Big Apple Panthers help beautify Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Alumni Association’s Greater New York Chapter got to work recently cleaning up Brooklyn Bridge Park as part of their commitment to community service.

On a crisp September morning in New York City, nearly a dozen FIU alumni headed to Brooklyn with their gloves, shovels and Panther Pride ready to help beautify a popular waterfront jewel.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy was the latest community organization to receive a little Panther love as members of the FIU Alumni Association’s Greater New York Chapter (FIUNYC) participated in its weekly Brooklyn Bridge Park Cleanup.

Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre post-industrial waterfront site stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River edge. The park provides green space for playing fields, sport courts, playgrounds and lawns, as well as running and bicycle paths. While the park is an urban oasis, what really keeps it thriving are the dedicated volunteers who regularly maintain and enhance the park’s landscapes, educate the public, and assist with the array of programs and special events held throughout the year.

“Community volunteers are an essential component of the operations at the park,” said Sarah Ward, volunteer coordinator for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. FIUNYC eagerly got their claws dirty working with the park’s “Green Team” – volunteers who provide much needed horticultural maintenance such as planting, sheet mulching and removing invasive plants.

“Thanks to the FIU Alumni team for all of their hard work at Brooklyn Bridge Park – their energy and speed helped us remove invasive weeds from a corner of the park in record time. We’re so grateful for their help in keeping the park beautiful,” added Ward.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Cleanup was the latest community service project for FIUNYC, which participated in the annual National Panther Day of Service earlier this spring by volunteering at Isabella House, an assisted-living facility for senior citizens in Harlem. “The Brooklyn Bridge Park Cleanup is just another example of our commitment to giving back to Greater NY,” said Cedric L. Bess, president of FIUNYC. “These events offer FIU alumni a unique opportunity to network and bond with their fellow Panthers, while serving their local communities.”

The FIU Alumni Association Greater New York Chapter serves all FIU Alumni in the tri-state region: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This group exists to support our mission to connect FIU alumni in the Greater New York area with each other and the university.

— By Cedric Bess, FIUNYC Chapter Leader

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