CPN began in 2002 when native College Pointers Dr. James Cervino and Kathryn Cervino were jogging in MacNeil Park and saw the trash-filled shoreline. They organized the first‑ever waterfront cleanup at MacNeil and quickly discovered that many people were eager to volunteer and help their local environment. One of our earliest volunteers, Shannon Pallen, is invaluable to our leadership team, and we are grateful to our many devoted volunteers from the community, including Matt Gillam, Wayne Lee, AnneMarie Murphy and Wayne Rose.
Over the years, our many activities have included:
Organizing waterfront and park cleanups in College Point at MacNeil and Powell’s Cove parks, in the spring, summer, and fall. The amount of trash we collect at our events is staggering: hard-working volunteers typically fill a 30-cubic‑yard dumpster at each event.
Creating a kayak launch and offering public boating on the shoreline of MacNeil Park. This city park is surrounded by water, yet for its entire history, lacked access for on-water recreation. CPN advocated doggedly for a kayak launch, while offering free public kayaking events to demonstrate the suitability of this site. MacNeil Park’s northeast waterfront has now been formally declared part of the NYC Watertrail. An ADA-accessible ramp to the water will be constructed soon.
Advocating for repair of MacNeil's heavily used waterfront path and seawall. The path is used by cyclists, runners, walkers, and fishermen, and is crumbling and dangerous in sections. After many years of advocacy and public testimony by Coastal and others, reconstruction is set to begin in 2016 under the leadership of the NYC Parks Department.
Founding (2013) and hosting CPN Earth Fair at MacNeil Park, attracting hundreds of Queens residents for environmental workshops, demonstrations and lectures, beach cleanups, and family entertainment.
Planting seagrasses, hundreds of trees, and hundreds of daffodil bulbs at MacNeil and Powell's Cove Parks. Seagrasses increase marine life, deter erosion, and reduce water pollution, while in-park plantings increase beauty and wildlife diversity. We also mulch new plantings, and rake the leaves away from daffodil shoots in the spring.
Launching an innovative art-meets-science pilot project to jumpstart the city's oyster population at MacNeil Park.
Leading students in unique marine science research projects utilizing our natural environment, under the guidance of Dr. James M. Cervino.
Battling for more vigorous cleanup of a former toxin-filled dump on which upscale homes have now been built, next to MacNeil Park. A deeper-soil cleanup resulted from our intervention, protecting unsuspecting homebuyers and neighbors.
Successfully fighting against coastal polluters and developers who have no regard for the environment. We recently uncovered developers who were illegally backfilling beachland in southern CP without the required permits, and dumping petroleum-contaminated soil in wetlands near Linden Place. Thanks to our help, regulatory agencies were able to impose fines and stop-work orders.
Collaborating with NYC Parks to secure funding for a Sept. 11 Memorial Tree Grove on the westernmost hills in MacNeil Park. Many local residents watched from this park in 2001 as the World Trade Center burned and collapsed across the water. We lost several local residents that day. This place for remembrance and contemplation was dedicated in May 2005.
Offering environmental workshops and demonstrations on building rainbarrels, how to compost, shoreline ecology, Tree ID guided tour, making art from trash.
We are committed to serving our community and we welcome you to become a member and expand our impact.
Make a difference, volunteer today!