Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society gets back to work
by Ed Wendell
Jun 30, 2015 | 3375 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society.
Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society.
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Wyckoff-Snedicker Family Cemetery behind All Saints Church
Wyckoff-Snedicker Family Cemetery behind All Saints Church
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Nubia Martinez and Lydia Martin are two of the parent volunteers who helped restore the cemetery.
Nubia Martinez and Lydia Martin are two of the parent volunteers who helped restore the cemetery.
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This past weekend, the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society picked up their rakes and got back to work on the Wyckoff-Snedicker Family Cemetery behind All Saints Church on 96th Street and 86th Avenue. Due to graduation ceremonies for most of our volunteers, we hadn’t met in seven weeks and the grass was just starting to get high.

But the group got straight to work, and by the end of the cleanup we found ourselves in pretty good shape going into the rest of the summer. It's looking sharp. Our next cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are needed and welcome.

We need help raking up some old leaves still leftover from last fall, and we’re going to need to start gathering up any loose rocks and stones to make mowing the grass in the future much easier. The group always has fun at our cleanups – if you see any of the group pictures that we post you’ll see lot of smiling, happy faces – please consider being a part of that.

We’ve been bolstered by the students from St. Thomas the Apostle’s Woodhaven History Club, led by teacher Patty Eggers, and Boy Scout Troop 139 from Howard Beach led by Chris Flood, as well as many other volunteers from around the neighborhood.

They include Eddie Gardiner, Nubia Martinez, Lydia Martin, Marge Augliera and WRBA President Martin Colberg. And due to everyone’s hard work, we can now proudly say that we’re an award-winning group of volunteers!

Last week, we met with representatives from the Citizens Committee for New York City, an organization that offers many small grants to people who are looking to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

“What would it take to improve your neighborhood?” the group explains on its website. “Whether it's organizing a farmers market, painting a mural, composting cafeteria scraps, or launching a dance camp, we can help make your idea a reality.”

Not only does the Citizens Committee for New York City offer financial assistance for projects to improve your community, they also offer up years of experience and connections to help you get your project underway and completed.

We know there are groups out there with many good ideas on how we could improve the quality of life in our community. Here’s an opportunity to turn those good ideas in your head into a reality on the streets. Though the window for 2015 grants is closed, it will not be long before residents are asked to apply for 2016, so be sure to visit citizensnyc.org and learn how you can get started.

Now, back to the cemetery. The Wyckoff-Snedicker cemetery contains many names that most of you will find familiar. The Elderts, the Lotts, the Wyckoffs, the Ditmars. One might as well call our cemetery the Founder’s Cemetery since it contains so many of the residents that lived here in Woodhaven when it was founded – and even long before that.

The Woodhaven History Club of STA has not only been working the soil, they have also been performing the research, adding to what we know about the people and families who are buried in our historic little cemetery. And we are always fortunate to have the wisdom of historian Allan Smith available to us. This has become more than just a cleanup project.

You can learn more about this project, and more about Woodhaven’s history, at our monthly Woodhaven History Research meeting, held the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Avenue Diner, 91-06 Jamaica Avenue. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 7. Everyone is welcome to attend.And you might want to save the following date: the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society will be hosting a 1950s Drive-In Party on Saturday, August 22, at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children.

There will be a snack bar, temporary tattoos, 50s music, cartoons, short films, coming attractions – all of the flavor of the drive-in movie experience. We will be holding this at Emanuel United Church of Christ, 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, and all proceeds will go to help the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society.

There are a lot of fun, history-related events and meetings going on in Woodhaven, we hope to see you at one of them soon.
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