A community cleanup in the heart of Woodhaven brought out over 30 volunteers to help beautify their neighborhood this past weekend.
The community event, organized by the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, saw sidewalks get swept, graffiti get painted over, and a sense of pride return to longtime residents.
Starting at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, community members from the local BID, as well as the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, Community Board 9 and youth from the NYPD’s Law Enforcement Explorers program, all pitched in to the efforts on the morning of Saturday, April 9.
The city’s Department of Sanitation lended brooms and dustpans to the community cleanup effort.
John Ziegler, a former resident of Woodhaven, collected sidewalk trash along Jamaica Avenue while reminiscing of the neighborhood he once called home.
“I think it’s about trying to keep the sense of community, like I experienced as a kid here,” said Ziegler, who now resides in Long Island. “It’s so future generations can experience what I did. It means so much.”
On the other side of Woodhaven’s busiest street, the tag-team of Martin Coburg and Kenichi Wilson painted over graffiti markings underneath the subway tracks.
“We try to come support and to let the community know what they’re doing,” Coburg, president of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, said. “It’s more than just helping the businesses, we also want to have a nice, clean district.”
The two said a common problem along the store-lined streets of Woodhaven includes the ongoing issue of trash placed on the sidewalks.
Wilson, the first vice-chair of Community Board 9, noted that with many residential dwellings sitting above storefronts, businesses often receive tickets for trash being thrown out by tenants.
With residents, businesses and even third-party landlords involved in the issue, Wilson commended the work that both the Woodhaven BID and the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association have done for its community members and businesses.
“I feel that this is one of the biggest, best run business improvement districts in all of Queens,” Wilson said.