July 29, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A Long Island City non-profit group that helps with the upkeep of the waterfront parks has been awarded a large grant to buy plantings and upgrade the landscape at Gantry Plaza State Park.
The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, which organizes events and maintains the parks in Hunters Point, announced this week that it will be receiving a $15,500 matching grant through the New York State Parks Environmental Protection Fund.
The bulk of the award will be used by the conservancy to purchase new plants for the park and replace older ones that have been damaged due to high foot traffic. The grant will also go toward buying grass seeds to repair worn landscape areas at the park, upgrade pathways, and fund the group’s outreach efforts for gardening projects.
The grant has been awarded through the state’s Park and Trail Partnership Grants program that is administered by the non-profit organization Parks and Trails New York (PTNY). HPPC was one of 27 organizations selected as part of the program.
The grant required the HPPC to raise 17 percent of the $15,500 through a combination of cash and in-kind hours.
The organization met that challenge — including raising $2,500 cash — which essentially unlocked the $15,500. The HPPC will receive half of the grant in the coming weeks, and the remainder of the funds next year, according to Rob Basch, president of the HPPC.
Basch said that securing the grant was important for the group’s efforts to help conserve and maintain the park.
“The grant will provide much-needed remediate landscape work and plantings that will be appreciated by all park goers for many years to come,” Basch said.
Volunteers with the HPPC, Basch said, have already planted more than 200 new plants at the park using funds from its reserves that will be replenished when the grant comes through. The group also brought level the pathway in the park with the adjacent sidewalk, in order to prevent pedestrians from tripping, he said.
The HPPC carried out the work during its weekly volunteer group gatherings where residents typically assist with gardening tasks like weeding, mulching, and planting.
Leslie Wright, NYC Regional Director for New York State Parks, congratulated the HPPC on securing the grant.
“We at NYS Parks are thrilled and grateful to see the impact of this PTNY grant at our beloved Gantry Plaza State Park,” Wright said.
“And [we are] so appreciative of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy for their support and dedication to [the park].”
To make a donation to the HPPC, click here