Tag Archives: Irene Scheid

Alley Pond Park kids clear wetland debris


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Alley Pond Environmental Center

Youngsters known as the Alley Pond Pioneers got their hands dirty last week in a cleanup of the park’s wetlands Thursday.

The Alley Pond Pioneers are a group of children entering grades four through six who meet at the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC) on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take part in educational programs.

APEC Executive Director Irene Scheid acted as judge to decide which team of pint-size trash collectors had the heaviest and largest pieces of garbage. The contest ended in a tie, as one team had a heavier haul but the other had collected larger pieces. Both the teams went home with a prize.

“We’re always glad to have the children here participating and making the park better for everyone,” Scheid said.

According to APEC Office Coordinator Elizabeth Whalen, many of this year’s Pioneers have been participating in the program for three consecutive years and had been anticipating the cleanup since their first week.

“The Pioneers took such pride in their efforts,” Whalen said. “They are to be commended.”

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Past Alley Pond Pioneer activities included tours of Oakland Lake, walks to natural springs, hiking, outdoor yoga classes and healthy cooking classes. The next cleanup is planned for August on the beach.

“It’s learning about nature how important nature is, and having it become part of their lives for the future,” Scheid said.

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Alley Pond Environmental Center to get new $7.1M visitors’ building


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy Department of Parks and Recreation


The Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC) in Douglaston is growing with a new $7.1 million building.

Construction on the 10,000-square-foot structure is expected to start next summer, and be completed in 2017, according to the Parks Department.

The structure, which will nearly double the current visitors’ center, is necessary to meet the demands of popular after-school and camp programs, which create an enormous waiting list every year of 7,000 to 10,000 children.

The new building will house more classrooms, staff offices, a large lobby that doubles as an exhibition space, a public meeting room and restrooms.

“We are very excited,” said Irene Scheid, APEC executive director. “The organization sees a lot of potential in this new building in terms of education value and community teaching capabilities.”

The new structure will be LEED silver certified, which is the third highest green rating by the U.S. Green Building Council, behind gold and platinum. The exterior will be a modern design, clad in brick, glass and steel.

The center’s parking lot is also being designed with bioswales that capture and retain storm water.

To fund the project, the Queens borough president’s office allocated $4 million, the City Council allocated $2.186 million and the mayor’s office added $1 million.

 

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