June 29, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A host of new programming and activity has swept the Long Island City waterfront.
A new games kiosk and free environmental education activities have recently landed at Gantry Plaza State Park, with over a dozen picnic tables likely to be installed at the park in coming weeks, according to NYS Parks officials.
The kiosk over by the children’s playground within the park, once planned to be a concession stand, has since become a site to rent out board games and sports equipment ranging from checkers, chess, footballs, frisbees, hula hoops, and more. The kiosk opened with limited hours earlier this month.
Park-goers can use any item for free, so long as they use a form of ID. Users can check out one item and keep it until the kiosk closes.
The kiosk is currently open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will open every day from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. after July 4.
Gantry Plaza State Park has also been hosting free environmental education activities for children and adults since April, with July’s schedule of activities already out.
Programs include oyster monitoring and plankton observations, where adults and children 7 and up can help measure oysters, collect plankton samples to look at under a microscope, and monitor the area’s biodiversity.
Other activities include “Fishing Fridays” at Pier 4, where people of all ages are invited to learn how to fish, and “Nature in Your Neighborhood,” where attendees explore a new nature theme every week by going on scavengers hunts, doing arts and crafts activities, and more.
A new list of activities is expected to come out each month, with activities likely slowing down in the colder months, according to Devin Gorsen, a NYS Parks coordinator.
The park will also have 15 picnic tables installed in approximately six to eight weeks, according to Rob Basch, President of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.
The picnic tables were funded by the conservancy group, and will be located by the willow trees, Basch said.
July 2018 Environmental Education Program Schedule at Gantry Plaza State Park
Nature in Your Neighborhood
Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 – Rainbow Park Playground
Fridays, July 6 and July 27 – Pier 4 fishing pier
All ages, children must be assisted by an adult
Citizen Science: Oyster Monitoring
Friday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Pier 4 fishing pier
Ages 7+ and adults
Citizen Science: Plankton Observations
Friday, July 20 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Pier 4 fishing pier
Ages 7+ and adults