Like most city parks these days, Bowne in Flushing is snow covered and its lake frozen, but burst pipes in a Parks Department maintenance building may have affected cleanup there following the recent storms.
Bags of garbage had been spotted in the park and cans thrown onto the lake. But the Parks Department said Monday that mobile crews clean up Bowne five days a week, with the only snafu the flooded building.
“A staff member had been stationed in the park to help maintain it, but with last month’s extraordinarily cold weather, a pipe in the park house burst, flooding the basement and furnace, and rendering the building unusable,” said Parks Department spokesman Zach Feder. “We have ordered a new furnace for the building, and once that is installed, we will again be able to station a worker there full time.”
He encouraged park visitors to take any trash with them or properly dispose of it in an appropriate receptacle.
Wanada Beck-Antosh, president of the Bowne Park Civic Association, said she has received no complaints about garbage piling up. “The only illegal thing we see is people skating on the ice, but it’s just a few,” Beck-Antosh noted.
Signs are posted to prevent people from skating, but she said the ice now is so solid that many think it’s safe.
Two nearby residents who enjoy spending time in the park have contacted the Chronicle in the past about algae problems in the lake during warm weather. Sharon Wohlgemuth said Bowne is “really kept nice and clean” and applauded officials from finally solving the algae problem.
Jerry Kaplan, who does not know Wohlgemuth, said he was at the park on Friday and didn’t see any garbage. “It’s not dirty and I have no complaints now,” Kaplan added.
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said Monday he has received no messages about the park and urged residents to call his office if they arise at (718) 619-8611. Vallone added that cutbacks to the Parks Department have affected cleanups throughout the city.
“Bowne Park is on my list and I will target it for renovations and upgrades,” he said.
The almost 12-acre Bowne Park is bordered by 29th and 32nd avenues and 155th and 159th streets. It was named after Walter Bowne, a descendent of Flushing pioneer John Bowne. Walter Bowne served as the city’s 59th mayor from 1828 to 1832 and later as a state senator. His summer house was on the property, but burned down in 1925. It has been a park since then.