Dec. 16, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy broke many of its own records in 2022, with the organization attributing its success to its volunteers, donors and sponsors.
The organization, which helps maintain and organize events at Long Island City’s waterfront parks, removed more weeds this year than ever before (1,100 bags), hosted more runners at its LIC Waterfront 5K than in the past (1,400 participants), and held more than 100 free programs that drew thousands of visitors to the parks.
The non-profit is currently in the midst of a fundraising campaign so it can continue to provide events and services in 2023. The organization is halfway toward its year-end fundraising goal of $15,000, with just two weeks left. HPPC is urging more people to donate before the year’s end. To donate, please click here.
“We look forward to topping our achievements in 2023,” said Rob Basch, President of HPPC. “We ask for your help as we hope to raise more funds to keep Long Island City’s parks clean, vibrant, and engaging in 2023.”
Basch said that the Long Island City community has always been generous, and that it has helped fund the organization’s efforts to maintain and improve the parks in recent years.
HPPC Executive Director Jessica Sechrist said that the organization is looking for donations as it enters 2023.
“Donations to HPPC will help us expand on our 2022 successes,” Sechrist said. “We can use these funds for programming, volunteer equipment, plants, and park fixtures to keep Hunter’s Point South Park and Gantry Plaza State Park beautiful and inviting in 2023.”
The desire for park programming was very high in 2022. This year’s Summer Kids programs was very much in demand and was attended by more than 1,400 kids. The series offered 42 straight days of children’s events in the parks, including kids’ yoga and fitness classes, STEAM- and STEM- activities, magic shows, and art programs.
HPPC’s other programs also saw high attendance, including yoga events with more than 150 participants each week in Hunters Point South Park, and a screening of Encanto with more than 1,300 people in the audience.
The seventh annual LIC Waterfront 5k, HPPC’s primary fundraising event, also had its highest-ever attendance. For the first time, the June event sold out its 1,400 registration spots for people to run or walk the course, with more than 150 kids taking part in the Shibley Day Camp Center Boulevard Kids Dash after the main race.
HPPC also continued its volunteer program to support planting and weeding in the two parks. This year, more than 45 volunteer sessions were held, where 800 people helped remove 1,400 bags of weeds, and add 942 plants in the two parks.
The parks are both filled with native plants that support valuable local pollinators, birds, and insects. HPPC holds bi-weekly weeding and maintenance events and also hosts companies that want to volunteer. The planting beds also support the filtration of stormwater and carbon storage and help prevent run-off during storms.
HPPC also hosted the 8th annual Bulbfest in November, where more than 200 people planted nearly 20,000 tulip, daffodil, and allium bulbs in the two parks, which will bloom this spring. In the last 8 years, HPPC has planted over 75,000 bulbs in the parks at its annual events.
For those who would like to donate to HPPC, please click here.