Yellowstone Park Alliance members graduate from parks program

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Alexa Weitzman and Prameet Kumar from the Yellowstone Park Alliance in Forest Hills were two of ten Queens volunteers who recently graduated from the City Parks Foundation’s Partnerships for Parks Academy Fellowship program.
The fellowship is a free, six-month training program that supports community-based park groups and individual volunteers who are committed to a specific project or goal for their local park. (See related story on page four.)
“As a brand-new volunteer-led parks group, we had a lot to learn,” Weitzman said. “Participating in the Partnership for Parks Academy Fellowship was a wonderful way to connect with and learn from other more-established parks groups throughout the borough and city.”
Participants work with the Partnerships for Parks to create a timeline for their initiative. Throughout the program, each group was paired with other groups to form mentorship triads.
Each group was assigned one group to coach and another that they received support from, according to a City Parks Foundation spokeswoman.
“Over the six months we met a number of times to set concrete goals, brainstorm as a group, and hear from professionals with relevant experience related to our co-fellows’ goals,” Weitzman said.
The groups also learned to further community involvement through public workshops with guest speakers and one-on-one consulting sessions.
By graduation, the participants were able to recruit new volunteers for their groups, as well as identify local businesses to sponsor community festivals. The groups also planned park clean-ups and events.
Weitzman added that their Yellowstone Park Alliance group couldn’t have grown membership to over 300 community members and held three successful events without the guidance received through the fellowship.
The group also managed to secure a commitment from Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz to update the gates in Katzman Playground.

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