Flushing Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy receives top honor at citywide awards ceremony

Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy-Sam Biederman, Sabina Saragoussi, Sumiyyah Dupass, Mitchell Silver, Peter Koo, Dorothy L Woo, Denise Winters, Carol Marrone, Roland G. Wade, Brenda Tow, Shah Tariq, Heath
Photo by Danny Avila, NYC Parks

The Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy was delighted to be honored on March 27 with an award for their commitment to transforming the park through service, advocacy and collaboration.

Partnership for Parks held its sixth annual “It’s My Park Awards Reception” at the Prince George Ballroom, located at 15 E 27th St. in Manhattan, recognizing this year’s seven outstanding community groups selected from over 280 that participated in the 2018 It’s My Park program, which engages volunteers in hands-on service projects throughout New York City neighborhood parks. 

Serving the Flushing community since 2006, The Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy received the Golden Trowel Award, which recognizes volunteers’ commitment to transforming their parks and green spaces into dynamic community assets.  

“It’s feels very good to be picked out in the community to receive such a prestigious award,” said Chuck Wade, president of The Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy. “We are all thrilled by it — Dorothy Woo, Carol Marrone, Denise Winters, and a few other people who were there for the recognition. We’re sorry that Claudette Trimingham didn’t make it, but we certainly thank her and other people who have helped in the last 10 years to finally get the Kissena Park Conservancy in preparation for a new park.”

For well over a decade, the conservancy has been working with NYC Parks to care for the vast, open spaces of the 100-acre park. The conservancy runs two It’s My Park projects a year, bringing out almost 150 community members to volunteer. Members are engaged through park beautification projects, conservation efforts, and public education.

Encompassing most of the parkland of eastern Queens, Kissena Corridor Park hosts basketball and handball courts, baseball, cricket, football, and soccer fields, fitness equipment, and multiple playgrounds.

Because of the park’s expansive size and abundant natural space, it had become a site for crime. To address this, the conservancy worked with Councilman Peter Koo to secure two NYC Parks enforcement officers to patrol the area. In 2018, the conservancy hosted their first movie night and successfully advocated for funding for capital improvement projects throughout the park, including a meditation garden.

“This meditation garden will be a place of solace and mediation for patients in the Oncology Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, and we’re very happy that Commissioner Lewandowski and the borough president saw this is accomplished before the term ends,” said Wade.

Thus far, additional improvements include a new wood chip trail created next to the 146th Street playground entrance at 56th Road, recreation of the silent spring playground, and lighting throughout the park.

Additional award winners at the ceremony included the four other borough’s Golden Trowel award recipients: Muslim Volunteers for New York (Manhattan); Parent Child Relationship (Brooklyn); Bronx Sole (Bronx); and Westerleigh Parks Coaltion (Staten Island); as well as the Tim Tompkins Leadership Award winner, Jerome Park FANS (Bronx) and the Rookie of the Year Award winner, Friends of Mariner Harbor Parks (Staten Island).

It’s My Park award winners were self or peer nominated and vetted by a Partnerships for Parks selection committee that focused on nominees’ achievements in the past year. Special regard was given to nominees who overcame a challenge in their park or within their community group, coordinated an It’s My Park project, and/or acted as an inspirational role model for NYC community park volunteers.