Eco Hero: Konstancja Maleszyńska

Superheroes come in many forms. Sometimes the most obvious superhero won’t be wearing a cape or brightly colored spandex outfit; sometimes they are the ones you meet on the street and inspire you to do good.

When we first met Konstancja Maleszyńska, she had just joined Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA) as their Greenpoint Parks Project Coordinator, and it was clear that her charisma is her superpower.  Konstancja loves to speak with people. It doesn’t matter what mood folks are in, she brings the sunshine and gets people to open up like flowers. This is definitely important since part of her job with OSA is to educate people on the streets about the organization’s initiatives and encourage more people to help preserve the parks. It’s that distinct quality, paired with her passion to keep the parks clean and beautiful for generations to come, that makes her our eco hero this week.

Beyond her ability to connect with almost anyone, Konstancja takes her role at OSA very seriously.

“As Greenpoint Parks Project Coordinator, I am tasked with community outreach, parks stewardship, and developing volunteer events and educational programming,” she explained. “I provide support to existing park groups such as the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance, and am looking to unite parks enthusiasts around Transmitter Park, as well as three playgrounds: American, Greenpoint, and Newtown Barge.”
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For Konstancja, passion for the environment is more than simply a job – it’s part of her everyday life. She enjoys exploring the more obscure parts of New York on foot or bike, and is a dedicated trail runner (sounds like she may have that superhero agility as well). Even outside of her interests, her previous volunteer roles focused on open spaces.

Last summer, she began volunteering with the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance in Greenpoint, and soon became a member of its steering committee, where she continues to help organize four summer cleanups, called Saturday Sweeps to combat McGolrick Park’s litter problem.

Contributing to OSA’s legacy of positive environmental work is a wonderful opportunity she doesn’t take lightly, and she encourages everyone to get involved. Konstancja explains, “Being involved on a local level with a park group or a block association grows and strengthens social networks, which makes neighborhoods safer and more pleasant. It’s easier to get things done in a group! OSA can provide a toolkit for volunteers to organize and be effective advocates for their park, playground, or community garden.”

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If you would like to get involved or have ideas for improvement and engagement, you can contact OSA at info@osanb.org or visit OSA at: http://osanb.org.

By Romey Louangvilay