Youth volunteers tackle Charles Park

Queens Chronicle
Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jamaica Bay park get post-Sandy help.

It may have been 91 degrees — at 9:30 a.m. no less — but the 40 high school students in blue shirts who spread out across Charles Park worked through the brutal mid-July weather, picking up garbage and flotsam junk from the beach, cleaning the dugouts in the baseball fields and painting the benches in a fresh coat of green.

The breeze off Jamaica Bay provided some relief to the volunteers, who were there as part of the Student Conservation Association — a New Hampshire-based nonprofit that allows high school students to take part in environmental conservation projects.

Using money — a total of $950,000 — from the federal $60 billion Sandy aid package that passed earlier this year, the SCA has acquired about 400 student volunteers to work at Gateway National Recreation Area, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy last year.

The crews have worked at Sandy Hook in New Jersey and Gateway’s parkland in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

The students, who were joined by several city Parks Department workers, have been working in Charles Park and Hamilton Park across Hawtree Basin in Hamilton Beach for two weeks.