By Ivan Pereira
Behind a group of well-kept brick homes in Auburndale lies a small green space on Station Road.
Years of neglectful maintenance, however, had turned the spot into a dumping ground for trash, but with three years of annual spring cleaning, homeowners who live around the spot were able to transform the eyesore into a pleasant mound.ï»¿
Members of the Station Road Civic Association joined elected officials, teenage volunteers and professional landscapers in a massive cleanup of the green space Saturday at Station Road between 171st Street and Auburndale Place. Since the civic began leasing the land from the city at a price of $50 a month in 2007, it has worked hard to make sure the space does not stick out in the community like a bad weed.
“It used to be a dumping ground and we keep it looking nice so it will keep the community pretty,” said Rhea O’Gorman, president of the civic.
Every year trash and other debris piles up on the mound, especially during the winter months, according to the civic. When the weather gets better, the members come out and volunteer their time to improve the conditions.
This year the civic was joined by volunteers from John Bowne High School and professional gardeners from the Astoria-based landscaping business Garden Works to pick up empty bottles, bricks, candy wrappers and other trash left at the field. The Garden Works crew helped to plant new flowers and used their tools to speed up the efforts.
“We’ve never done it on this magnitude,” said civic member Chrissy Voskerichian.
State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), who also volunteered with City Councilman Dan Halloran (D-Whitestone) and state Assembly candidate Vince Tabone, noted the civic had been working hard to beautify their neighborhood even before the city leased the land to them.
He said it worked with his office and other elected officials to install more trees and create “no standing” parking regulations to deter people from loitering in their cars around the greenspace.
“You’d have all kinds of trucks going up and down in the morning going ‘boom boom,’” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.