.m., St. Josaphat’s Church, located at 210th Street and 35th Avenue, Bayside, presents Music
for the Christmas Season. The performance will feature Angelus Choir and guest soloists and is directed by Izabela Grajner-Partyka. All are welcome. Free will contribution. For more information, call 718-229-1663 or visit stjosaphatbayside.org.

ONGOING THRU SUNDAY, JANUARY 6

Beginning at noon, Queens Museum of Art, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, presents “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World,” a show that features more than 400 works, including painting, sculpture, prints, books, photography, film, videos and historic artifacts from various Caribbean nations, Europe, and the United States. “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World” examines the exchange of people, goods, ideas and information between the Caribbean basin, Europe and North America, and explores the impact of these relationships on the Caribbean and how it is imagined. Admission is $5 adults, $2.50 students and senior citizens, and free for children under seven.

Check out more events or submit your own

Army gives preview of what’s in store for recruits


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Fort Totten hosted Army skills training for new recruits on Saturday, October 27, putting about 300 future soldiers to the test before they set off for basic training later this year.

The U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion of New York City also invited members of the media to attend and participate in the training exercise. The all-day event, the first of its kind at Fort Totten, taught new recruits realistic, tactical Army techniques by combat-ready soldiers. By placing recruits in groups it worked to foster camaraderie and teamwork before they are fully launched into the Army.

The event had a combination of five courses: shoot, move 1 and 2, communicate and endurance challenges. The future soldiers and media had the opportunity to learn how to shoot various weapons including an M2 .50 caliber machine gun, which is an advanced weapon.

In the move courses the trainees and media personnel rode along in Humvees at a demonstration course and they learned how to move as a team, performing various maneuvers. The communication section put a spotlight on teaching tactical radio communications to instruct future soldiers how to send reports.

Finally, the endurance section of the event had media members and future soldiers dress in full gear and act as though they had to extract a team member that was injured, then execute a fireman’s carry and do pull ups before finishing with a rock climb.

This event also served to welcome the new soldiers and to help sustain their patriotic commitment towards the Army, according to Army public affairs specialist Tina Beller.

Army reserve officer, boxer fights for a cause


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

As Army Reserve Captain Boyd “The Rainmaker” Melson walked toward the ring, there was probably only one thing on his mind.

The middleweight pro boxer was laser-focused on his impending match against Yolexcy Leiva at Resorts World Casino New York City.

During the first five rounds of the Brooklyn-born, West Point graduate’s bout against Leiva, Melson meticulously calculated every punch. Somewhere in the third round, he delivered a right to Leiva that seemed to stun the Cuban-born boxer.

Then, the sixth bell rang and the final round started: Melson looked like a new man. He danced around the ring, followed through on his punches and began to take over.

Now boasting a pro record of 10-1 since 2010, Melson wasn’t just fighting for money, or to add on his record. Melson donates all of his winnings to justadollarplease.org. The charity raises money for stem cell research through umbilical cords to benefit wheelchair bound people who have suffered serious spinal cord injuries.

Melson also made clear that this was not a charity he “just jumped on,” but instead something extremely near and dear to his heart. Melson’s friend Christan Zaccagnino became paralyzed as a young girl following a diving accident. The pair met when he was still a cadet at West Point and since then Melson has donated a great deal of his time to helping find a cure for Zaccagnino.

His charitable efforts brought him to Dr. Wise Young, a researcher at Rutgers University who has been working on stem cell research in umbilical cords for years.

Tied to these efforts are veterans, who hold a special place in the heart of the still-ranking officer.

“You become a prisoner in your body,” he said, referring to soldiers who have returned home due to spinal cord injuries suffered in combat. “You just start watching people leave you because you’re a burden to them.”

Based out of Fort Totten, Melson juggles his duties as a reserve officer along with working at Johnson & Johnson and training as a professional boxer. In essence, it’s time management, the 5’10” middleweight says, and credits his boss, David McEntire, for being understanding.

In order to keep himself fit, Melson said he will normally pack his training clothes with him, run during his lunch break and get back to work. He’ll then sleep on the train ride home before going to work out and spar.

Before enrolling in West Point, Melson had no experience with the sweet science, he said.

Dr. Ray Barone, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, has taught boxing courses — required for male cadets — at West Point since 1999. It was in one of the required boxing classes that he saw potential in Melson.

“I saw him in class and said you might want to go out for the West Point boxing team,” Barone said. “When I saw him in class, he obviously had talent and picked up quick.”

Barone went on to say that Melson developed a dedication to the sport, which he developed rapidly since he trained any time possible.

