Brooklynites came together on Earth Day to help clean-up the borough’s streets and parks — helping to beautify Kings County, and protect the environment for everyone.
A pair of environmental groups teamed up to clean John Paul Jones Park, colloquially known as Cannonball Park, at on April 22.
Volunteers and organizers from both Bay Ridge Cares and the Bay Ridge Environmental Group got their hands dirty bright and early by cleaning out litter and waste found around the park.
According to Daniel Loud, president of Bay Ridge Environmental Group, the goal of the project was to spruce up the public space and beautify it for the summer season.The team of do- gooders continued the day of service by raking out leaves and weeds, planting nearly 150 plants and restoring the green space’s gazebo.
“It was a really great event,” Loud told Brooklyn Paper, starting over 140 volunteers came out to participate in the organization’s biggest event.
Karen Tadross, co-founder and president of Bay Ridge Cares, says the project was over eight months in the making. It was originally scheduled for the fall but after some delays, they decided earth day would be the most fitting day.
According to Tadross, the organization has hosted many events in the past but this past weekend’s service day was one of their best.
“I think it’s the one that will have the most lasting impact,” she told Brooklyn Paper.
Event planners also held a science show and set up an herb planting center for young Brooklynites who wanted to participate in the fun too.
“It is so important and vital that we engage our young generation in improving their community,” she said. “It was just so inspiring to see how many young people showed up at that park.”
Parents, kids and friends weren’t the only ones to celebrate. Council Member Justin Brannan and Senator Andrew Gounardes pitched in on the park clean up.
Every day is #EarthDay. Thank you @B_R_E_G_ and @BayRidgeCares for organizing us today! The first step is admitting climate change is real. The second step is getting involved in your own backyard. We need big bold policy just as much as we need people who simply care! pic.twitter.com/Y6KXVMVcJN
— Justin Brannan (@JustinBrannan) April 22, 2023
“Every day is Earth Day. The first step is admitting climate change is real. The second step is getting involved in your own backyard. We need big bold policy prescriptions just as much as we need people who simply care about their community,” Brannan said. “I appreciate the Bay Ridge Environmental Group and Bay Ridge Cares for bringing us all together. The start of another great local tradition.”
So many great friends stopped by! Many warm thanks to our state senator @Sen_Gounardes for visiting w. his family! MAJOR thanks to our councilmember @JustinBrannan getting hands on in the effort! @RadioFreeBR hosts @girl_onthego (w/ @bayridgetone) & @embernic also stopped by!! pic.twitter.com/z8kuJRkZp1
— Bay Ridge Environmental Group (@B_R_E_G_) April 23, 2023
Both group leaders were excited to partner together for what they hope will become an annual service day.
“He has expertise in things that we don’t and we have expertise in things that he doesn’t but when you put it together, both groups had the makings to put this together in such a way that everybody who came to the park that day just left there with a big smile on their face,” Tadross said.
Another Coney Island group proved that you’re never too old to better the planet. JASA Scheuer House & Luna Park Annex Older Adult Center commemorated the day by planting fresh spring flowers and revitalizing the green space at the South Brooklyn center.
According to a JASA spokesperson, over 15 older adults came together to brighten up the space and exercise their green thumbs.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day to get outside and celebrate Earth Day,” Lidia Shneyer, program director at JASA’s Scheuer House & Luna Park Annex said. “Our annual planting project always attracts so many participants who want to make their garden scape beautiful again. This just goes to show you that there’s no age limit for taking care of the Earth.”