Tag Archives: Pat Dolan

Willow Lake Trail renamed in honor of Pat Dolan


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Anthony O’Reilly

An overpass in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has been dedicated to the memory of Patricia Dolan, the founder and first president of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy.

Local residents and elected officials gathered on Sunday, April 21 to rename the Willow Lake Trail as the Pat Dolan Trail.

The trail’s highlight is a new bird blind, a four-wall metal shelter that allows bird watchers to look out on the skyline. Dolan often used the trail as a place to go birding.

Park administrator Janice Melnick praised Dolan as an important part of improving the park in recent years. After Dolan’s death, Melnick said she heard from the Conservancy about dedicating part of the park to Dolan.

“We’re happy to be able to do this,” Melnick said. “We had tremendous support from elected officials.”

Dolan died on November 15, 2011 after being struck by a car.

Elected officials including Borough President Helen Marshall and Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz spoke fondly of Dolan, saying they often heard from her about improving the park.

According to Conservancy president Jean Silva, the trail was a favorite location of Dolan’s. Even during the winter, she enjoyed walking the path with her father.

Silva said several volunteers have worked over the past few weeks to beautify the park in advance of the dedication ceremony, adding that there is still work to be done.

“[The volunteers] did some great work,” she said. “We’re really looking for people to support this.”

-BY ANTHONY O’REILLY
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Activist Patricia Dolan killed crossing Hillside Avenue


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

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Patricia Dolan, longtime Community Board 8 member, president of the Queens Civic Congress, Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association and the founder of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, was struck and killed as she crossed Hillside Avenue on Tuesday, November 15.

Police say Dolan, 72, was crossing the thoroughfare near 198th Street — on her way to a CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting — when she was struck by a 1998 Nissan sedan driven by an unidentified 57-year-old woman.  EMS responded to the scene and took Dolan to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“She was a friend, a colleague and a pre-eminent civic activist,” said Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik. “We will all miss her very much.”

The driver remained on the scene.  The investigation is ongoing.

Borough President Helen Marshall heralded Dolan as a fighter for “libraries, senior citizens, parks, children, transportation safety and every other issue that affects all of us.”

“She was a frequent visitor to Borough Hall, where just weeks ago she met with my office and library officials to try to move up the timeline for the completion of the Kew Gardens Hills Library,” said Marshall. “She also sat on our Traffic Safety Board. Indeed, her commitment and dedication to our borough were inspiring.”

Dolan also worked at Queens Community House, where she directed the Queens Network, a paratransit system for seniors.

“I had the privilege of honoring her at my Women’s History Month several years ago for her outstanding dedication to the borough of Queens,” continued Marshall. “Appropriately for Pat, the theme of the event that year was ‘Women: Builders of Communities and Dreams.’”

CB 8 District Manager Marie Adam-Ovide told The Courier that a memorial service will be held on Tuesday, November 29 at 7 p.m. at the Schwartz Brothers – Forest Park Chapel, 114-03 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills (Queens Boulevard and 76th Road).

“She would say things to you to make you laugh,” said Adam-Ovide. “She was knowledgeable about all different issues. She cared so much about her community. It’s definitely a loss to our board. I’m going to miss her so much.”

Other remembrances of Dolan:

City Comptroller John Liu:

“The borough of Queens lost a favorite daughter last night. I have known Pat for many years as a tireless advocate for Queens and for New York City and someone who was fearless about speaking her mind and standing up for what she believed in. Pat was quick as a whip and sharp as a tack. Her leadership and infectious spirit will be sorely missed, and I stand together with my fellow residents of Queens to mourn her untimely death. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with Pat’s family during this difficult time.”

Senator Toby Stavisky:

“She epitomized everything good about public service. She only cared about what was best for the community. I lost a good friend.”

City Councilmember Karen Koslowitz:

“I remember when I worked with Pat for the first time in the 1980s when I worked for Andrew Stein. She was an expert on zoning issues. If I had a question I would call her. She will be missed.”

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder:

“The loss of Pat Dolan is a loss for Kew Gardens Hills and for all of Queens. She was truly a woman of the people and encompassed everything great about Queens. Pat’s loyalty and devotion to her community was inspirational and I am deeply saddened to hear of her passing.”