Forest Hills officials, civic groups continue autumn community cleanup series

Forest Hills residents and elected officials gather for a community cleanup on Austin Street in September. (Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Hevesi’s office)

After coming together to clean up Austin Street last month, Forest Hills residents and local elected officials are partnering to conduct another community cleanup at Metropolitan Avenue and Continental Avenue at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23.

The idea for this event was initially raised at a community meeting organized by Metro Village of Forest Hills, an organization created to bring business owners and residents together in order to help preserve and strengthen the community, according to Rachel Kellner, owner of Aigner Chocolates and co-founder of the organization. 

Volunteers, in addition to cleaning, will distribute informational flyers to businesses advising how they may avoid fines from the Department of Sanitation by keeping sidewalks maintained.

“This clean-up initiative will allow us to join our efforts as a united community. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our local electeds working tirelessly to improve the neighborhoods in which we live and work,” Kellner said. 

The groups came together for a cleanup on Austin Street in September, in which more than 15 community members participated. This response prompted the cleanup for Sunday, with additional events being planned for November in Middle Village and Rego Park. Students who participate may claim volunteer service hours for their efforts. The organizers noted that all necessary supplies would be provided to each volunteer along with coffee, doughnuts, and water. 

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi said the cleanups give neighbors a chance to play their part, create a sense of community, and help direct city resources to where they are needed. 

“It’s incredibly encouraging to see how many friends and partners are committed to the work, and we’re looking forward to seeing where this series goes,” Hevesi said. 

For Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., the community cleanups give elected officials the opportunity to get involved in their communities and make a real difference. 

“We work hand-in-hand with our partners in government, community leaders and organizations, as well as the people of the community during these events to clean up the neighborhood and help install a sense of pride in the local area,” Addabbo said. “I want to thank all the partners of this great event and I look forward to doing more of these throughout my district.” 

Schulmann thanked her colleagues for their diligence in helping to keep communities looking their best. 

 “Our communities shine the brightest when we come together for a common cause,” Schulmann said. “Cleanups are a great example of this, giving opportunities for students to get volunteer service hours and for community members to combine their efforts for the greater good of their neighborhood.” 

 Those interested in volunteering can contact Hevesi’s office via phone at 718-263-5595 or by emailing [email protected]

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