Earlier this year, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder joined dozens of cub scouts from Troop 139 to clean an eye-sore of empty bottles, plastic bags and litter at Charles Park in Howard Beach for the troop's community service project.
"Frank M. Charles Memorial Park, a treasured resource for the residents of Howard Beach, has long been a popular location for youth sports games and family outings. But the park has seen better days," said Schumer. "The level of deterioration at the park is unacceptable, and that's why I'm urging the National Park Service to step up to the plate and clean it up so local residents get the park they deserve."
“Our hard working families and children deserve much better than a park with deteriorating appearance and overwhelming garbage,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “Action needs to be taken immediately to restore and preserve Frank M. Charles Memorial Park.”
Senator Chuck Schumer and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder noted some of the more disconcerting issues with the park in their letter, including the accumulation of trash and debris along the shoreline, playground area, baseball fields and recreational courts. Additionally, the grounds of the baseball fields continue to worsen, preventing little league teams and families from safely using them.
“I personally visited this park with a local Cub Scout troop earlier this year, as part of a community service project, and helped them remove over two dozen bags of waste and debris,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “While this provided an immediate solution, the results of our clean-up efforts were only temporary. This park deserves year-round care and maintenance so families can fully enjoy their only neighborhood park.”
The Frank M. Charles Memorial Park is a 20-acre park located in Howard Beach. It was designed in the 1940s as one of several parks serving community members throughout the city. In addition to providing recreational services for families, the park preserves some of the remaining fringe marshes surrounding the Jamaica Bay and provides a large breeding ground for horseshoe crabs. Ownership of the park was transferred to the National Park Service in 1972 after the Gateway National Recreation Area was created by an act of Congress.
“This park is a much-needed ‘green oasis’ in our community, and it should be treated as such,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “I will continue to work with Senator Schumer and fight to make sure the National Park Service takes control of the situation and cleans up the park as soon as possible.”