Among the groups honored were the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy in Queens and Parent Child Relationship in Brooklyn.
The Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy is led by Dorothy Woo, Roland G Wade, Denise Winters, and Erika Brassoi.
For well over a decade, the group has been serving the Flushing community by working with the Parks to care for the vast open spaces of the 100-acre Kissena Corridor Park.
The park features basketball and handball courts, baseball, cricket, football, and soccer fields, fitness equipment, and multiple playgrounds. Because of these amenities as well as its sheer size, the park is utilized by nearly everyone in the community.
The conservancy is a nonprofit organization that organizes park beautification projects, conservation efforts, and public education. The conservancy runs two It’s My Park projects a year, bringing out almost 150 community members to volunteer.
Because of the park’s expansive size and abundant natural space, it had become a site for crime. To address this, the conservancy worked with Councilman Peter Koo to secure two park enforcement officers to patrol the area.
In 2018, the conservancy hosted their first movie night and successfully advocated for funding for capital improvement projects throughout the park, including a meditation garden.
Parent Child Relationship (PCR) was founded in 2016 by Nicole Xueqin Huang, and serves the predominantly non-English speaking immigrant communities of Sunset Park and Dyker Heights.
Their mission is to promote civic participation and deepen the bond between parents and children in the Asian immigrant communities of Brooklyn through multi-generational service events.
PCR began working at Leif Ericson Park in Bay Ridge in 2016. With no active group, the park was plagued with litter, debris, and disuse. The group started hosting It’s My Park projects bi-weekly to clean and beautify the park, and after two years of dedication and tireless outreach, the community became fully engaged.
By 2018, the park was clean and renewed with wood chips for tree care and new daffodil bulbs and plants.
PCR hosted multiple community events last year, including Lunar New Year celebration, Easter egg hunt, fitness event, and a back-to-school event, bringing hundreds of people into Leif Ericson Park and transforming it into a hub of activity.
In the spring of 2018, PCR expanded their reach and began working in Sunset Park. Partnering with local Fujanese seniors, they hosted weekly It’s My Park projects throughout the year.
In 2018, the group also received a Capacity Fund Grant from Partnerships for Parks, graduated from the Partnerships Academy Fellowship, obtained their 501c3 status, and received a citation from Councilman Justin Brannan.
Along with the other honorees, the groups motivated 24,000 New Yorkers who organized and participated in over 1,100 park service projects in nearly 340 parks across the city.