Local groups team up to clean Long Island City’s waterfront parks

Long Island City cherry blossoms
Hunter’s Point Park South hosts last stop on clean-up festival. (Photo by NYC Parks)

Local nonprofits and residents are joining forces to clean up the waterfront Long Island City parks as part of the Love Where You Live Community Clean Up Festival, Saturday, June 25. 

The Blue Bus Project (TBBP), is hosting the cleanup effort along with Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement and others. Starting at 10 a.m., volunteers will meet at Hallet’s Cove Beach to enjoy a live performance from Kin To The Cove, a community-powered environmental art group, before facilitating a beach cleanup.

From there, participants will have the option to walk or bike to the next location at Rainey Park to Queensbridge, and finish at Hunters Point South Park. Before ending the route, volunteers will meet at the Blue Bus in the Culture Lab parking lot for music and refreshments. 

Annalisa Iadicicco, creative director of TBBP, said that cleaning these waterfront parks will preserve the East River, which she argued is an incredibly important task. 

“Clean and healthy rivers have the potential to provide everything from clean drinking water to recreation opportunities to fish and wildlife habitat,” Iadicicco said. “This event aims to raise public awareness of the magnitude of trash accumulating in our nation’s waterways and is a great opportunity for civic engagement. Participating in a river cleanup is one way that citizens can do their part for the river in the city we all love.”

Jessica Sechrist, the manager of programming and development at Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said that since the parks are frequently visited in the warmer months, they need more hands to maintain. 

“I think the parks are well cared for by the city in general, but it is the summer, they see a huge amount of use, especially on weekends, and it can be difficult for the city to keep up with the huge volume of use they see,” Sechrist said. 

Hunters Point Parks Conservancy also hosts weekly volunteer events on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. to beautify Hunters Point South Park and Gantry Plaza State Park.