Shore Road Parks Conservancy opens for business

Calling all local green thumbs!

The Shore Road Parks Conservancy (SRPC) has been officiallyestablished as a 501c3 charity and is actively recruiting newmembers. The group launched its membership drive at a luncheon atGreenhouse Café on November 17. Elected officials and communityactivists, as well as Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner KevinJeffrey, were in attendance.

We need the community here with us; your dreams can become ourdreams, said organization Vice President Chip Cafiero. Even ifyou can’t come down and get your hands dirty, put in a dollar ifyou want to help. It’s a great community and we will survive withorganizations such as this.

Community Board 10 Chair Joanne Seminara said that since thereare a large number of parks in Bay Ridge, the SRPC really needsspecial attention. We talk about Shore Road constantly, she said.The Conservancy is the back and front of this when it comes togetting funding.

The group has big ideas for the future, including a bandshell at97th Street. But with the city council budget getting smaller andsmaller, funding has to come from the community.

It’s about sustainability – keeping on top of things, saidSRPC President Charles Pomaro. We can get manpower for planting,but we need money for plants.

John Quaglione, spokesperson for State Senator Marty Golden,said he sent membership information to apartment buildings on ShoreRoad. If we get people to sign up, we can sustain it, he said.Whenever relatives are in town, they put down their suitcases andask to walk to Shore Road. It’s one of the best things about thisneighborhood.

Quaglione suggested working with management of the buildings andhaving them tack on $2 or so to maintenance fees to donate to theConservancy. He said that would raise enough money to sustainit.

Jeffrey said that the expansion of the conservancy is terriblyexciting to watch, and likened it to the success of the ProspectPark Alliance. I watched them form and that’s why Prospect Parklooks so good, he said. The conservancy can do the same thing. Weneed investment, engagement and participation. This is a group ofpeople who have put sweat equity into the parks system.

I don’t think those on the board know how big this is, he wenton. This is going to transform all of southwest Brooklyn.

Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who has allocated over $10million to area parks, also has faith in the SRPC’s future. It’smind-boggling to think of the extent of parks that we have toaddress, he said. It’s a good thing we have a coordinated effortat least at this point. We are ready to work with you and hopefullyget as much capital money as we can get.

For a membership application, visit

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