As part of their observation of Earth Day 2023, the Rockaway Parkway Merchants Corridor Association (RPMCA) undertook the cleanup of three blocks of Rockaway Parkway from Farragut Road to Flatlands Avenue on Thursday, April 20th. The exercise was part of the group’s ongoing efforts to maintain a clean and safe community as well as raise awareness of the overall impact of improperly disposed trash on the environment.
The group’s Executive Director, Norine Medas, worked with two young environmentalists, Mario, who is involved with an Urban Agriculture program at the Canarsie Educational Campus, and Taylor who heads the Canarsie Garden Club. Both showed pride in tending to several tree and flower beds along the corridor.
“One of our goals is to help local community gardens around us because there are not a lot of volunteers,” said Taylor, who hopes her actions will inspire others to get involved. “We want to spread some awareness that there are places to help out. There are a ton of community gardens that are overlooked and we want to shine a light on them,” she added.
Medas drew hearts on the sidewalks and wrote messages she called “love notes” to draw attention to the issue and encourage others to do their part. As she weeded the bed of a cherry tree, she stated, “This should remind the community to help us care for them.”
The Earth Day Celebration ended with a get-together on the corner of Rockaway Parkway and Glenwood Road – just outside the “L” train station. Guests and commuters were treated to light refreshments, music and even a little dancing. There were activities for the kids, including arts and crafts and a bouncy house. The group also had a book giveaway and a community swap.
The event was made possible with the support of State Senator Roxanne Persaud, Assemblywomen Jaime Williams and Monique Chandler-Waterman, Councilman Charles Barron, Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse, the 69th Precinct and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, as well as a host of organizations involved in environmental preservation.