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Woodhaven BID hosts community cleanup

A community cleanup in the heart of Woodhaven brought out over 30 volunteers to help beautify their neighborhood this past weekend.

The community event, organized by the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, saw sidewalks get swept, graffiti get painted over, and a sense of pride return to longtime residents.

Starting at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, community members from the local BID, as well as the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, Community Board 9 and youth from the NYPD’s Law Enforcement Explorers program, all pitched in to the efforts on the morning of Saturday, April 9.

The city’s Department of Sanitation lended brooms and dustpans to the community cleanup effort.

John Ziegler, a former resident of Woodhaven, collected sidewalk trash along Jamaica Avenue while reminiscing of the neighborhood he once called home.

“I think it’s about trying to keep the sense of community, like I experienced as a kid here,” said Ziegler, who now resides in Long Island. “It’s so future generations can experience what I did. It means so much.”

On the other side of Woodhaven’s busiest street, the tag-team of Martin Coburg and Kenichi Wilson painted over graffiti markings underneath the subway tracks.

“We try to come support and to let the community know what they’re doing,” Coburg, president of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, said. “It’s more than just helping the businesses, we also want to have a nice, clean district.”

The two said a common problem along the store-lined streets of Woodhaven includes the ongoing issue of trash placed on the sidewalks.

Wilson, the first vice-chair of Community Board 9, noted that with many residential dwellings sitting above storefronts, businesses often receive tickets for trash being thrown out by tenants.

With residents, businesses and even third-party landlords involved in the issue, Wilson commended the work that both the Woodhaven BID and the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association have done for its community members and businesses.

“I feel that this is one of the biggest, best run business improvement districts in all of Queens,” Wilson said.

Beautifying Briarwood: collaboration targets trash, graffiti

A series of cleanup initiatives will aim to rid Briarwood of unsightly litter and graffiti.
Councilman James Gennaro announced that new partnerships with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), Wildcat Service Corporation and The Doe Fund will spearhead the effort.
“I am confident that these partnerships will make a visible difference in our communities and be greatly appreciated by people who love clean streets,” said Gennaro, speaking from the median on Queens Boulevard in Briarwood. “I am committed to making this district the cleanest it has ever been. “
Funding secured for the cleanup initiative includes $185,000 for Wildcat, $150,000 to The Doe Fund and $95,000 for the DSNY, totaling $430,000 in this year’s budget.
The money for DSNY will be used for additional cleaning services from 164th Street to 188th Street along Union Turnpike. Two additional service days will be added for trash pick-up, and the median along Union Turnpike will be maintained as well.
“There are so many tools in creating a clean city,” said DSNY Commissioner Edward Grayson. “This influx of support and leadership in keeping Queens clean is so critical to how we achieve this mission.”
Grayson said residents of Queens try to keep their neighborhoods clean, but the choices of a “few bad actors” are the biggest culprit.
“It takes the village to clean the village,” he said..
Wildcat Service Corporation, a Bronx-based social services organization, will provide snow removal for elderly and disabled residents in the district.
The company will also provide sanitation services to Hillside avenue from Sutphin Boulevard to 173rd Street three times a week. Areas on the Grand Central Parkway Service Road between 188th Street and Utopia Parkway will also be cleaned once every two weeks.
Workers from The Doe Fund will be cleaning the Main Street business corridor and areas of Queens Boulevard twice a week.
“With the effort of Wildcat and The Doe Fund and the sanitation department, we expect to see things looking much better,” said Community Board 8 chair Martha Taylor. “We are delighted to know that our streets will be much cleaner.”

Macy’s volunteers help clean LIC park

On April 22, employee volunteers from the Macy’s Partners in Time program helped the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy in Long Island City with park clean up, trash removal, weeding and planting for the spring season. The group was also given a tour of the park, touching on its sustainability and resilient design features.
Through a corporate giving grant, Macy’s is providing a $10,000 contribution in support of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy efforts.

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