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Volunteers must help keep city’s parks clean: CB 12

With warmer weather hitting the borough, the city Parks Department wants residents to go the extra mile to keep Queens clean.

Gabe Echevarria, the park manager for Community Board 12, paid a visit to the board’s monthly meeting April 20 in St. Albans to talk about a new initiative the city is holding this spring and summer.

Due to budget cuts, the Parks Department will not have enough staff to clean green spaces frequently, so Echevarria is asking residents, civic groups and other volunteers to help out and clean the parks in southeast Queens.

“We are looking for user groups who can give us a hand,” he said.

The manager said interested groups can call the Parks Department to discuss working with the agency this summer and residents can do their part by themselves by picking up their trash anytime they go to the park.

Echevarria also updated the board on the new smoking ban in city park spaces ´╗┐that will go into effect May 23. Smoking will only be permitted on sidewalks surrounding city park space and parking lots.

Anyone who violates the law will have to pay a $50 fine, according to Echevarria.

“It hopefully curtails the behavior,” he said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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