Nov. 14, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
An influential community organization has put together a list of items it believes should be considered when the city determines how $30 million of improvements should be spent on Astoria Park.
The Astoria Park Alliance, an organization dedicated to sustaining the park, released a list of suggestions today as to how the Anchor Park funds allocated by Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this year should be spent.
The group will officially present the suggestions on Wednesday at the next community visioning session for the park, which will be held at the Bohemian Hall at 29-19 24th Avenue at 7 p.m.
In what the APA calls a “realistic, visionary Anchor Park design plan,” the ten suggestions for investments run the gamut from long-term maintenance to large-scale projects.
The first suggestion calls for an investment in sustainable beautification and maintenance of the park, including landscaping that addresses erosion, self-sustaining flower beds and plantings, a low-maintenance tree plan and a sturdy, easily maintained ground cover to green lawns
“The single biggest concern is maintenance, and that’s why it is at the forefront of our list,” said APA board member Anthony Liberatoscioli. “We strongly feel as an organization that the investment in the park is great but if you don’t take care of it over the years there’s no point, you’ll be left in a bad situation.”
The list continues with suggestions including refurbished and expanded comfort stations, free Wi-Fi throughout the park, solar powered lights along the paths, and repaving all hard surfaces for drainage and erosion control.
Further down the list, it calls for establishing safe shore access, removing fences wherever possible, adding temporary storage cubbies for track users, and having rental equipment such as bocce, Ping-Pong, and volleyball.
The biggest project on the list, which has also been suggested by Councilman Costa Constantinides in the past, is adding a soccer field in the center of the track. The plan stipulates, however, that the track be environmentally friendly and have built in protection for the runners on the track.
Liberatoscioli explained that the APA came up with the list by polling members about their priorities for the park, and compiling the most common suggestions in to the list.
“We’re really excited about this program, we think it’s a great moment in history for Astoria Park and we wanted to do our part to make it as good as possible,” Liberatoscioli said.