The neighborhood turned out for the Earth Day 2022 celebration in St. Vartan Park

Monday, April 25, 2022

The neighborhood turned out for the Earth Day 2022 celebration in St. Vartan Park

Sixty people from the neighborhood joined with the Keep Murray Hill Clean and Green team to observe Earth Day in St. Vartan Park on Saturday, April 23. One group picked up paint, rollers, and brushes for the painting project. They painted  benches and scraped the rust and peeling paint from the park’s wrought iron fencing. Other volunteers opted to pick up litter, and the spring cleanup spread out to the entire neighborhood, as the group picked up litter on sidewalks and in tree beds from East 29th to East 40th Street and from the FDR Drive to Lexington Avenue. A group of children joined the activities in the park to make eye-catching Curb Your Dog signs to discourage dog owners from allowing their dogs near the tree beds.

The NYC Parks Department and the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association provided trash grabbers and gloves. Paper bags were donated by the Murray Hill Trader Joe's. Alliance Bernstein participated with 20 people and donated supplies for the kids activities and coffee for the adults from Charlotte Cafe.

Kevin O'Keefe, chair of Community Board 6’s Environment & Parks Committee, and Michael-Ann Rowe, chair of the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association's Green & Clean Committee, kicked off the activities with a group photo in the St. Vartan Garden. Kevin introduced the new horticulturist for St. Vartan Park, Juniper Shay, to the group. Juniper paid tribute to and remembered the Lenape people, the indigenous people who inhabited the area when English explorer, Henry Hudson, arrived in 1609. Careful stewards of the land, the Lenape foraged and hunted in the verdant forests and fished in the teeming waters off of "Mannahatta," the Lenape name for this island. The groups of volunteers, "Mannahatta's" modern-day stewards, then dispersed to do the cleanup and improvement projects in observance of Earth Day. Kevin led a group for the painting project while other activities were in full progress.

We’d like to thank everyone who participated and donated supplies and resources for the Keep Murray Hill Clean program. We couldn’t do it without our weekly volunteer team, the NYC Partnership for Parks, the St. Vartan Park Conservancy for helping us with logistics and coordinating clean-up supplies, and donors to the program. 

Donations for the Keep Murray Hill Clean program are used to purchase supplies and improve our program. You can donate at Keep Murray Hill Clean is a program of The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association. 

Updated 4/26/22, 5/10/22, 5/12/22.