Top stories to watch for in northeast Queens in 2022

The NYC Parks Department along with northeast Queens elected officials and community residents celebrated the groundbreaking of Challenge Playground in Little Neck. (Photo by NYC Parks/Daniel Avila)

Several projects began in 2021 and are set to debut within the next few months, including the Bayside Historical Society’s 21st Annual Winter Art Show coming to Queens in February 2022.

Keep reading to see what else is in store for the new year in northeast Queens.

Bayside Historical Society 21st Annual Winter Art Show

From now until Jan. 12, 2022, the Bayside Historical Society is holding an open call for creators to feature at its 21st Annual Winter Art Show. Organizers made a decision to hold a virtual event for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization said that it is looking for artists ages 18 and older who live, work or attend school in Queens and work in a variety of media including painting, drawing and sculpting.

Those who are chosen will submit photos of their artwork to be exhibited in virtual “galleries” on the BHS website to be on display for the entire month of February 2022. Selections from the show will also be displayed at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center on a voluntary basis.

Last year, BHS’ 20th annual art show went virtual due to the pandemic and artists also had the opportunity to show their work in storefronts at the shopping center.

Funding for the show is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Open call for the art show is ongoing until Jan. 12. Visit baysidehistorical.org/bhs-winter-art-show to find out how to submit artwork.

Renovations on Bay Terrace Library begin

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

The Queens Public Library held a groundbreaking for its Bay Terrace branch on Dec. 14 in preparation for a $5.7 million overhaul in 2022.

The two-year project is set to begin as early as March 2022 and will include an expansion of the main entrance, improvements to the exterior garden area and a full interior renovation.

“With these renovations, the Bay Terrace branch will be more welcoming, inspiring and technologically efficient, and will reinforce its role as the center of community life,” Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott said. “I want to thank Council member Paul Vallone for his advocacy and financial support for libraries in his district and beyond, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and state Senator John Liu for securing the funds to modernize the Bay Terrace branch, helping ensure Queens Public Library can continue to provide free access to information, knowledge and opportunity for all.”

According to QPL, the Bay Terrace library will undergo a full interior renovation that will feature updated furniture and technology; a new designated teen area; a new, state-of-the-art multipurpose community room with audiovisual equipment; and a new ADA-compliant ramp that gives access from the 23rd Avenue side entrance.

Other features of the overhaul include a new HVAC stem and an energy-efficient roof.

Challenge Playground comes to Little Neck

In summer 2021, NYC Parks and elected officials broke ground at the site of the upcoming Challenge Playground in Little Neck. According to the Parks Department, the $3,075,000 redesign includes new sensory play equipment, fencing and a modernized spray shower to replace an old cement wading pool.

Councilman Barry Grodenchik and former Queens Borough President Melinda Katz visited the site a 251st Street and 61st Avenue back in January 2019, which led to plans to build a new playground in the area.

According to Parks, the playground will feature auditory and visual elements that offer playful shadows effects, sounds and touchable features. It will also include new seating and picnic areas, plantings and repaved pedestrian pathways.

Funding for the project was made possible by a $75,000 allocation from Grodenchik, $3 million from Katz and continued support from Borough President Richards.

“Playgrounds are critical to the health of a community, so the redesign and reconstruction of Challenge Playground will provide tremendous benefit to the communities of Little Neck and Douglaston,” Grodenchik said.

Construction on the project is set to finish in May 2022.

To track the project’s progress, visit nycgovparks.org.

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