A neglected city street is in line for some revitalization thanks to Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES).
CURES and the Farmers Oval Civic Association received a $1,000 Love Your Block grant from the Citizens Committee for New York, a group that helps support civic involvement to improve city neighborhoods.
Additionally, Waste Management gave $4,000 towards the cleanup as part of its Keep American Beautiful grants.
CURES has selected Shaler Avenue between Catalpa Avenue and Cypress Hills Street in Ridgewood, which has been largely ignored by the city. Trees are sparse, and the area is often used as a dumping ground.
The beautification project started in March when the city Parks Department began pruning trees along the street. CURES is searching for volunteers for the next three phases of the cleanup.
The effort kicks off on Saturday, April 9, when CURES is sponsoring a cleanup day on the avenue. It will begin at 10 a.m. on Shaler Avenue and 56th Place—next to Mafera Park—and volunteers will pick up trash around the area.
On April 30, CURES will begin planting trees with the help of master gardener Harry Muller. On May 14, any additional cleanup and planting will be completed and a celebration will be held.
Since its formation, CURES—a coalition of 14 civic associations—has been working to improve the quality of life along the Queens railroad corridor. All trains going towards Long Island or to Brooklyn pass through western Queens neighborhoods of Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Woodside and Elmhurst, and have resulted in noise and emission issues from passing and idling trains.
CURES is also working on a cleanup project of the Fresh Pond Road railroad terminal later this spring.
Volunteers are still needed for the project. Contact CURES Co-Chair Mary Parisen at 718-772-6563 or e-mail CURES at email@example.com.