State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, recently honored three northeast Queens community activists with proclamations at the Bayside Historical Society’s holiday celebration.
On Dec. 3, Avella presented the proclamations to the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Janice Melnick, borough zoning and land use expert Paul Graziano and Holy Cross High School’s Michael Genovese.
The senator said he intended to honor all three of them with resolutions when the Legislature’s next session begins in January.
Melnick is the new Flushing Meadows Corona Park administrator, which would make her responsible for 900 acres of parking, including Little Bay Park, Joe Michael’s Mile, Crocheron Park, Udalls Cove Preserve and Alley Pond Park.
Previously, she had worked with the Parks Department and spearheaded the development of Fort Totten from a military base to a public park.
“She is really a great asset for our parks,” Avella said. “She did a great job with the Parks Department.”
Graziano is the founder and principal of Associated Cultural Resource Consultants and an expert in the fields of land use, zoning, planning and historic preservation.
Avella said Graziano has long advocated for the preservation of a number of Queens neighborhoods as well as helped to form several local groups, including the North Flushing Civic Association and the Waldheim Neighborhood Association.
“He worked with me on a number of rezonings,” Avella said. “He is a tireless volunteer for civic associations on rezoning in the borough.”
Genovese began teaching at Holy Cross in 1969 and is currently the director of Service Learning, a program he founded 40 years ago that encourages students to volunteer in their community.