“He was a quick learner, a quick study,” Barone said. “When you weren’t working with him he was working on his own.”

Melson said his inspiration to move forward with boxing though, was the personal standards a fighter has to hold him or herself to.

“The idea of relying on yourself, the idea that you’re competing in boxing…I think in one-on-one competition you have a chance to compete with yourself much more frequently than almost any other sport,” said Melson, who is admittedly his own harshest critic. “Even though it’s against other opponents, you’re always trying to see how much better you can do for yourself.”

But what Melson says is one of the driving forces to his fighting is what he’s really fighting for: raising money and awareness to help those in need.

“I think about, when I’m getting ready to walk down the aisle to the ring, ‘I have to win for this trial to happen, I have to win for this trial to happen,’” he said. “I know the more successful I get, the more exposure you get towards [this cause].”

Army pays tribute at Fort Totten to those lost


| Phertling@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo Phil Hertling

They gathered to pay tribute to those who stood — and fell — defending our freedom.

Soldiers of the United States Army Reserve gathered at Fort Totten’s annual September 11 memorial on Saturday morning, September 8, to remember six first responders lost in the terror attacks.

“Those of us who wear the uniform, for generations, have always tried to honor and remember our heroes,” said Major General Richard Colt, who was the commanding general of the 77th in 2001. “And even though the six soldiers who we honor today were not wearing the Army uniform, when they died, they epitomized the values that the Fire Department of New York puts into their men and women.”

The six men that gave their lives — Captain Michael Mullan, Captain Mark Whitford, Warrant Officer Ronald Bucca, Sergeant Shawn Powell, Staff Sergeant Frederick Ill and Lieutenant Colonel William Pohlmann — were part of the 77th Regional Support Command, renamed the 77th Regional Readiness Command in 2003, according to Master Sergeant Minnie Hawkins, who led the service before a few hundred Army personnel. Five were New York City firefighters and the other, a volunteer firefighter in Ardsley, New York.

“Even though their loved ones are gone, we are here to support them. They’re gone but not forgotten,” said Sergeant First Class Eric Thompson. Mullan, of New York City Ladder 12, and Whitford, of Manhattan’s Engine Company 23, died while operating rescue missions at the Towers. Bucca was assigned as fire marshal to Manhattan Command. He was the first fire marshal killed in the line of duty with the Fire Department of New York, authorities said.

Powell was a firefighter for Engine Company 207. Frederick was a fire captain with Ladder 2 in Manhattan. He gained fame in 1999 for saving a man from an oncoming subway train. Pohlmann worked as an attorney and had an office in the World Trade Center. He was also the engine company president of the Ardsley Volunteer Fire Department.

“They stopped what they did, ran into a building and tried to help others,” Sergeant First Class Kevin Wilson said. “It just shows how we are as people. We come together as Americans.”

 

Free summer activities in Queens parks


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

In addition to outdoor movies and SummerStage performing arts events, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation offers other free activities in Queens parks this summer.

July 30

Fort Totten Park

Fit Walk (Step Out)
9:00 a.m.
“Join us for a free fitness walking program for adults at Fort Totten Park!”

Mommy, Music, & Me
10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
“Enjoy music and movement activities for children under 7 years old, and the adults that want to play with them. We will also do a musical craft project with the kids.”

August 1

Alley Pond Park

A Morning of Music with Darlene Graham
10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
“This interactive and exciting performance features energetic folk music and remixes of familiar children’s songs that will have everyone singing and dancing along.”

Highland Park

Latin Night featuring Mikata
7:00 p.m.
“Join us for an evening of Bachata and Merengue featuring Mikata.”

August 2

Forest Park

Swing Sabroso
7:30 p.m.
“Dance along to the rhythmic sounds of Salsa.”

Astoria Park Lawn

Waterfront Concert Series 2012
7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

August 3

Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens Museum of Art)
Summer Movies in NYC: Fire in Babylon
6:30 p.m.
“Join Rooftop Films on the lawn at the Queens Museum of Art for a night of live music.”

August 4

Alley Pond Park (Adventure Center)

Invasive Removal at Alley Pond Park, Queens
9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
“Join us as we remove invasive from several reforestation plantings in Alley Pond Park, Queens. Please come help take care of our young forest, learn about restoration efforts across the city, and make a positive impact! Volunteers should come dressed in closed-toe shoes, long pants and clothing that can get dirty. No registration required.”

