‘A Day of Healing’ event coming to Forest Hill’s MacDonald Park in celebration of Earth Day

healing MacDonald Park
MacDonald Park in Forest Hills (Photo courtesy of NYC Parks)

The Task Force for Holistic Healing of Central Queens is organizing a series of events this Sunday, April 24 in Forest Hills at MacDonald Park in celebration of Earth Day weekend. 

Amy Long of Earth Citizens Club of Queens and Mark Laster of the Forest Hills Green Team organized the activities that support awareness of community connections, the environment and inner peace. The day will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. with family friendly activities open to all. Light refreshments will be available.

The day will start with continued efforts to clean up MacDonald Park with the Parks Department assisting with new plantings. Other activities include a mind-body healing exercise. These exercises will include stretching, breathing and meditation. 

A temporary walking labyrinth will be made from found materials. Individuals will be offered a three-part meditative prompt for peaceful contemplation while entering, walking and exiting the labyrinth. The Interactive Humanity Collage will be an exhibit that participants can walk through silently and be invited to reflect on times when they experienced bias and discrimination, directly or indirectly, and acted as the perpetrators, directly or indirectly.  

Through this meditation, there will be a space for people to self-reflect on and address the common roots of hate in their lives, according to the organizers. 

The Art Flags for Peace will be an interactive art exhibit where people can write or draw their hopes, dreams and prayers for a more peaceful community and Earth. The hand-drawn flags will be hung around the park so that these visions can be shared with the community throughout the event.

“Our priorities in Albany this year were to empower us to overcome our adversities, help people reach their potential, and create sustainably safer communities,” said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. “The platform is driven by what is at the heart of our constituencies. In Forest Hills, that’s hands-on investment from our local leaders and an incredible sense of community in every aspect of life. It’s humbling to work among these individuals and I thank everyone who made this day happen.” 

The Citizens Earth Club was inspired by the service work of Friends of MacDonald Park and became its own group in May 2015. It is a volunteer-based group that aims to maintain and improve the facilities and horticulture in Ehrenreich-Austin Playground and other Queens parks through service projects and advocacy. 

The Forest Hills Green Team (FHGT) is also a group of volunteers interested in greening NYC and responding to climate change, focused on local applications and activities in and around Forest Hills and Rego Park.