The Parks Department has repainted areas of Doughboy Park in Woodside shortly after a group of volunteers painted many of the appointments in the park a lime green color.
In early May, Edgar Cartegena, the superintendent of a local apartment building along with Edward Bergendahl, a Korean War veteran and president of the Woodside Civic Association, led a group of volunteer veterans and children in painting the park.
Cartegena told CBS 2 that he had wanted to help his community by refurbishing the park and chose the bright green to match the Parks Department flag. Volunteers painted over the dark green trim of the walls with white paint and lime green trim and also painted the water fountain and sign of the World War I memorial, a statue that has been a staple of the park for 90 years.
Last month, Cartegena was congratulated for his efforts at the Catholic War Veterans Post 870’s Memorial Day ceremony by Bergendahl and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside).
The commander of Catholic War Veteran Post 870, Jerry Olt, appreciated the volunteers’ hard work and did not think the Parks Department should have repainted the area, adding that it was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“The volunteers painted the park on their own. They voluntarily bought the supplies and cleaned up the park in time for Memorial Day,” Olt said. “They painted the wall a Kelly green, and a Victory Garden for the people who were killed in Benghazi was nicely planted.”
Shortly after the renovation, the Parks Department issued a statement saying that officials were not aware of the color choice of the park.
“Doughboy Park, including the area around the park’s historic war memorial, was recently painted by a group of local veterans and community volunteers,” the statement read.
“The Parks Department appreciates their stewardship but details of this painting, including the color of the war memorial area, were not shared with us. It is important to note that the Parks Department provides free materials, including paint, for approved volunteer projects. The park and memorial area is being restored to its original color, in consultation with our Art & Antiquities conservators.”
Now areas of the park are back to their original color, though the city has left the green paint on the wall trimming and wood of the Victory Garden. While the Parks Department washed most of the paint off the water fountain, green paint remains around the top. Similarly, green paint can still be seen through the new coat of black of the memorial’s sign. While the volunteers wanted to clean up the park, new graffiti already covers an area of the green wood.
Jimmy Lanza, commander of American Legion Post 1836 in Woodside, did not agree with the Parks Department’s decision to repaint.
“The volunteers cleaned the park, they painted, they got donations, a lot of people contribute to helping keep the park in good shape,” adding that Cartegena and other volunteers regularly clean up the park. “They have done a fantastic job over the years, and they continue to do so, so why someone would come and paint it again doesn’t make any sense. It was just painted for the Memorial Day ceremony — it was cleaned up, looking in top shape.
“Even though the Parks Department owns it, there has to be some input from the community, especially the veterans who take care of it,” Lanza added. “It was made for veterans to help honor them. There should be a little dialogue if nothing else.”