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Statement on the Creation of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
On Monday, November 16, Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Ferreras announced the creation of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance. New Yorkers for Parks issued the following statement in response:

With today’s announcement, Queens community members and leadership have taken great steps toward creating better open space for the borough. The Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance will increase the quality of life for the tens of thousands of residents from across the borough and the city that depend upon Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for recreation, relaxation, and as a place to gather with family and friends.

New Yorkers for Parks worked with Councilmember Ferreras and Queens community members for the past 4 years, first to save the Park from intrusion from a proposed Major League Soccer stadium, then in securing $10.05 million in funding from the US Tennis Association, and finally to help establish this conservancy. It is a true alliance with a board made up of government, business, and community leaders, as well as an independent Community Advisory Board.

The Alliance can now advocate for the park and raise funds to augment its limited budget. With this support, the park will receive much-needed capital improvements and hire additional staff to supplement its 18 full-time and 35 seasonal Parks Department staff. By comparison, Central Park has approximately 300 full-time workers, 17 of whom are paid for the Parks Department.

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park encapsulates so many of the qualities that make New York City great; it attracts people from across the borough and the city, who congregate in the park for diverse reasons. On any given week the park hosts soccer, baseball, volleyball, and cricket games. As many as 20,000 people play soccer in the park every week through the organized league games alone. Residents run and bike along its paths, and row boats in Meadow Lake. Extended families gather in the park to celebrate birthdays, baby showers, quinceañeras, and all manner of special occasions. With its iconic Unisphere from the 1964 World’s Fair, the Queens Museum, New York Hall of Science, Botanical Garden and Zoo, the “World’s Park” is a place where New York’s history mingles with the essential everyday activities of residents from the surrounding communities.

The park is a beautiful and important place, and the creation of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance is going to give the people of Queens the ability to make it even better.

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