It is 54 degrees on a nice early Spring afternoon and I decided to ride my bike down to the waterfront in Long Island City to Gantry Plaza State Park, which is located along the East River with an amazing view of midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building and the Queensboro Bridge. This park opened in 1998 to the public and is considered one of New York 179 State Parks.
The Gantry Plaza State Park has four piers that jut out into the East River that you can walk on, beautiful natural gardens, picnic tables to enjoy lunch, a mist fountain, and grassy area for kids to play. I love the handmade wooden chairs and benches along the waterfront to sit on to relax, especially after a long bike ride.
When you get to the park you notice the gantries, and people always wonder what they are. These industrial structures were used to load and unload rail car floats and barges; today they are striking reminders of our waterfront’s past. You will also notice the huge Pepsi-Cola sign on the side that is still standing near the old Pepsi bottling plant. The sign has been removed and restored and is quite an attraction.
If you would like to volunteer at this park you can join Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park. This group of volunteers meets Saturday mornings throughout the season to help the staff keep this park beautiful, clean, and well maintained. They also help with planning events and outdoor concerts in this area.
If you would like more information or to sign up to volunteer with Friends of Gantry State Park please click here. http://friendsofgantry.org/
Apparently the Gantry Plaza State Park is still undergoing renovations and will soon be almost 10 acres along the riverfront so they definitely need volunteers to help in any way that you can!