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Hunters Point Parks Conservancy Connects LIC Community with Local Waterways

By Charlie Finnerty

Originally founded in 1998 as the Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park, the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (HPPC) is a nonprofit committed to protecting and enhancing Long Island City’s green spaces and waterways. In October 2023, they opened their environmental center at 57-28 2nd St. in space provided by Gotham Point LIC in partnership with the Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA) and North Brooklyn Community Boathouse. The Environmental Center hosts educational opportunities for local students and acts as a hub for local environmental and boating groups. President Bob Basch said he sees the environmental center becoming a central organizing and community-building space for environmental and educational groups throughout LIC.


“We are excited to continue to build out this space and add more environmental programming and boating opportunities,” Basch said.  “We look forward to this center becoming an essential amenity to the community.”

A central part of the educational programming offered at the new center focuses on Newtown Creek, which was named a Superfund site in 2010. Newtown Creek was designated by the EPA as one of the most polluted waterways in the country due to hazardous or toxic materials overflow from city sewage and industrial waste in the area. Students at the environmental center learn about what the creek originally looked like, how it was polluted and what is being done to remediate the pollution as local wildlife slowly begins to repopulate to the creek.

In addition to NCA-led field trips, the center also provides educational opportunities including nature and bird walks, nature journaling classes and their Summer Kids series educational programming on creek wildlife.

Recreational kayaking is one of the key functions of the center, particularly in the summertime, offering locals open paddling sessions and group kayaking sessions open to the public. There is no charge for kayaking and all equipment is supplied.















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