The community group Friends of Frank Principe Park was formed in April to address some local concerns like a lack of play equipment and general upkeep neglect. Lance Lovejoy started Friends of Frank Principe Park with other community members to gain funding to make necessary upgrades.
“I have a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, and ever since I had them and started going to the park every day, I realized it’s in poor shape,” Lovejoy said. “I started talking to neighbors and everyone agreed we should start doing cleanups and before we knew it there were a lot of people who wanted to volunteer.”
Supplies for the cleanup were provided by the NYC Parks Department with more than 30 volunteers joining the effort. The group repainted 27 benches and cleaned the main walkways. Hevesi also discussed potential options going forward to improve the conditions of Frank Principe Park.
“With redistricting extending my district into Maspeth, we wanted to get out to Frank Principe as we have with all other parks in our district,” Hevesi said. “It’s a great location with great amenities. There are certain areas needing improvement, and we’ve been talking with local organizers about getting state resources to help out. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can get done.”
Lovejoy has encouraged his members to attend all the local civic meetings to get local leaders to pay attention to their demands. Lovejoy said that the group wants more play equipment like swings, new matting around the park and an updated sprinkler system.
“We are growing in numbers and will continue our efforts to make sure this park gets the much-needed improvements and funding so all the great neighbors of Maspeth can enjoy,” Lovejoy said. “We’re starting to make progress with the community board and the politicians here.”