Photo by Phil Corso
By Phil Corso

The path to Little Neck Bay has been made a little bit easier for residents living along the water in Douglaston, thanks to the neighborhood civic group and elected officials.

Tom Pinto, president of the Doug-Bay Manor Civic, announced his group worked with the city, the 111th Precinct and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) to trim, clean and reopen an overgrown trail leading to the bay in Douglaston. The path, which sits where 233rd Street and 39th Avenue meet, had become unusable over the years after vegetation and litter became its regular inhabitants.

But crews have since restored the trail leading down to Little Neck Bay, leaving a winding dirt path residents can trek down toward the water.

Pinto said the trail was once an easy way to get to the water in Douglaston for a scenic view of Little Neck Bay, but had lost its beauty over the years. The city Parks Department regularly maintained the area, but did not keep the trail cleared for residents to walk through.

The civic leader said his group reached out to Avella’s office and the city Parks Department last year to determine how feasible the trail’s reopening would be, and the Parks Department agreed to have crews clear out the brush blocking the dirt walkway.

Though the achievement may seem small, Pinto said the civic was glad to see its landscape taken care of in accordance with its members’ vision. The Doug Bay Manor Civic services residents living mostly near the Douglaston Long Island Rail Road station and has spent years working on proposals to convert another nearby area at the corner of 39th Avenue and 234th Street into a park. They have spent most of the last decade asking elected officials and developers to consider their proposal.

Ann Jawin, chairwoman and founder of the civic group, also said the tiny enclave in northeast Queens could use more outdoor areas for residents to enjoy.

Jawin and Pinto said they will continue working with the Parks Department to ensure the vegetation is kept in check along the trail so it does not grow over the path again, especially considering the fact that summer’s end is quickly approaching.

The path was one of the only options for residents seeking scenic views of the bay, until Community Board 11 and the Parks Department established the Joseph Hellmann overlook off Douglaston Parkway last year. That overlook will continue to see improvements in the coming years as Parks secures funding to install benches, a fence and additional wooden railing, the city said.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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