Over the past couple of months, the local community groups Astoria Park Alliance and Green Shores have organized Leaf Fest, which was a program to collect as many fallen leaves in the waterfront parks (Astoria Park, Ralph Demarco Park, Rainey Park, and Queensbridge Park) as possible. They did this on Saturdays in October, November, and December. As you can imagine, a lot of leaves fell, especially because of the hurricane, and a lot of leaves were collected. Actually, an incredible amount of leaves were collected – a total of 12,910.3 lbs of leaves. That’s approximately 6.5 tons of leaves!
A good portion leaves have been sent to Build It GreenNYC!, which is home to the Western Queens Compost Initiative. They are thrilled to have a local source of carbon-rich ‘browns’ – compost needs a combination of greens – fresh vegetable matter – and browns, such as fallen leaves in order to break down properly. These browns will be combined with food scraps from greenmarkets all over the city. Additionally, all these leaves will stay out of the waste stream and out of landfills.
There is a storage area under the Queensboro Bridge, which is a temporary home to the leaves.
Image source: Jules Corkery
Additional partners in this project are Forest Hills High School, Submission Impossible, and NYC Service. A huge number of volunteers came to help just after Hurricane Sandy, too – we heard there were over 100 people helping to collect leaves.
Congratulations to all involved!