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c. Paul Martinka

PPA Profiles: Alex Boure

January 31, 2014

If you haven’t seen the Alliance’s Lakeside Maintenance Supervisor Alex Boure making his daily rounds in the Park, you’ve certainly seen his handiwork. Originally from Nigeria, Alex has worked with the Alliance for over four years. He now leads a crew of seven maintenance workers who keep Prospect Park looking its best, and take great pride in protecting the Park’s scenic beauty. His crew cleans litter and reports damage at Lakeside and throughout the east side of the Park. If this sounds like a monumental task, it is. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Park for relaxation and recreation. All this activity takes a toll on the Park. So, how does such a small team maintain so much public land?

The secret, Alex said, is to talk to people, and to smile and care. Sometimes a nice conversation can be the difference between properly discarded trash and a lawn full of litter. A five minute chat can save hours, he explained, and handing out free garbage bags doesn’t hurt. Over the years, Alex has formed friendships with a number of regulars. By engaging visitors, Alex instills them with a sense of ownership for the Park and a respect for its natural areas. His positive nature is contagious.

Recently, Alex’s crew added the LeFrak Center at Lakeside to their domain. The new skating rink is already a booming success. People from all over New York, and around the world, have come to glide across the ice, sip hot chocolate, and admire the view from the adjacent White Levy Esplanade. Far from viewing the crowds as a challenge to the Park’s upkeep, Alex is thrilled by the area's popularity. The goal of a park, in his view, is to keep the people coming back. A litter-free park is just as much an attraction as the rolling hills, sweeping views, babbling streams, and unforgettable skating. We have Alex and his crew to thank for that.