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Feature Stories March 29, 2012  RSS feed

Volunteers Are Wanted For A Spring Cleaning Of City Parks

Lend A Hand On ‘New York Cares Day’

New York Cares is seeking thousands of volunteers to take part in New York Cares Day Spring on Saturday, Apr. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Now in its 18th year, this citywide day of spring greening will revitalize more than 80 parks, gardens, playgrounds and community centers across the five boroughs.

This year, volunteers will spruceup 17 green spaces in Queens including Rockaway Beach, where New Yorkers will clean-up the beach; and Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, where volunteers will spread mulch and remove invasive species along the waterfront.

Team registration has been extended until Friday, Apr. 6. Individuals can register until Friday, Apr. 20.

“We still need an additional 2,000 volunteers to sign up to be able to tackle all the work that needs to be done on New York Cares Day,” said Gary Bagley, executive director of New York Cares. “This year, we have a special focus on the city’s waterfront, in addition to our traditional gardening projects. Volunteers will restore 10 miles of coastline across New York City to make these areas more sustainable for plant and animal life and more accessible for city residents.”

New York Cares Day Spring is an annual day of service run by New York Cares, the city’s largest volunteer organization, and is sponsored by HSBC for the sixth consecutive year.

“New York Cares Day Spring is an annual rite of the season, and we thank New York Cares and HSBC for bringing 5,000 volunteers to New York City’s parks, playgrounds, com- munity gardens and coastlines to clean up and green up these vital public spaces,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Parks are New Yorkers’ backyards, and the perfect place to start your spring cleaning. We are grateful to all of the citizen volunteers whose generous donations of time and labor will improve their neighborhood parks and open spaces.”

Residents who are 12 years of age and older can register to volunteer at www.newyorkcaresday.org, with a registration fee of $20 per person. The website provides details including how to participate and how to make a donation in honor of a team or a volunteer. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

New York Cares Day Spring (formerly Hands on New York Day) is a serve-a-thon, similar to a walk-athon, where participants raise money in honor of the time they spend volunteering to support the cost of the event and New York Cares’ yearround volunteer programs. Each year, New York Cares mobilizes 54,000 volunteers to help 400,000 New Yorkers in need.

Green spaces in Queens slated to be spruced-up on New York Cares Day Spring include Little Bay Park in Bayside, Brookville Park, Rockaway Beach, Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows, Kissena Park in Flushing, MacNeil Park in College Point, Martins Field in Flushing, Bowne Park in Murray Hill, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Jamaica Bay Park, Bayswater Park in Far Rockaway, Rufus King Park in Jamaica, Forest Park, Highland Park, Flushing Fields and Astoria Park.