You are reading

More than 100 volunteers to cleanup and groom Gantry Plaza State Park


April 15, 2013 By Bill Parry

Friends of Gantry, a community-based group that helps clean and maintain the waterfront park, will be getting some additional help this weekend when as many as 125 non-member volunteers are expected to turn out to help clean and repair the park.

The volunteers will be arriving at the park at around 9:30 am Saturday, as part of the 19th annual New York Cares Day.

New York Cares is the largest volunteer group in the city best known for its annual coat drive during the winter months. This year the group has turned its attention to those green spaces that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

“We have a special focus on ensuring that our parks and gardens fully recover,” said Gary Bagley, the executive director of New York Cares. He said that the organization wants to make sure the parks “are ready for the influx of visitors over the summer months.”

Bill Bylewski, the president of Friends of Gantry, was thrilled when he heard that New York Cares is coming to help. “We’re a small group with about 30 members,” he said. “Extra help is always appreciated.” About six members of his group will also join in the cleanup.

In preparation for Saturday’s event, Bylewski’s group held a training session last Saturday attended by the seven New York Cares volunteers that will serve as team leaders.

“We want to watch over these young and enthusiastic workers who might be overzealous and pull out important plantings by mistake,” Bylewski said.

When Sandy struck, Gantry State Plaza Park was flooded by the East River.

“The plants were submerged by salt water,” Bylewski said, so many were damaged. He said that that there will be a big effort on Saturday to help restore the plant life.

The teams of New York Cares volunteers will be spread throughout the park. In the northern section, they will concentrate on pulling out weeds that deny the plants nutrients and sunlight.

In the southern section of the park, workers will replace the mulch that was swept away during the storm. “The State is providing 750 bags of mulch,” Bylewski said. The volunteers will “spread it out in the wooded areas…and in all the planting beds throughout the park. That will keep the weeds from coming back.”

Gantry is one of eleven parks in Queens that New York Cares is servicing on Saturday, part of a larger city-wide event. New York Cares is hoping for 4,000 volunteers overall.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News