March 26, 2019 By Christian Murray
A Long Island City parks group was awarded a $17,000 state grant to replace the hammocks in Gantry Plaza State Park and expand its gardening program.
The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a non-profit that aims to enhance the quality of Long Island City’s waterfront parks, was awarded the grant from the Environmental Protection Fund’s Park and Trail Partnership Program.
The grant, announced on March 19, was one of 22 awards granted by the EPF to non-profit parks groups across the state. The Conservancy was the only New York City-based group to be a recipient.
The Conservancy will be using the funds to replace the hammocks in time for summer and expand its all-volunteer gardening program.
Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said the organization’s gardening program is vital to maintaining Gantry Plaza State Park, since the state parks department does not provide a dedicated gardener. The group focuses less on Hunters Point South Park, since the city provides two gardeners.
“We need as many people as possible to come out to help our gardening efforts,” Basch said, who added that the group meets every second Saturday from May through October. He said about 20 people typically turn up, with each session going from 10 a.m. to noon.
Basch said that he plans to reach out to corporate groups to help with gardening during the week. He said that it could be part of a corporate team-building exercise.
Basch said the conservancy is looking forward to replacing the hammocks, which are showing their age.
“We are thankful to the Parks and Trail Partnership Program,” Basch said. “Long Island City has been the fastest growing community in the country and this is reflected in the increase of park goers to Gantry Plaza State Park. This grant will allow us to replace damaged and worn hammocks in the park.”
For more information on the Conservancy, please click here.