BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
The second annual Partnerships for Parks Conference will take place on Nov. 16, where two Queens park volunteer groups, among others, will be awarded for their dedication to enacting change in neighborhood parks.
The Briarwood Action Network and the Woodside Neighborhood Association are the recipients from Queens to receive the Golden Towel awards.
BAN will be recognized for its initiative to organize two volunteer-days per year, called “Its My Park Day,” which consists of projects like Briarwood Blooms.
Sylvia Sherman, vice president of BAN, a newly-formed civic association interested in improving conditions such as garbage collection, commuter transportation, traffic safety, crime detection and prevention, said it feels great to be recognized for an award because so many small organizations in lesser known communities, like Briarwood, do not receive recognition.
“Just knowing we were appreciated is already an honor and an award,” Sherman said.
She said it will also be an honor to see Parks Dept. Commissioner Veronica White during the conference.
In 2012, Woodside Neighborhood Association, led by David Rosasco, became a community partner with the Greening Western Queens Urban Forestry project, and through their efforts, WNA has planted and taken care of more than 192 trees in the neighborhood.
Rosasco said the volunteers at WNA recognize that verbal action alone is insufficient, which enables them to work on a three pillar plan that includes cleaning the community, wiping away the graffiti and making the neighborhoods greener.
For the future, Rososco said “they want to use their good energy to help individuals,” by giving out food to those who are in dire need of stabilizing their situation.
The Citywide conference will bring together hundreds of attendees who will learn how the City’s park groups improve quality of life and strengthen their neighborhoods. Park group leaders will network, meet experts and attend workshops that will range from marketing and social media to the legal basics of forming park groups.
Admission to the conference for participants is $10. It will take place at the New York University School of Law at the Vanderbilt Hall – Tishman Auditorium in the City.
For the complete conference schedule and ticketing information, including a full list of participating speakers, visit www.cityparksfoundation.org/partnerships-for-parks/2013-conference.
Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Tsakhuja13.