May 26, By Christian Murray
The group that represents residents on all park-related matters in Hunters Point is hosting an event on the Long Island City waterfront this Saturday to celebrate its 16th anniversary.
The event marks the anniversary of Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks, which was formed in 1998 to organize events and maintain the plant life of Gantry Plaza State Park.
The Friends of Gantry group, however, has undergone a great deal of change in recent years, with the expansion of the state park—-to the opening of Hunters Point South Park, a city park, in August.
The opening of Hunters Point South Park has led to the most significant change as many residents have wanted to become more engaged in improving this neighborhood’s green space—-particularly at the new city-owned park.
However, it was quickly decided that it made more sense for the advocates of the new park to join forces with Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks and form the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a resident organization that would oversee all the parks in the area.
The event, which is to be held at LIC Landing by Coffeed on Saturday, will act as a membership drive, a celebration of its members as well as the group’s exciting prospects ahead.
Furthermore, some of the group’s donors will be honored.
Bill Bylewski, the president of the Conservancy and long-time leader of the Friends of Gantry, said that a special tribute will be paid to the Rothkopf family, which has been donating to the Friends of Gantry for the past two years.
Bylewski said he was excited by the Conservancy’s prospects.
“A number of skilled and engaged people have joined,” Bylewski said.
This Saturday’s event will cost $20, which will include food and drink for 2 hours. Furthermore, attendees will become members of the new organization.
Several elected officials–from local councilman Jimmy Van Bramer to the borough president Melinda Katz–are expected to attend.
“I’m looking for it to being a festive community event,” Bylewski said.
See event details below