A Jamaica park that recently underwent a $2.2 million makeover is a "disaster" plagued by litter and filled with homeless people, locals say, but the Parks Department thinks the green space is clean enough.
The 11-acre Rufus King Park in downtown Jamaica, which is home to Rufus King Manor, is one of the most heavily used in the neighborhood that hosts numerous community events.
Last year, as part of the city's Jamaica Now Action Plan seeking to revitalize the once-overlooked area, a new lawn, trees and shrubs were planted, the park's pathways were repaved, a new spray shower was installed, and its gazebo was restored.
Locals said that while they hoped the overhaul would the improve park's conditions, trash continues to cover its lawns.
“It’s such a beautiful park, it has so much potential, but when you come there you see trash everywhere,” said Phil Lobato, 42, a registered nurse who works in downtown Jamaica and passes by the park every day.
“I’m absolutely appalled by what I see,” he said, adding that the park stays cleaner in the winter, "but when spring hits, it’s a disaster there."
The Parks Department said it has assigned two employees to the park who "maintain the grounds and pick up litter every day," according to agency spokeswoman Meghan Lalor. "Parks Enforcement routinely patrols the park to enforce Parks rules."
She also noted that when the green space was inspected through the Parks Inspection Program on March 7, it “was given an acceptable rating for cleanliness.”
But during a visit to the park on Thursday, about a dozen apparently homeless men could be seen in the park, with several of them sitting on benches while others slept on the grass and in the park’s pavilion. Litter could also be seen strewn about the green space.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Rufus King Park needs some attention
Posted by Queens Crapper at 6:47 AM
Labels: garbage, homeless, Jamaica, Parks Department, rufus king park
Another fine example of the city throwing $millions at a park to make it look "pretty" with no plans to maintain it. So many parks throughout Queens are in pathetic condition. Who is watching over Parks Dept's spending?
I will never volunteer again to clean up public areas like city parks, roadways, rivers, beaches or state parks until I see more litters punished with tickets for littering !
Why should I give my valuable time to clean what slobs leave on the streets, parks and roadways ? I will just move to a better place when the time is right and get away from the all the "Crap"in NYC !
I want to fly-fly-fly-fly, from dirty boulevard
I wonder if this mess is a cultural phenomenon. I have travelled all over Mejico - drove there 2x from NYC - Monterrey, Sonora, Vallarta, up the Baja, the silver cities, and La Capital. After the mariachis finish playing in the plazas on weekend nights, the area is covered with corn cobs, coca-cola and cerveza bottles and hamburgueza wrappers. One bemoans the lack of cleanliness found in northern European cultures.
Just sayin' what I saw.
Hey, the guy running Rufus King is Gerry Caliendo AIA, that's right, the Queens Community Board One Land Use Chair who has a big hand in converting that neighborhood from a community to an investment opportunity, and as a side line, helps build warehouses around the Steinway Mansion and files demo plans for historic buildings like the Dulcken House.
And Queens being Queens, Queens Council of the Arts has programs at his location in Rufus King and the former staffer to that great mentor of Queens Historic Efforts (not) N Williams of Historic Districts Council is Gerry's Executive Director.
Bottom line - there are things to do, and places to be, money to be made. This being Queens whats a little litter?
Who is watching over Parks Dept's spending?
City Council, but since groups like Queens Civic Congress do nothing about putting pressure on them what is the problem?
Crocheron Park is up there too in unmaintained parks. What could be and should be a beautiful park, is a dump. Grass is rarely cut, long grass is where ticks are, very dangerous. Shrubs and bushes are overgrown. Lighting for safety is mostly broken and long forgotten about. The bridge crossing over the Cross Island Parkway is simply disgusting, garbage is never cleaned up.
Hey, the guy running Rufus King is Gerry Caliendo AIA, that's right, the Queens Community Board One Land Use Chair who has a big hand in converting that neighborhood from a community to an investment opportunity
Not trying to make excuses for anybody, but I don't think that his overseeing Rufus King Manor gives him oversight of the (public) park that surrounds it - although one would think that the Parks Dept would take any complaints from Caliendo very seriously.
It's amazing that the park (and the King Mansion) still exist at all. I have watched it evolve from the late 60s. How it escaped vandalism, flames, and demolition in the 70s is a miracle. Ticket the shitters, but we know Big Boob won't do that. I see huge apartment buildings going up in Jamaica weekly now. Hopefully some of those will be occupied by people with some income, some self respect, and will gentrify the area. Yeah, I said it.
No excuses for Gerry - anyone that makes himself a one man wrecking crew can pretty much organize a volunteer clean up If he doesn't care about the community, then get out.
Why is he in that position - simply to exploit? What is Jamaica, a community of and for people or a venture for free-booting conquistadors?
@Anonymous "The bridge crossing over the Cross Island Parkway is simply disgusting "
Many Queens parks are neglected !
I ride the Joe Micheal's mile along the Cross Island Parkway and can't believe the condition of the pavement. There are pot holes and rough pavement at the south section that are so dangerous the path should be closed for people's safety ! Oh and don't forget the Two Homeless People living at the Q16/Q13 bus stop. They love the new bathrooms...
@Anonymous "volunteer clean up" Never Again !
Let the pigs live in the garbage my time is too valuable .
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It's the lowlife Jamaica residents that need overhauling.
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