05/16/14 10:00am


The National Park Service released a plan for the Gateway National Recreational Area, which encompasses parks in South Queens like the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Howard Beach’s Charles Park. The Forum reports that the proposal to expand the public use of Gateway includes “‘improved amenities and recreation facilities’ as trails and campsites, more community-based recreation such as sports leagues and event spaces, environmental educational programming, development of water trails, and expansion of beach access.” It’s the result of four years of planning by the National Park Service; now the final plan is up for public review. It’s expected that the National Park Service will adopt the plan, but it’s unclear if it’ll actually become a reality — according to the Forum, many of the plans put forth by the NPS never come to fruition.

Nearby residents worry that the increased amenities will bring more crowds to the area. There are also concerns that the NPS doesn’t adequately care for existing land now open to the public. The public will have a chance to comment and learn more about the proposal this Saturday, May 17th at the Jamaica Bay Greenway Coalition meeting. It’s at 10:30 am at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

South Queens Residents Voice Concerns Over Final Gateway Plan [The Forum]

Photo via Wikipedia

03/25/14 1:00pm


Forget the thermometer, the Queens calendar of events has declared that “Spring has Sprung!” The borough will host countless outdoor activities over the next month, starting with a few running, walking and peeping opportunities this weekend. The fun starts on Friday with the 5 Miles Marking 5 Decades Fun Run, a two-loop road race that starts and ends at the north end of Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake, at 4:30 pm. Organized by Queens Distance Runners, this event commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair.

On Saturday, early risers can enjoy a bird walk through Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge led by American Littoral Society naturalist Don Riepe.  Meanwhile at 1 pm, attendees can combine a stroll with a nature lesson at Bayside’s Fort Totten, where Urban Park Rangers will discuss scientific concepts and weather phenomena, such as lightning, thunder, clouds, the water cycle, hurricanes and extreme storms.

On Sunday, the official Queens historian, Jack Eichenbaum, will guide a historic stroll through Flushing. He will take his troops to the 1964 Quaker Meeting House, the 1661 Bowne House and the (1774-1785) Kingsland Manor, where the Queens Historical Society is exhibiting Practicing Equality, Quakers in Queens. If that’s not enough, hardcore types can walk the winter-ravaged Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways and learn beach dynamics with American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen. There will be plenty of flotsam and jetsam and the chance to learn about the area’s surprising wartime history.

Details (one): 5 Miles Marking 5 Decades Fun Run, Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake, March 28th, 4:30 pm, $25/$15 for members of Queens Distance Runners and the Queens Tourism Council/$8 for junior high and high school students.

Details (two): Early Spring Bird Walk, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, March 29th, 10 am. Free, but RSVP to NEChapter@littoralsociety.org or 718-474-0896.

Details (three): Exploring Clouds, Fort Totten, Bayside, March 29th, 1 pm, free.

Details (four); Quaker Flushing, meet at northwest corner of Main Street and 37th Avenue, March 30th, noon, $15/$20 with part of the proceeds going to the Queens Historical Society. RSVP required to Jack Eichenbaum at jaconet@aol.com.

Details (five): Spring Tide Walks, meet at parking lot near Jacob Riis Park’s Entry Pavilion, March 30th, 10: 30 am, free but RSVP to bmcohen2@gmail.com or 718-474-0896.


 Top photo: Fort Totten FB; bottom photo: American Littoral Society

10/17/12 2:00pm


Image source: Osprey’s Journey

Back in May, a male Osprey nesting in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge was outfitted with a GPS pack. He was released in June. The within will keep track of him as he moves around – within Jamaica Bay and environs, and also as he migrates south for the winter (currently he’s in Colombia).

This is part of a two-year research project spearheaded by the nonprofit National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy. (more…)