Ridgeites roll up their sleeves to fix up John J. Carty Park

A Bay Ridge community group hosted a cleanup of the John J. Carty Park playground on June 27.

Bay Ridge Cares, a local not-for-profit organization that gathers Ridgeites to help the community, assembled about 30 volunteers—adults and children—to fix up the playground. They picked up garbage, mowed weeds and even painted the famous whale statue blue.

“People will walk past a park like this and say, ‘someone should really clean up this park,’” said Teri Brennan, the Bay Ridge Cares corresponding secretary, who organized the beautification. “We are them.”
Bay Ridge Cares invited people throughout the area to clean up, and expressed happiness with the turnout.

“Whether we had five people or 500, we’re happy with what we have,” Andrew Gounardes, the organization’s parliamentarian, said. “This park has been here for a long time. If you look around, it looks neglected so anything we could have done would have made a difference.”

Bay Ridge Cares provided the supplies to everyone that showed up, who said they enjoyed the renovation.

“It’s going good,” nine-year-old Gobi Bawa said. “It’s good for the environment.”

“We’re making a lot of progress in a short time,” Khalid Goncalves, a Bay Ridge resident, said. “It’s sort of our way to give back.”

Bay Ridge Cares had not cleaned a park before the 27th. The group had mostly done what Brennan described as “quiet work,” including delivering more than 26,000 hot meals to people in areas that Hurricane Sandy hit hard.
The cleanup had been in the works for several weeks after the organization filed a permit with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

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