On a very cold and windy Thursday, Senator John Liu and Councilman Barry Grodenchik came together with BCCA Board members, PS133 Principal Nicole Colon and students, and neighbors for the official press conference to announce that funding had finally been secured for the Reading Garden at the Bellerose Playground. Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett, Queens Parks Chief of Staff Joanne Amagrande, and Administrative Park and Recreation Manager Justin Argo represented Parks and Recreation. And Community Board 13Q District Manager Mark McMillan and CB13Q Parks Committee member (& BCCA Board member) Jim Delaney was also present. We were joined by former Bellerose resident Roseann Reinhardt who initiated the idea of a Reading Garden at the playground and started lobbying for it about seven years ago when she lived here and worked as a staffer at PS133.
The $250,000 New York State grant was obtained in 2014 by our then Senator Tony Avella. With red tape and approvals traditionally delaying state grants, the money did not make its way from Albany to NYC until earlier this year. And NYC had to get it to its own NYC Parks and Recreation agency which would not start the design of the project until it had the grant funding in hand.
The Bellerose Reading Garden Public Scope Meeting is scheduled to be held on January 10, 2020 inside PS133. If you have any suggestions for the design of the Reading Garden (on 249 St. between the comfort station and the school), please let us know, and come down and share your ideas at the public scope meeting.
- WATCH PS133 Principal Nicole Colon speaking at the news conference
- WATCH Bellerose Commonwealth Civic Assoc. President Lourdes Hartrick commenting on the funding announcement
- WATCH Senator John Liu at the proposed Reading Garden site to make the official announcement
- WATCH Senator John Liu announcing the Reading Garden funding