Student Cleanup of Local Parks Faces Postponement
By Paula Katinas
Bay Ridge — An ambitious project that would have Community Board 10 teaming up with hundreds of high school students to clean local parks is facing a possible postponement of several months due to the crazy, hectic schedules of the teens, the organizer admitted.
June Johnson, chair of Board 10’s Parks Committee, said her group was “moving along” with the plan to have students maintain local parks, but that during a recent meeting with Philip Weinberg, principal of the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology, it was suggested that the cleanup might have to wait.
“Because of the school schedule, testing preps, spring break, and end-term activities, Mr. Weinberg thought they should start at the beginning of the school year in September,” Johnson told Board 10 members at their March 19 meeting.
Johnson said Weinberg was enthusiastic about the idea of having his students take part in the cleanup.
“Mr. Weinberg thought their Arista and Key clubs will be able to use the time toward their community involvement,” Johnson said, referring to the credits students receive toward their high school diplomas for taking part in neighborhood improvement projects, such as cleaning up parks or volunteering at hospitals.
Johnson met with Weinberg at the school, at 350 67th St., on March 6. She was accompanied by Jim O’Dea, a former Board 10 member who took part in a cleanup of Leif Ericson Park a few years ago. The park is located across the street from the school. O’Dea is helping to organize the new cleanups of local parks.
Janet Shepard, assistant principal of Telecom High School, also attended the March 6 meeting.
The cleanup would also involve Shore Road Park, Johnson said.
Students from Xaverian High School, Fontbonne Hall Academy, and Fort Hamilton High School will also be asked to take part, Johnson said.
In other news, Johnson said fellow Board 10 member Doris Cruz brought to the Parks Committee’s attention her concerns over the sorry condition of the pathway in Shore Road Park from Fourth Avenue leading to the ball fields.
“There is erosion on the sides of the path, irregular placement of the pavers, soil and overgrowth covering the path and, in some places, it’s hard to walk on the path,” Johnson said. “The path needs to be dug up and completely redone.”
The committee held a meeting on March 13 at which members heard from Sonia Valentin, a Community Board 11 member and Bensonhurst civic activist, about an exciting revitalization of J.J. Carty Park. The park is located on Fort Hamilton Parkway and 95th Street, beneath the approach to the Verrazano Bridge. It is also located a few blocks from the main entrance gate of the Fort Hamilton Army Base at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 101st Street.
Valentin, who is a member of the group Friends of J.J. Carty Park, said the group plans to work in cooperation with leaders of the Fort Hamilton Senior Center, the city-run center located near the park at 9941 Fort Hamilton Parkway, as well as local residents to spruce up the recreation area.
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