This past Saturday, May 18, AAFE’s Housing and Community Services Department, along with local residents and youth leaders from Lower East Side Prep, participated It’s My Park Day at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Chinatown.  During this annual event, New Yorkers from all over the city go to their local parks to “volunteer and celebrate their neighborhood parks and public spaces throughout the five boroughs.”  Dates and times for volunteering vary from park to park.  To see a full schedule of events, please click here.

Despite the rainy weather, AAFE staff and volunteers removed trash, and weeded and pruned flower beds. They also collected input from the community members about improvements that could be made to Sara D. Roosevelt Park.  A major focus was on gathering suggestions for the future transformation of the existing park storage space located near Stanton and Chrystie streets.  Recommendations included a library, swimming pool, and recreation center.

At the end of the day, the volunteers were treated to a free Zumba lesson and local goods from the nearby farmer’s market.  Thank you to  Stanton Street CSA, M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden, and Ted Blomgren of Windflower Farm for providing the yummy treats!  Also, thank you to NYC Parks and Recreation, Partnership for Parks, and K Webster and the rest of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition for organizing the event.

AAFE is one of the many members of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition.  The Coalition has a long history advocating for improvements to one of the city’s most heavily utilized neighborhood parks.  The current Stanton Street Park Store House campaign is uniting many local stakeholders and the Coalition is currently collecting signatures to get the community’s backing to help fund the building’s future bathrooms and renovation for the neighborhood.  AAFE’s involvement in the Coalition dates back to the 1980’s!

AAFE’s Jin Xiu stated, “Parks are vital for communities in New York City.  They give residents a place to relax, exercise, and meet up with friends.”  In addition, Jin Xiu underscored the importance of making sure the parks are properly maintained.  ”Residents should feel obligated to be responsible for and take of their local parks.  It’s My Park Day is a great opportunity to do so,” she said.

To view photos of the event, click here.

If you are interested in joining the Coalition, sign up for the mailing list by clicking here.