2008-10-22 / Features

Free Map, Guide To Astoria-Long Island City Waterfront Parks

On Wednesday, October 15, members of Green Shores NYC, together with officials from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the non-profit City Parks Foundation, announced the completion of a new map and guide detailing the string of waterfront parks that lines the East River in Astoria and Long Island City, including, from north to south, Ralph Demarco Park, Astoria Park, Whitey Ford Field, Hallets Cove Playground, Socrates Sculpture Park, Rainey Park, and Queensbridge Park.

The 33 inch by 14 inch fold-up map and guide includes a full-color illustrated poster of the 10- mile area produced by David Cain, a detailed wayfinding map of streets, waterfront resources, historic landmarks, and unique cultural highlights produced by George Colbert and Guenter Vollath, and descriptions of the history and local attractions of the area written by Richard Melnick, Bob Singleton, Erik Baard, Ilana Teitel and John Mattera. The entire map and guide was designed by Anne LaFond, with editing from Ilana Teitel, Emily Maxwell and Hillary Angelo, and produced under the coordination of Karen Overrton. To find locations where copies of the map and guide are available, or for more information, visit www.greenshoresnyc.org.

Until 2003 when the "Catalyst for Neighborhood Parks" initiative was launched, coordination among communities around the waterfront parks of Western Queens was limited and activity in each of the parks was much less robust than it is today.

In addition to supporting the development and growth of Green Shores NYC, since 2004 City Parks Foundation has invested over $1 million in free programming along the Western Queens waterfront, serving more than 40,000 people through CityParks Concerts, CityParks Dance and CityParks Kids arts programming in Queensbridge Park, CityParks Tennis and CityParks Track & Field sports instruction for youth in Astoria Park, CityParks Seniors Fitness in Astoria Park, the Coastal Classroom education program at Queensbridge, Rainey, and Astoria parks, and much more.

Also since 2004 as part of the "Catalyst for Neighborhood Parks Initiative", the Department of Parks & Recreation has initiated $20 million in capital projects for Western Queens waterfront parks, including a new playground in Rainey Park, new baseball, volleyball, and soccer fields in Queensbridge Park, and extensive drainage, erosion control, and new landscaping in Astoria Park.

The fold-out map and guide, meant to help people discover and enjoy Western Queens waterfront parks and other local resources, was produced through the collaborative effort of community historians, local park advocates and neighborhood leaders who collectively make up Green Shores NYC, together with staff from Partnerships for Parks, a joint program of City Parks Foundation and the City Department of Parks and Recreation which spearheads the "Catalyst for Neighborhood Parks" initiative.

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