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Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
This weekend, the Friends of Astoria Heights Park will celebrate their second annual Pedal for Parks event

Spring is upon us, and what better way to celebrate the season than with a bicycle ride through some of Astoria’s parks?

The Friends of Astoria Heights will be hosting their second annual Pedal for Parks event on Saturday, May 12, from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Following the bike ride, attendees will also be able to participate in a Learn to Ride event, where they will receive information and giveaways. Event organizers suggest the bike ride for children older than 7 years old and adults.

During this family-friendly event, participants and ancillary police escorts from the 114th Precinct will take a six-mile ride that starts off in Astoria Heights Park and ends at Paul Raimonda Park.

The Friends of Astoria Heights was founded in 2013 by a group of parents and neighborhood volunteers to promote a positive message of having “safe, family outings that encourage physical activity and building appreciation of our local green spaces and their sustainability.”

According to the NYC Parks website, Astoria Heights Park is slated to reopen this month following a year-and-a-half reconstruction project that began in November 2016. The $5.2 million project was funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough President Melinda Katz and the City Council as part of the Community Parks Initiative (CPI). Parks in this initiative were chosen by the mayor to receive funding to “transform park space with community input.”

In addition to this event, the group is also known for hosting many community projects, including park cleanups, art installations, book swaps, a library book drop location, a compost drop off and various performances. Their efforts have earned them the Golden Trowel Award as well as the Mayoral Service Award.

The event has garnered the support of a number of elected officials and organizations, including Councilman Costa Constantinides, GreeNYC, DOT, Parks Department, Transportation Alternatives, Bike NYC, Make Queens Safer, Coalition for Transportation Safety, The Friends of Raimonda Park, Essential Water and Dunkin’ Donuts.

“We are blessed to have many safe routes for kids and families to enjoy biking in Queens,” said Make Queens Safer co-founder Cristina Furlong. “There’s no better way to grow cycling than by joining on the Pedal to Parks ride and connecting families with great destinations by bike. Pedal to Parks is one of a growing number of annual events that celebrate our neighborhoods and build community at the same time.”

Participants are advised to meet at Astoria Heights Playground, located at 45th Street and 30th Road, at 9:45 a.m. More details and information for registration for this free event can be found on Eventbrite. You can also contact Lynn Kennedy of the Friends of Astoria Heights at 646-512-0680 or lynnakennedy@outlook.com.

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