Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City is known for its spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, its manicured gardens and piers jutting out from the shoreline over the East River.
The 12-acre oasis that replaced an old industrial dockyard when it opened in 1998 is also popular for its hammocks which will soon be replaced.
Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park, now known as Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, was awarded a $17,000 matching grant from the Environmental Protection Fund’s Park and Trail Partnership Program to replace the hammocks and increase their volunteer gardening program. The Conservancy will have to raise an additional $3,000 in matching funds, for a total project budget of $20,000.
“Long Island City has been the fastest growing community in the country and this is reflected in the increase of park goers to Gantry Plaza State Park,” Hunters Point Parks Conservancy President Rob Basch said. “This grant will allow us to replace damaged and worn hammocks in the park and also allow us to increase our outreach to the community to encourage more volunteerism in keeping Gantry Plaza State Park the jewel on the East River that it is.”
The grant is one of 22 given to organizations across the state announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo dedicated to the stewardship and promotion of state parks, historic sites and public lands. The grants are awarded to Friends groups, nonprofit organizations often made up entirely of volunteers, that are essential to the stewardship and promotion of the state park system.
“New York state’s parks, trails, forests and historic sites offer world-class outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities, support tourism and grow local economies,” Cuomo said. “These partnership groups are essential to the continued success of our state parks, and today’s grants will help leverage the programming and fundraising efforts of these organizations to build a better state park system for generations to come.”
Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, also known as the Friends of Gantry State Park, was the only organization in New York City to receive the EPF grant this year to make an even greater contribution to the stewardship of New York’s great outdoor spaces.
“The Friends of Gantry State Plaza State Park continue to inspire the residents of Hunters Point in Long Island City, Queens,” Gantry Plaza State Park Manager Andrew Williams said. “This grant allows them to continue their mission to improve the quality of life for all residents that utilize the waterfront for recreational activities and expand upon their ability to do community outreach and volunteer events.”