Forest Park is one of the borough’s biggest and best parks, encompassing several playgrounds, a bandshell, tennis courts, its famous carousel, and much more, so getting people inside the park to enjoy its facilities is a must.
However, many park-goers either do not know about, or just neglect to use one of the park’s main entrances — the Glendale entrance located on Myrtle Avenue and Union Turnpike.
The current entrance at that location is little more than a concrete walkway going under the Jackie Robinson Parkway overpass that transforms into an extremely narrow dirt path, before tapering off into shrubbery and bushes. Pedestrians can barely make their way down to the entrance of the park, which is blocked off my massive barriers to prevent vehicles from entering Forest Park.
Many residents aren’t even aware of this entrance and use the larger, much more noticeable entrance at Forest Park Drive and Myrtle Avenue to make their way into Forest Park. That entrance gets a lot of use because it is right near the basketball courts, several pathways into the park and its attractions, as well as the Jackie Robinson Parkway.
As a way to bring more people from Glendale into Forest Park, one lawmaker asked the community how they would like to see the rarely used entrance of the park remade.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, whose district covers a portion of the 538-acre park, along with Queens Commissioner of the NYC Parks Department Dorothy Lewandowski, will host a visioning session on Wednesday, Aug. 3, in order to get residents’ input on how to re-envision the Glendale entrance.
There is a spacious green area at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Union Turnpike that could be used to draw attention to the new-and-improved entrance. The pathway needs to be expanded to allow people to get into the park from that part of Glendale. There is also a need for more lighting in that area, especially under the Jackie Robinson Parkway overpass.
Michelle Cook Lopez of Cook’s Arts & Crafts Shoppe, located at 80-09 Myrtle Ave. directly across the street from Forest Park, believes the idea of improving the Glendale entrance to the park is a good idea, but that there are other, more pressing matters that should be dealt with first.
Lopez would like to see the pathways in Forest Park fixed, as many of the paths are full of divots, making it difficult to bring children and pets around the park. Lopez has also been advocating for a dog park to be built in Forest Park.
“I would love to see a dog park in Forest Park, right behind the softball fields, too,” Lopez said. “I mean people already let their dogs off their leash in that area. All you would need to do is put up a fence around the area.”