Basch is the president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a group of residents whose goal is to support and enhance Long Island City’s waterfront parks through cleanups, programming and education efforts.
He was among the community leaders present when the city officially opened 5.5 acres of open green space last week.
“It’s going to be something I’m going to enjoy for many, many years. More important than that, it’s something the community will enjoy forever,” he said. “It is really special. It’s quieter, the horticulture is great. Just a beautiful addition to our neighborhood that is growing like crazy.”
Basch lives in a building that overlooks Hunters Point South Park, so for three years, he watched as dump trucks and construction workers build the park.
“It was tough to envision, even though I saw the plans, how beautiful it would look when it was finally done,” he said.
But now that it’s complete, the conservancy will begin to help take care of it. Basch said volunteers come out every other Saturday to the waterfront parks, including Gantry Plaza State Park, to do weeding and cleanups.
“It’s a challenge, but we’re up for it,” he said. “We just encourage as many people to come out as possible to help us.”
The conservancy also organizes free events like outdoor movies, a summer kids program, yoga, Zumba, live music and arts and crafts for the community.
“We encourage people to come out, to enjoy the outdoors and to appreciate what we have,” Basch said.