By Gina Martinez
The Community Advisory Board for Flushing Meadows Corona Park hosted a Holiday Open House at the New York Hall of Science Sunday afternoon, allowing park users and advocates to share what they imagine as the park’s future.
As part of an effort to get a better idea of what to do with the park, CAB invited 150 people to the science museum to offer their thoughts on beautification, including ideas on public art, maintenance and horticulture. Attendees filled out surveys and affixed Post-it replies to questions mounted on museum walls.
A wall dedicated to public art asked what attendees wished to see more of; Post-it responses requested grade school displays, interactive art and 1960s- or deco-inspired sculpture. On a horticulture wall that asked where people wanted more planting, attendees suggested bridge crossings, the entrance and exits, and the entranceway from the Van Wyck Expressway near the boathouse.
John Wang, CAB chairman, said that Sunday the board’s mission was to be the voice of the community.
“This is an important part of CAB’s mission of empowering local community members and ensuring that the park remains an accessible, public resource,” Wang said. “We look forward to applying what we learn from attendees to our work improving and protecting the park.”
Wang said CAB plans on going through all the notes and organizing the ideas as it plans ahead. The forum was an initial stage of public outreach, he said, and CAB intends to hold more open houses.
“The turnout today was good,” he said. “The community is very passionate about what happens to the park, They’re willingly and happily filling out surveys, and it’s all been more than expected.”
Clara Salas, a Community Board 4 member for 33 years, suggested community outreach programs from kindergarten to colleges. Every voice counts, she said.
“Our community parks are the lifelines nature gives us to continue to breathe and to sustain ourselves as healthy citizens in the borough of Queens,” she said. “Without the park, we would not be able to exist. We should take care of it and also be able to create necessary programs where all of us can grow and do better as conscious citizens.
“It’s also a place where children play. We have to protect nature and our planet. I appreciate the opportunity to voice our opinions on what we want to happen to this park.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart