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THE COURIER/Photo by Anthony O’Reilly
THE COURIER/Photo by Anthony O’Reilly
Park administrator Janice Melnick, Martha Taylor, Assemblymember David Weprin, BP Helen Marshall, Congressmember Grace Meng, Norma Stegmaier, Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz and Jean Silva unveil the new sign for the Pat Dolan Trail.

An overpass in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has been dedicated to the memory of Patricia Dolan, the founder and first president of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy.

Local residents and elected officials gathered on Sunday, April 21 to rename the Willow Lake Trail as the Pat Dolan Trail.

The trail’s highlight is a new bird blind, a four-wall metal shelter that allows bird watchers to look out on the skyline. Dolan often used the trail as a place to go birding.

Park administrator Janice Melnick praised Dolan as an important part of improving the park in recent years. After Dolan’s death, Melnick said she heard from the Conservancy about dedicating part of the park to Dolan.

“We’re happy to be able to do this,” Melnick said. “We had tremendous support from elected officials.”

Dolan died on November 15, 2011 after being struck by a car.

Elected officials including Borough President Helen Marshall and Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz spoke fondly of Dolan, saying they often heard from her about improving the park.

According to Conservancy president Jean Silva, the trail was a favorite location of Dolan’s. Even during the winter, she enjoyed walking the path with her father.

Silva said several volunteers have worked over the past few weeks to beautify the park in advance of the dedication ceremony, adding that there is still work to be done.

“[The volunteers] did some great work,” she said. “We’re really looking for people to support this.”

-BY ANTHONY O’REILLY
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