Help clean Forest Park playground
by Ed Wendell
Apr 23, 2014 | 3501 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is teaming up with Forest Park to perform some spring cleaning at Mary Whelan Playground, 78th Street and Park Lane South, on Saturday, May 3, starting at 9 a.m.

After a long winter, the playground could use a little TLC – some sweeping, bagging leaves, etc. This is a great activity for families and children.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come together and do something positive,” said Martin Colberg, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. “Our playgrounds are important to the families of Woodhaven. It’s only right that we come together to make them clean for our kids to play in.”

The Parks Department will be supplying tools. They will also hand out special T-shirts to all who RSVP, which you can do by emailing us at When you RSVP, let us know how many will be coming, including how many adults and how many children.

You can also RSVP by phone by calling the WRBA at (718) 296-3735.

Woodhaven resident Tracey Gallagher says she has been looking forward to a cleanup event in Forest Park that she could attend with her son Jaron.

“I want him to have the same sense of community that I had growing up,” she says. “Basically, Woodhaven raised my family.”

Response has been good thus far, with a healthy number of little ones joining the effort, news that Gallagher welcomes. “Jaron is looking forward to the cleanup, he enjoys meeting people,” she said.

Mary Whelan, the playground’s namesake, was a longtime community activist, a vice president of Community Board 9, the founder and first president of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and – fittingly for this project – president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association.

She lived close to the playground and often brought her children and grandchildren there. Mary Whelan passed away in 1987 and the playground was named in her honor in 1990. And now, a future generation of civic involvement will be born on May 3 as young ones will join their friends and family in this worthy project.

We hope you’ll come out and join us.

On another note, many thanks to all who came out Monday for the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society’s presentation of “A View of Woodhaven – Part I” at Neir’s Tavern & Steakhouse. It was a standing room only event and seemed to be well received by all.

For those who missed it – and for those who were there but would like to see it again – there will be an encore presentation next Wednesday, April 30, at 1 p.m. at Emanuel United Church of Christ at 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.

The presentation is a mix of images from Woodhaven’s past and present. There are a few surprises thrown in to the presentation and a few images of buildings that were once an important part of our community, but were torn down years before we were born, making these long-lost buildings brand new to our own eyes.

The presentation was recently retitled to include “Part I” as we needed to split the original presentation for time considerations. Due to the popular response to Part I we are happy to report that we have already begun working with Neir’s Tavern & Steakhouse on planning a date for Part II.

We look to our past to better understand the world we currently live in. And the better we understand our current surroundings better positions us to make the right decisions for our future. Looking at past and present pictures of Woodhaven helps us better understand our present.

Similarly, remembering past civic leaders like Mary Whelan and bringing our young ones out to teach them the sense of community that she demonstrated in her life is the right decision for our future.

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