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Jackson Heights Green Alliance

December 31, 2013


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Dear friends and Neighbors:

In 2013, the Jackson Heights Green Alliance has been working hard to expand and improve public open space in our neighborhood. As the end of the year approaches, we reflect on this year’s accomplishments and look to you for support in 2014.

This summer the Garden School field, recently purchased by the city after our hard-fought advocacy, was renamed Rory Staunton field after the brilliant young man who was a tireless supporter of our mission and of improving life for Queens residents.

This space is now open to the public anytime that the Garden School is not is session including evenings, weekends, and all summer long.

This fall, the Parks department began the community participation process that will eventually culminate in a redesigned and unified public space encompassing Travers Park, the 78th Street Play Street Plaza and the new Rory Staunton field. The Green Alliance has been working hard with city agencies and public officials to make sure this process will be transparent and accountable and will result in a new public space that serves the needs of all of Jackson Heights’ diverse populations.

Meanwhile, we have also been responsible for maintaining 78th Street Plaza, keeping it clean and supplying amenities such as seating, plants, and other improvements.

Please consider a tax deductible contribution before December 31 to help support our efforts and to claim a deduction on your 2013 taxes. All donations to the Jackson Heights Green Alliance, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, are tax-deductible.

Click here to donate!

How your donation will help:

$20 will buy one bottle of graffiti removal solvent. We use a lot!
$50 will buy spring flowers for one of the 12 large planters located on the plaza.
$100 will pay for one day of cleaning and plant care by our maintenance partner, La Luna Enterprises, a job training program for developmentally disabled adults.
$500 will pay for a week of cleaning and plant care.
$1,000 will buy a new shade umbrella for the plaza to accompany the ones already in place.

Thank you, and see you around the neighborhood!

October 23, 2013

Upcoming events

Dear neighbors, we’re pleased to announce some exciting upcoming events!

Town Hall

First of all, on Tuesday October 22nd, from 6-8PM, Assemblyman Francisco Moya will be holding a Town Hall that will focus on Quality of Life issues. The panel will include representatives from the Department of Sanitation, 82nd Street Partnership, Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Labor and more. We will have a question and answer session, so please bring your concerns or questions.

Tuesday October 22nd, 2013

Jewish Center of Jackson Heights
37-06 77th Street

Please contact Assemblyman Moya’s office at 718 458-5367 if you have any questions.

Visioning Session

On October 26th, the NYC Department of Parks will be holding a Visioning Session to gather feedback and ideas for how to improve the following spaces: Travers Park, the 78th Street Plaza and the Rory Staunton Field.

Saturday October 26th, 2013
The Cafeteria at IS 145, 33-34 80th Street

This will be our first (and not only) opportunity to let the Parks Department know how we – the residents of Jackson Heights – would like our parks and plazas to evolve. If you feel strongly about this or have a particular idea we strongly urge you to attend this visioning session.

Diversity Plaza Petition

Finally, please take the time to sign the below petition:

Council Member Dromm recently allocated funds to improve Diversity Plaza and by signing the petition you will be adding your voice to the push for further improvements to the space.

Thank you, see you around the neighborhood!

April 21, 2013

Former Garden School field to be named after Rory Staunton

On Thursday, May 18th, Community Board 3 in Queens voted unanimously to name our latest additional parkland, formerly the Garden School field, after Rory Staunton.

Letters of support were read from Congressman Joseph Crowley, Council member Daniel Dromm, Assemblyman Dendecker, Borough President Helen Marshal. The Jackson Heights Beautification Group and The Jackson Heights Green Alliance expressed their support for this.

Rory was an amazing 12 year old who attended the Garden School until his tragic death in April last year. After a fall while playing basketball during gym class at the school, a cut he received became infected with sepsis. Tragically, several days later Rory died in the hospital.

His keen political sense and his deep compassion for others are well remembered by everyone who was lucky enough to meet him, and we feel that naming the new park after him is a very fitting gesture to remember this bright young man.

We believe that it is also appropriate because Rory’s father Ciaran Staunton was instrumental in preventing the Garden School from selling their athletic field to a private developer. As a Board Member at the school, he was often the only person voting to try to prevent the sale from taking place. He believed that a park was the right use for this space, and the right move for the school, and he fought for that. When all seemed hopeless, Rory pushed his father to redouble his efforts, and with his help, the Jackson Heights community and political leadership succeeded in our dream.

So it is thanks to Rory, his sister Kathleen, parents Ciaran and Orlaith that today we have a new parkland there and not a 10 story apartment building, and it is time to show our gratitude to a family that has suffered so much, and also given so much.

For more information on Rory Staunton and the foundation set up in his name, go here:

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