Idlewild Park

Advanced Canoeing
11:00 a.m.
“Our trained Urban Park Rangers will lead you on canoe adventures that range from the gentle waters of protected lakes, to the challenging open waters of rivers and bays. On an Urban Park Ranger canoe program, you can go from novice to expert in one just one summer! Children 8 years old and up are welcome.”

August 5

Forest Park

Fitness Hike (Vigorous)
1:00 p.m.
“Hiking is the ultimate way to enjoy the outdoors and reduce stress. Regardless of the intensity level, it is a great way to burn calories and stay fit. Our Urban Park Ranger hiking guides will introduce you to the hidden gems of New York City and places often off limits to the general public. On our hikes, you may explore nature, discover our City’s rich history and diverse culture, or just unplug form the world to clear your head.”

August 8

Crocheron Park (Buz O’ Rourke Playground)

Magic and Comedy of Jim McClenahan
10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
“Join us for the colorful and zany comedy with a magical twist that will bring giggles from children and adults.”

August 9

Forest Park

Zumba
5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
“Enjoy this new fitness craze and make new friends! All are invited – no age limit or skill required – just enjoy the outdoors and be fit!”

Stayin’ Alive
7:30 p.m.
“Come join us and enjoy a musical tribute to the Bee Gees.”

August 10

Grover Cleveland Park

Dancing Under the Stars
5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
“Come join us for an evening of music, face painting for children, a raffle drawing and Latin dance instruction under the stars!”

August 11

Wayanda Park

Family Day
12:00p.m- 4:00p.m.
“Children of all ages can participate in a free afternoon of crafts, games, music, inflatables, pony rides and more!”

Rufus King Park

Hands-on History: A Barn Full of Animals
12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
“Rufus had all sorts of animals on this farm! Learn about the different animals that used to live at King Park. Bring your favorite stuffed animal and enjoy making a special craft for your animal!”

Cunningham Park

Family Camping
6:00 p.m.
“The Urban Park Rangers celebrate the tradition of camping throughout the spring and summer, and we look forward to welcoming your family!”

August 16

Forest Park

Wondrous Stories
7:30 p.m.
“Enjoy an evening of rock’s most time tested music from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.”

August 18

Fort Totten Park

Historic New York Walking Tour: Fort Totten
1:00 p.m.
“Urban Park Rangers specialize in interpretation of historic turning points, both natural and man-made, in our city’s long history.”

August 19

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Basic Canoeing
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
“Our trained Urban Park Rangers will lead you on canoe adventures that range from the gentle waters of protected lakes, to the challenging open waters of rivers and bays. On an Urban Park Ranger canoe program, you can go from novice to expert in just one summer!”

August 26

Cunningham Park

Biking
11:00 a.m.
“Our Urban Park Ranger cycling guides will introduce you to some of the most famous parks in the world. Enjoy breathtaking views, public artwork, landscape design and an abundance of wildlife.”

September 2

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Hiking
10:00 a.m.
“Hiking is the ultimate way to enjoy the outdoors and reduce stress. Regardless of the intensity level, it is a great way to burn calories and stay fit. Our Urban Park Ranger hiking guides will introduce you to the hidden gems of New York City and places often off limits to the general public. On our hikes, you may explore nature, discover our City’s rich history and diverse culture, or just unplug form the world to clear your head.”

Beat the Heat: City pools open today


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of .nycgovparks.org

If the heat wave that started off the 2012 summer season is any indication, then we might be in for a hot summer. Instead of sitting in air conditioning, try cooling off in one of the city’s free outdoor pools, starting June 28. Opened from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (with a break for cleaning between 3 and 4 p.m), there are eight different locations in Queens to swim, including an Olympic-sized pool in Astoria Park. Don’t know how to swim? No problem. The outdoor pools also have free swimming lessons for 1 and half year olds to adults of all ages.

 

Astoria Park

19th St. and 23rd Drive

Olympic-sized pool

 

Fisher Pool

99th St. and 32nd Ave.

Outdoor Wading pool

 

Fort Totten

Story Road. and Pratt Ave.

Outdoor Intermediate Pool, Outdoor Wading Pool, Outdoor Diving Pool

 

Liberty Park Pool

173rd St. and 106th Ave.

Outdoor Intermediate Pool, Outdoor Wading Pool

 

Marie Curie Park

211th St. and 46th Ave.

Outdoor Mini Pool

 

P.S. 10

45th St. and 30th Road

Outdoor Mini Pool

 

P.S. 186 Playground

Little Neck Parkway & 72nd Ave.

Outdoor Mini Pool

 

Windmuller Park

54th St. and 39th Road

Outdoor Mini Pool

 

For more information, visit the NYC Park’s website