project leader
Anthony L
Shore Boulevard
latest update rss
Holy cow... 195 bags was not enough clay!

the project

Astoria Park, with its 60 riverside acres, has always been the heartbeat of this dynamic neighborhood in Western Queens.  Now in its tenth year, the Astoria Park Alliance is an all volunteer group that dedicates itself to beautifying the park, bringing in programming, and supplementing its regular maintenance.  Our group cares for the welcome  gardens, rakes leaves, paints benches, removes litter from the shoreline, and so much more.

One issue which has been on the group's radar was the bocce court along Shore Boulevard that had fallen into a state of disrepair.  The court's placement and construction were poorly conceived, leading to an unplayable condition: it lies at the bottom of the hill, did not have built in drainage, and was filled with a combination of sand and dirt.  These three factors led the court to flood with any heavy rains, and turned the playing surface into a hardened, muddy muck.

Last fall, Astoria Park Alliance partnered with a local resident and contractor, Danny Berrios, who was inspired to start renovating the court.  You can read news coverage of how the project got started here-  Working together with Danny, APA decided to adopt the restoration of the bocce court, with the goal of getting it playable again for spring 2017.  Over the course of October, November, and early December, dozens of volunteers put in countless man-hours excavating the compacted mud, and digging a drainage trench in the center of the court.  We installed a french drain and covered it with gravel.  We worked in conjunction with the Parks Department to get the rotted board on the interior of the court replaced.  We gave a fresh coat of primer and paint to the outside cement walls.  All this was done before the freezing temperatures of winter stopped work for the season.

Now, with spring upon us, APA has just a few tasks left in order to return the court to its former glory.  Primarily, we are ready to install a proper new playing surface for the court.  We will be using a clay material, Har Tru, commonly used in both bocce courts and tennis courts.  The Har Tru clay (unlike the sand/dirt of the past) will provide superior play conditions and will not lead to the muddy drainage problems which left the old court unplayable.  The Parks Department has pledged to supply 65 bags of the material.  Unfortunately, for a bocce court of this size (over 83 feet long), 65 bags won't provide dense enough coverage.  Thus, we are seeking the generous help of private contributors to help us acquire an additional 125 bags of Har Tru clay.  We have identified a local supplier who has quoted a reduced price to us of just under $12 a bag, and will deliver the clay directly to the court on the day of our next scheduled volunteer effort, Saturday, March 25th.

Bocce is the perfect game to unify the residents of Astoria's European-influenced past and its modern future.  We hope that you can be a part of this amazing restoration, and help us install the proper playing surface so that the court may have its grand re-opening on time in April.  If you can't donate financially, we invite you to join us on Saturday March 25th between 10 am and 4 pm to help with project.  Thanks for sharing in our love of Astoria Park.

the steps

We are ready to go:

-we have a supplier who provided a competitive price

-we have the volunteer workforce and the know-how to install the clay

-we have the delivery and installation day on the calendar (Saturday, March 25, 10am - 4pm)

-we just need your help to raise the funds needed to pay for the materials (and if you can show up on the 25th to help install too... even better!)

why we're doing it

The Astoria Park bocce court should be an exciting focus of community and family fun.  It had become neglected and went unusued.  We want to bring a beautiful bocce court back to Astoria.


Disbursed Budget

Raised = $1,692.00

less ioby Platform Fee $35.00

less ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $76.71

less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $46.03

Total to disburse = $1,534.26

80 lb. bags of Har Tru Clay (125 @ $11.40 each) - $1,459.26

Delivery fee - $75

Cost of volunteer workforce to install the surface - $0!

= $1,534.26


Original Budget

80 lb. bags of Har Tru Clay (125 @ $11.40 each) - $1,425

Delivery fee - $75

Cost of volunteer workforce to install the surface - $0!

Subtotal - $1,500

ioby Platform Fee - $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) - $45

Total to raise = $1,580


Holy cow... 195 bags was not enough clay!

Our tireless voilunteers worked all morning and afternoon this past Saturday, March 25th to install the freshly delivered clay for the bocce court.  Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to acquire 125 bags of clay, in addition to 70 provided by the Parks Department.  And we were all shocked to find that it wasn't quite enough.  With about 20% of the court still unfinished, we wrapped up work on Saturday and made plans to reconvene this week to finish the job!

So..... update #1) if you are available to help lend a hand Thursday, March 30 around 3pm, wear some clothes that can get dirty and come meet us at the bocce court!  We had several new faces join us to volunteer last weekend and we are always looking for more.

And..... update #2) about 50-60 more bags of clay will get the job done, and leave us a handful of bags to perform needed upkeep over the course of the year.  Please consider donating to help us with that cost.  Our volunteers are providing the free labor.  Our wholesaler has agreed to waive a second delivery charge and maintain the discounted price.  And we are gung ho to get this done.

Finally..... update #3) whether you can aid us in completing the bocce court or not, please spread the word about coming to Astoria Park on Saturday, April 22 to celebrate Earth Day with us.  We will have activities and events all day, including the official grand opening ceremony of the bocce court at 3:30pm.  We hope to see you there!

What a great response; we are going to aim higher!


Wow...we are overwhelmed by the rapid response from the community to support this project.  Thank you so much for your generosity.  We also appreciate the increased interest which came via the article in DNAinfo-

As we have heard from many of you who still want to give even after the funding for the clay was completed, we will be revising our plans.  With your help, we will now install a scoreboard, rules of the game placard, and accent paint for the interior boards.  All of these features will help make the bocce court even more accessible and enjoyable for every visitor to Astoria Park.

Thank you for your continued donations.  And remember, if you can, please try to make it out on March 25th to help install the clay.



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Julia R.
  • M. Fodera
  • Ashley & Nicholas Dolan
  • Beth Rob
  • Anonymous
  • Andrew C Presti
  • Dr. Philip Princetta
  • Martin Millman
  • Billy Keenly
  • Dorothy
  • Anonymous
  • Carmela Vlacich
  • Virginia F.
  • Joseph Block
  • Christina Sidoti
  • Bianca Colasuonno
  • Anonymous