You are reading

Francis Lewis Park in Whitestone receives $2.1M for upgrades to restrooms, water fountains

Sep. 27, 2023 By Iryna Shkurhan

Newly allocated funding will bring upgraded restrooms and a three-part water fountain for drinking, filling up bottles and hydrating pets at Francis Lewis Park in Whitestone

Councilwoman Vickie Paladino announced the allocation of $2.1 million for improvements to the 17-acre park in partnership with City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Sept. 26 for the 2024 Fiscal Year. 

“Francis Lewis Park holds a special place in my heart as a native resident of Whitestone for my entire life. However, the park does not require much attention as the Friends of Francis Lewis Park work so hard to maintain the park,” said Councilwoman Vickie Paladino. I consider the group experts and that’s why I took their advice so seriously when they asked me to consider funding a renovation for their bathroom and water fountain at the park.”

The councilwoman thanked the Department of Parks and Recreation for working together through budget negotiations, as well as Friends of Francis Lewis Park for their continuous efforts to take care of the park. She specifically expressed gratitude to co-president Dorian Mecir, a volunteer who started a park cleanup effort in 2020, for her “selfless commitment to the park.”

“Your work does not go unnoticed and I can’t say enough how grateful I am,” Paladino added. 

The park has undergone many renovations over the years, most recently with construction on the plaza surrounding the flagpole in the park, which was completed in January 2023. The entire reconstruction project through the Parks Department lasted over three years and received close to $2 million in funding secured by the City Council. It brought a new paved entryway, paths, benches, game tables and various plantings. 

“Wonderful news for Francis Lewis Park! Thank you Council Member Vickie Paladino for getting the bathroom renovations fully funded,” Mecir wrote on Facebook. “We are so grateful for your advocacy and perseverance on behalf of your community and your parks! We can’t wait to see the upgrades- meet me, Nestor & Kacie at the water fountain!!”

The waterfront park, tucked beneath the Whitestone Bridge and bordered by the East River, was acquired by the city in 1937. It features courts for basketball, bocce and handball, as well as playgrounds, spray showers and kayak launch sites. 

The park is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday. 

Recent News

Curtis Sliwa calls for more protection of kids after brutal sexual attack on teenage girl in Flushing

Jun. 18, 2024 By Gabriele Holtermann

Following the horrific incident where a 13-year-old girl was raped in Kissena Corridor Park in Flushing last Thursday, former NYC mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, several GOP candidates, and community leaders held a rally in the park on Monday evening. They called for increased protection for children in Flushing after the attacker forced the victim and her friend into a wooded area at knifepoint, tied them up, and committed the heinous crime.

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

Man sought for raping 13-year-old girl in Flushing park in broad daylight Thursday: NYPD

An urgent manhunt is underway in Northeast Queens after a Hispanic man allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in Kissena Corridor Park in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reported that the youngster was with a 13-year-old boy in the park near Kalmia Avenue and Colden Street at around 3:30 p.m. when a stranger approached and threatened them with a knife, forcing them both into a wooded section where he tied them up. The perpetrator proceeded to forcibly remove their cell phones before sexually assaulting the girl, police said, adding that he fled in an unknown direction.