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It’s time for a change. Since last December, various community advisors have been meeting periodically to discuss improvements to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Part of The World’s Park: Reconnecting a Regional Park with Its Neighbors project done in partnership with the NYC Parks Department, the Queens Museum, and Design Trust for Public Space, the focus is on the planning, design, and stewardship of the 1,225-acre public space. This Sunday, the public gets to provide input at the World’s Park Community Forum at Queens Museum. All are invited, plus there will be simultaneous Spanish and Mandarin translation and activities for non-speakers. More information on jump page.

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It’s time to tree-cycle and e-cycle. To promote eco-friendly practices — and help New Yorkers avoid a new state law imposing $100 fines on residents who leave electronics on the curb for pickup — the Queens Botanical Garden will  host the 12th annual E-Waste Recycling Event on Sunday. Done in partnership with the Lower East Side Ecology Center and sponsored by TekServe, this six-hour event allows participants to drop off unwanted or non-functional computers, printers, cell phones, video games, tablets, and other gadgets in the parking entrance. (Click here for a full list of acceptable items.) Garden employees will make sure that they are disposed of in the proper ecological way. On the same day and in the same spirit, the garden will host arts-and-crafts activities using recycled and repurposed items.

Meanwhile in response to recent holidays, the NYC Parks Department will host MulchFest 2015 all weekend at various spots throughout the five boroughs, including 13 Queens green spaces. Residents can bring trees to these spots to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city. In some places, NYC Parks employees will chip the wood and give bags of mulch back to the tree donors. Details for all three events are on the jump page.

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It’s time to modernize a Queens spot where youngsters play a sport whose history dates back to before the 14th century. The Shannon Gaels Gaelic Athletic Association’s home field, Frank Golden Park in College Point, recently received $580,000 in public funds for an upgrade. The money — an $80,000 allocation from City Council Member Paul Vallone and a $500,000 allocation from Borough President Melinda Katz — will go to resurfacing the playing and scrimmage fields as well as installing an eight-foot fence around the park and a 30-foot retractable fence behind each goal post. With several hundred members who trace their heritage to all 32 counties on the Emerald Isle, the Shannon Gaels fields boys, girls and co-ed teams in various age groups that compete throughout the world. The association, which also organizes competitions involving other Irish sports such as hurling, was founded in 2002 with no home. Members practiced on sections of Forest, Juniper Valley, and Sunnyside Gardens parks until 2009, when they signed a 15-year lease with the NYC Parks Department for rights to seven acres of Golden Park, just south of 14th Avenue.

Information on the sport and more photos on jump page.

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The Parks Department is reusing wood from the Sandy-battered Rockaway boardwalk to repair a gap in the boardwalk between Beach 35th Street and Beach 39th Street. NY Daily News reports that when work wraps up, visitors will be able to walk along three miles of the boardwalk, from Beach 9th to Beach 60th Street, for the first time since Sandy. It’ll be the longest continuous strip of boardwalk completed since the storm hit. According to the Parks Department, “As part of this work, supports salvaged from the old boardwalk are being laid across intact concrete pile caps to create a frame that will be topped with decking.” This project should wrap in the springtime, while repairing the entire Rockaway boardwalk is expected to take years.

Battered Rockaway Boardwalk Gets a New Life [NY Daily News]

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

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It seems like everybody’s talking about the future of the now-underutilized New York State Pavilion, in the hopes that it can once again be an asset for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Now it’s your turn to share your vision for the complex! The New York Parks Department released this survey “in order to understand your vision for the future of the Pavilion.” Parks held a series of listening sessions regarding the Pavilion in late January and also presented on recent structural studies that were completed on the Tent of Tomorrow and Observation Towers. According to People for the Pavilion, there’s an overwhelming consensus so far to preserve and reutilize — rather than tear down — the iconic structures, designed by architect Philip Johnson for the 1964-65 World’s Fair.

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A new roller hockey rink is coming to the Rockaways! New York Daily News reports that City Councilman Eric Ulrich provided $600,000 for the project, located on Shore Front Parkway, and construction is expected to begin sometime this fall. This rink will replace an existing rink on Beach 108th Street, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. Building the new rink was also delayed due to the storm. According to the News, “The new rink will feature an asphalt surface and lighting for use at night. Upgrades for the area around the rink include new drinking fountains and seating.” Residents and hockey players helped design this new facility.

Construction on Rockaway Roller Hockey Rink to Begin in Fall [NY Daily News]

Rendering by the NYC Parks Department

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Meandering around Astoria the other day, we stumbled upon this beautiful, huge community garden between 8th Street, Astoria Boulevard, and 30th Avenue — the Two Coves Community Garden. Inside the garden there’s a significant space fenced off and under construction. A woman on-site told us the Parks Department is constructing a “gathering area” within the park featuring a shady area with seating and a water feature. She couldn’t tell us when the project would actually wrap, and mentioned problems with the contractor. Actually, over the summer Two Coves started a petition about the space in question. Here’s what it says:

On March 26, 2012, city contractors fenced off our gathering area for construction of a shade structure, food preparation area, and water feature. They predicted the work would be complete before the end of the 2012 growing season, and promised to finish by March 2013. Months later, we are told that all the work was substandard and must be redone. Yet no work or repairs have been done this year. The construction site is unsightly. The weeds inside the fence are spreading into the volunteer-maintained parts of the garden. The construction site blocks the view across the garden, making the whole public space feel unsafe and unwelcoming. What is most frustrating: the Parks Department has refused to tell us when the construction will be finished.

The park is a volunteer-run garden on city-owned land. The lady we spoke with seemed to think the construction site would remain throughout the off season, possibly until next summer. The rest of the garden space remains open to the public during weekends. GMAP

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Image source: Reuters via Travelers Today – what’s left of the boardwalk in some places in the Rockaways

WNYC wrote about some of the changes coming to the Rockaway beaches this summer, from the plans by the city’s Parks Department:

They include a boardwalk made of reclaimed wood and walkways with broom finish concrete; new Pavilions with wrap around billboards; and new bathrooms and lifeguard stations that will stand 12-feet above the beaches, in compliance with FEMA’s 500-year flood plan.