BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Founder of Friends of Queensbridge Park and Queensbridge resident, Elizabeth McQueen was honored last week by Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Friends of Queensbridge Park members and community residents by having her name don the Queensbridge Park Esplanade.
Before passing away this February at the age of 83, McQueen left a legacy in Queensbridge, not only founding the group but also leading them for over 18 years, organizing cleanups and community festivities, along with advocating for the reconstruction of the seawall. The reconstruction was completed in 2014, costing $7 million.
“Ms. McQueen understood the transformational power that access to beautiful outdoor spaces could have for the Queensbridge community,” said Van Bramer. “For her, restoring the park was about justice for her community. I was honored to work with her to repair the esplanade and secure funding for the park house, and I can imagine no more fitting tribute to her life’s work than this renaming today.”
Not only did she advocate for the reconstruction of the seawall, but she also advocated for a new park house, which will be put in place of an abandoned space. The empty area used to contain bathrooms, a community space and a concession but now with the $4 million in funding, the construction of the park house is projected to begin this fall.
“For nearly two decades, Elizabeth McQueen was a tireless advocate for this park, seeing to it that Queensbridge got the investment and care that it deserves,” said Silver. “We are grateful for her spirit and her commitment, and proud to name this esplanade in her honor so that her legacy may live on for years to come.”
During her time, McQueen received several acknowledgements, awards and proclamations such as the M.L.K Service Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which was for her outstanding services in the Queensbridge Park.
In addition to her 18 years with the Friends of Queensbridge, McQueen served over 22 years on the board for Jacob RIIS Neighborhood Settlement.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or email@example.com