Al Quiñones Playground: Park renamed in honor of Longwood community activist

Albert Quiñones had been a major figure in the cultural resurrection of the South Bronx and considered a champion of the people.

Aurora Fowlkes

May 18, 2024, 10:11 PM

Updated 26 days ago

Share:

Bronx residents remembered Albert 'Al ' Quiñones, a community activist and dedicated leader, on Saturday during a special park renaming ceremony in Longwood.
Albert Quiñones had been a major figure in the cultural resurrection of the South Bronx and considered a champion of the people.
“Al Quiñones was a pioneer, he was fighter," says Iris Rodriguez, first deputy commissioner of New York City Parks. "[Quiñones] would never mince a word.”
As a community activist, Quiñones made it his mission to win battles against City Hall on behalf of South Bronx residents and worked to empower and elevate the cultural identity for South Bronx residents – with a special nod to those from the Puerto Rican diaspora.
In 1980, Quiñones founded 52 People For Progress, an organization dedicated to resurrecting a derelict park at the corner of Kelly Street and Avenue St. John. The group turned the park into a safe haven for the community during a time when drug distribution and violent crime were rampant.
That same park will now be renamed in honor of Quiñones, thanks to Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and community leaders.
"This renaming of a park is not just symbolic to Al Quiñones, but it's symbolic to everyone that's part of 52 People To Progress that joined Al in this quest to clean up this playground," says Salamanca, Jr.
After the renaming ceremony, community members enjoyed a free salsa concert featuring Orquesta Puerto Rican Power at the park’s amphitheatre.


More from News 12