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Hands On New York Day spring cleaning

New York Cares will organize and supervise about 5,000 volunteers who will be participating in Hands On New York Day on Saturday, April 16, as they spruce up 15 green spaces throughout Queens from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Now in its 17th year of a citywide day of spring greening, New York Cares will tidy up green spaces that suffered a lot of damage from the severe weather this past fall and winter.

“We are calling on the residents of Queens and all New Yorkers to roll up their sleeves and join us for some good, clean, green fun,” said Gary Bagley, executive director of New York Cares. “This year’s harsh winter has made it even more crucial for everyone to step up and help revitalize the parks, gardens and green sites throughout their neighborhood.”

Hands On New York Day is an annual day of service with the city’s largest volunteer organization and is sponsored by HSBC for the fifth consecutive year.

“As the world’s local bank, HSBC is committed to strengthening the communities everywhere we work and live, and we are delighted to once again contribute financial support and the time of our employee volunteers to Hands On New York Day,” said Niall Booker, group managing director, HSBC Holdings PLC, and chief executive officer, HSBC North America Holdings, Inc. “My HSBC colleagues and I look forward to working side-by-side with our fellow New Yorkers in building stronger, cleaner, healthier neighborhoods.”

Hands On New York is a serve-a-thon where participants raise money and spend time volunteering to support New York Cares’ year round events. Volunteers in Astoria Park will remove leaves and debris that fell from the park’s extensive tree canopy during September’s tornado; the debris was further compacted by the snow. In Kissena Park, fallen branches from the 500 trees that were destroyed in the tornado will be picked up and removed.

“Hands on New York Day is an annual rite of spring, and we thank New York Cares and HSBC for bringing 5,000 volunteers into New York City’s parks, playgrounds, and community gardens to clean up and green up these vital public spaces,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “We are grateful to all of the citizen volunteers who generously provided sweat equity to improve their neighborhood parks and open spaces.”

Queens residents and all New Yorkers, aged 12 and up, can register to volunteer at www.handsonnewyorkday.org with a registration fee of $20 as either individuals or as a team. The web site provides complete information about the day, including how to participate, how to register as a team or as an individual and information on making donations in honor of a team or volunteer. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information, visit www.handsonnewyorkday.org or www.newyorkcares.org.

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