July 17, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy will celebrate and remember its late founder, Bill Bylewski, on the grass of the park this Saturday that he dedicated much of his life to supporting.
Bylewski was a founding member of the Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks, a volunteer gardener, and, as described by the people who knew him, a tireless advocate for Long Island City’s waterfront park space. With the opening of Hunters Point South Park, he spearheaded the expansion of the Friends of Gantry group to become the HPPC.
Bylewski died in February after a cancer diagnosis.
On Saturday at 4:30, the HPPC will hold a ceremony to remember Bylewski in the garden at Gantry Plaza State Park, at 49th Avenue and Center Boulevard.
The HPPC will also dedicate a plaque to Bylewski in the garden.
“It’s very emotional for me,” HPPC vice president Mark Christie, who gardened alongside Bylewski, and worked to advocate for park space with him, for more than 15 years. “He was always a kind person.”
“And he was quite determined to get the best for our parks,” Christie added.
Among Bylewski’s biggest accomplishments, Christie said, were his leadership in keeping the Friends of Gantry together, as well as the formation of the HPPC.
“We have done a lot. Bill did a lot. And we want to celebrate what he did, and in his memory, we are going to be doing much more,” Christie said.