Those that fought the “good fight” to transform the Elmhurst Gas Tanks into Elmhurst Park can rest assured that the park is in good hands and has never looked better.
Carmello Cintron, a 25-year veteran of the NYC Parks Dept. has worked at the park since it opened in 2011 and maintains the trees, cuts the grass, shovels the snow, rakes the leaves, paints and keeps the restrooms clean and working properly. Before coming here he worked at the Forest Park Greenhouse as an assistant gardener with the IHRP Boro Crew that provides asphalt, cement and fence work in Queens parks.
Elmhurst Park has been a hit since it opened. Each day from dawn till dusk you can see walkers, joggers, dance classes, Tai Chi, lots of kids in the play ground and riding their bikes and playing ball. If all this activity is not for you there are some nice quiet places with benches and big shady trees. Come summer the sprinklers come on and there are special events such as movies and last year there was a jazz concert.
Carmello takes great pride in his work because he knows the community cares about their park. He says that he hasn't had any real big problems except for some minor vandalism and graffiti. He had issues with groups of kids coming into the park from nearby schools but he has talked to them and gained their respect.
One of Carmello's big challenges has been trying to keep the grass growing on the hill which is popular for the view and for sleigh riding in the snow. Each Spring he fences it off and plants grass seed but until then he calls it Bald Mountain.
Although he works alone now the first two years Carmello worked with Regis Garcia and he would like to see him get the credit he deserves. He has been transferred to the Forest Park Greenhouse as an assistant gardener.
He would also like to give credit to the Park's Manager Eric Goetz and his Supervisor John Fitzgerald for their support when he needs something for the park they are there to help.
Carmello would like the community to know he put his “blood, sweat and tears” into Elmhurst Park and he gets satisfaction just to see everyone enjoying themselves.