Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira as well as trustees Paul Cusato and George Durham were recently joined by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Lions Club leadership, New York State Senator Anna Kaplan, Presiding Officer of the Nassau County Legislature Richard Nicolello and county officials to unveil the recently refurbished Lions Triangle—a 14,000 square-foot public green space, which is located on the north side of Old Country Road at Roslyn Road in Mineola. The public green space is dedicated to the Lions Club for being a leader in humanitarian efforts worldwide for more than a century.
“Park maintenance and enhancement is key to making Nassau a better place for people to live, work and play and I want to thank our DPW leadership and workforce, Presiding Officer Nicolello and the Village of Mineola for their collaborative efforts to revitalize this humble, green space amidst busy Old Country Road,” said Curran. “The design of this rehabilitated park is intended to assure a fresh, clean space, with inspiring pedestrian pathways, and a relaxing rest area with benches and shade for residents to enjoy while paying tribute to the enduring spirit of generosity of the Lions Club.”
The county worked in collaboration with the Village of Mineola, Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss, the Lions Club International and Nicolello to have specific improvements made to this very auspicious park, enhancing its community friendly appeal and inviting the public to revisit with a fresh eye and explore the generous humanitarian history of the Lions Club.
“I am proud to join with County Executive Curran to officially open Lions Triangle in Mineola,” said Nicolello. “After months of working with the Lions Club, the Village of Mineola, the county’s Department of Public Works and others, I am proud to see the work finally completed and residents taking advantage of the space. I will continue to fight for critical county funding for important projects in our community.”
Through capital funding, this streetscape improvement project cost $275,000 to complete and consisted of installing new concrete, benches, receptacles, flagpoles, an irrigation system, electric service and other upgrades to the landscape. In addition, existing monuments were refurbished and relocated within the park.
In 1962, a monument was placed at the location to honor the Lions Club and their commitment to peace and community service throughout the world. In 1976, another monument was put on site to honor the Bicentennial “Spirit of ’76.”
Then, in 1989, the quaint space saw the installation of walks and benches to invite the community to visit and pay tribute to the work of this inspiring organization.
The idea arose to improve the park further in 2016, when the organization was celebrating their centennial anniversary. The work began in June 2019 and was completed last month.
“I am grateful for the Lions Club and Nassau County in giving a much needed upgrade to the Lions Club Triangle,” said Strauss. “It was a collaborative effort between those two entities and the Village of Mineola. It creates a more pleasing gateway into our village. The Lions Club raises money to assist the blind, finance vocational training for the underprivileged and disabled and sponsor youth drug awareness and educational programs. They are a big part of Mineola and we were honored to have worked with them on this project.”
The Edward Smith Mineola Lions Club
Mineola’s Edward Smith lived a life of service to his community. He devoted his efforts to building local organizations, such as the Mineola Lions Club and the Mineola Chamber of Commerce. In 2000, the Lions Club, which contributes thousands of dollars to local charities each year, was named after him. In his lifetime, Smith served the civic organization for 60 years. He also acted as president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce and helped grow the group from a core of 50 members to the thriving community organization it is today.
Smith’s dedication to community service was steadfast. He served as Mineola’s mayor from 1975-85, acted as deputy mayor for 10 years, sat on the Mineola village board for 22 years and acted as village trustee for another 12 years.
Outside of public service, he had a successful career in real estate. Smith founded Smith & DeGroat Real Estate in 1944.