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Parks Department launches new maintenance initiative to address cleanliness in public greenspaces in Queens and throughout NYC

Mar. 24, 2023 By Bill Parry

With temperatures rising and days growing longer, the NYC Parks Department has launched a new maintenance initiative that will deploy 240 newly hired full-time staff to address cleanliness in city parks during peak days and hours.

The so-called “Second Shift” will collect trash and litter and mitigate graffiti at 100 hot spots in 62 parks across the five boroughs. The additional shift will operate from Thursday to Sunday in the evening hours to create cleaner parks while also fighting the scourge of rats — a frequent target of Mayor Eric Adams, who announced the new program in November as part of his “Get Stuff Done” initiative.

“Since taking office, one of my biggest priorities has been ‘Getting Stuff Clean’ for New Yorkers and today is a great step for NYC Parks as they roll out their new dedicated Second Shift maintenance staff,” Adams said. “Our parks are some of our best places to relax and connect in the city, and these new staff will help make our open spaces cleaner and greener than ever.”

In Queens, parks included among the 100 hotspots include Alley Pond, Astoria, Bayswater, Highland, Cunningham, Meadow Lake (Flushing Meadows Corona Park) and Queensbridge.

NYC Parks has launched a new maintenance initiative that will deploy 240 newly hired full-time staff to address cleanliness in city parks during peak days and hours. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

“Our goal is to create and maintain inviting, clean spaces for people to enjoy, and we are proud that for the first time ever we have added new dedicated staff to help keep our parks free of litter during peak hours,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said. “With these new employees in our parks later in the afternoon and into the evening hours, these additional staff will help us reach a new level of cleanliness in some of our busiest greenspaces. As always, we continue to urge New Yorkers to do their part: please take out what you bring in, and dispose of refuse in proper receptacles.”

Traditionally, dedicated Parks staff have cleaned parks during a first shift, Monday to Friday in the mornings and afternoons, with late afternoon and weekend maintenance achieved through the use of overtime and the work of seasonal and part-time staff. The new Second Shift staff represent the first full-time dedicated staff for evening and weekend peak hours and days in the history of the department.

“New Yorkers are using their parks more than ever, and the city needs to ensure these public spaces remain clean, safe, and usable,” Councilman Shekar Krishnan said. “I applaud Commissioner Donoghue and NYC Parks for launching a ‘Second Shift’ of more than 200 workers to clean trash, litter, and graffiti in our busiest parks. These reinforcements are much needed and very welcome.”

Krishnan chairs the Council’s Committee On Parks and Recreation.

Meanwhile, NYC Parks issued a request for proposals for the renovation, operation and maintenance of six of their public golf courses including the Clearview Park Golf Course in Bayside and the Douglaston Golf Course.

NYC Parks issued a request for proposals for the renovation, operation and maintenance at Clearview Park Golf Club and Douglaston Golf Club. (Courtesy of NYC Parks)

NYC Parks is seeking proposers who can demonstrate substantial experience in the operation and maintenance of golf courses and high-quality restaurant/catering facilities, with sufficient experience and financial capability to renovate, operate and maintain the facilities at the highest level to draw visitors from all over the country, with concepts of sustainable integrated design throughout.

“Golf is an inter-generational sport that brings together people of all ages and abilities and NYC Parks is proud to be home to 13 golf courses citywide,” Donoghue said. “To continue offering New Yorkers great places to tee off, Parks is currently seeking proposals for six courses located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. We encourage operators to consider the use of sustainable practices in their plans to ensure that our golf courses remain green in every way.”

Interested parties can find more information here or contact Project Manager Katherine Cognata at 212-360-3407 or at Katherine.Cognata@parks.nyc.gov.

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