“We organized a big festival this year, bringing in local vendors, artists and schools to celebrate Greenpoint,” said Hilda Abadia, Town Square’s vice chairperson. “We have zumba, soccer, live music and a bike safety course organized by an Eagle Scout, as well as several local vendors and organizations.”
Kyle Paneto, 17, has been in scouting for ten years, and approached Town Square with the idea of hosting a bike safety course at GoGreen! and they thought it was a great idea.
“Living in Williamsburg for a long time, I didn’t really see people biking around for a long time, but when I became a teenager it started to be a thing,” Paneto said. “I figured, some people might not know how to ride a bike safely, so I should teach them.”
Paneto teamed up with AAA, Transportation Alternatives, the Department of Transportation and Town Square to host the workshop, all of which provided him support to make it a success.
“I approached the agencies and just said, ‘Hey, my name is Kyle Paneto and I’m trying to be an Eagle Scout, will you help me out?’ They thought it was really cool, and they didn’t hesitate,” Paneto said. “AAA gave me a bunch of certificates and gave me the idea for the rodeo, which is an obstacle course. I partnered up with Town Square and they gave me the spot to do this. The others gave me the gear.”
While peddlers sold their wares along the path, Renee Manzolillo of Breakin Boundaries, which was recently honored by Yelp as a Brooklyn Fit Club, led a zumba session with several dozen participants.
“Breakin Boundaries and Henry from Hosh Yoga have collaborated on events in the past, so when Henry called and asked if I would be part of the fitness and wellness segment it was a no brainer,” Manzolillo said. “We led a zumba class at 11:30 a.m. and a buti class at 12:45 p.m., and it felt great to do that in the park in the wide open air.”
Along with several city agencies and private corporations such as Exxon who were present to highlight green projects and practices, several local schools were represented at the festival, each featuring their own green programs, including compost stations and solar-powered hot dog roasters, with several raising money for their own green classroom initiatives by selling water bottles, pencils and plants.
“I’m really excited to see all the people here,” Abadia said. “This is really what Greenpoint is all about.”