Last weekend, hundreds of supporters showed up to celebrate the grand opening of Alley Pond Environmental Center’s (APEC) temporary headquarters in Oakland Gardens.
In December, APEC announced that it would move to 224-75 76th Ave. while NYC Parks works on renovating and expanding its building on Northern Boulevard. The Oakland Garden location will serve as the organization’s home for the next two years.
Approximately 400 attended the grand opening, which featured fruit smoothies, vegetarian Bengali cuisine and interactions with APEC’s menagerie of animals. Guests also enjoyed an afternoon of fun activities including a Play-Doh station and an aromatherapy spritzer class.
“The fact that so many people attended the event shows how loved APEC is,” said Councilman Barry Grodenchik. “With this wonderful new space, APEC’s programs and classes can continue uninterrupted while the old building gets an upgrade.”
APEC’s Northern Boulevard location will receive efficient heating, cooling and electrical system upgrades in addition to other updates to its facilities. The Parks Department also plans to expand the overall space so that the environmental education organization can host more classes and events.
“The grand opening was a smashing success. I was astounded by the enormous number of people who attended,” said APEC Executive Director Irene V. Scheid.
The temporary headquarters in Oakland Gardens is located at the eastern end of the parking lot near Springfield Boulevard in Alley Pond Park. Elected officials and Parks leadership attended the ribbon cutting, including Councilman Paul Vallone, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee and Queens Parks Commissioner Michael H. Dockett.
APEC has operated in its Northern Boulevard location since 1976 and has spent the last four decades educating children and adults, protecting and preserving Alley Pond Park and advocating for sustainable policies and practices.