The popular Alley Pond Park in northeast Queens had a brush with fame when the nation’s first president, George Washington, traveled through it on April 24, 1790.
Students from PS 213 and park ranger Matthew O’Keefe gathered with Councilman Barry Grodenchick (D-Oakland Gardens) on Monday to commemorate Washington’s journey through Alley Pond Park, 226 years ago.
The students read poems inspired by Washington and shared historical and fun facts about the national icon. O’Keefe also provided a history lesson to tell the students more about Washington’s journey through the park, which was part of a trip he took across Long Island.
“President Washington’s courage and message of tolerance are timeless. Today, we pay tribute to our first President’s visit to Alley Pond Park. Having students hear from a park ranger and discuss the history of Alley Pond Park and President Washington’s visit is a wonderful way for our students to connect our country’s history with our present,” Grodenchik said.
Curious park-goers can view a plaque commemorating Washington’s visit that was placed there in 1934 by the Matinecock Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The plaque is located on the corner of West Alley Road and 233rd Street.
At 655 acres, Alley Pond Park is the second largest park in Queens, after Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It is home to the Alley Pond Environmental Center as well as numerous ponds and a section of the Vanderbilt Motorway.