Forest Hills has been my home for the past 8 years and I don’t plan on changing that. I chose this neighborhood as the community I will be doing my research on because I felt strongly that I knew my neighborhood well enough that this research paper was going to be easier if I have done that. However, doing this much research on my neighborhood made me realize that I knew very little of my community. There were many organizations that I could use more often and inform other of in my community that could make life easier within our community. In this paper I will be presenting everything that I knew and found new knowledge about my neighborhood during my research, such as, how many people reside in this community, what are their roles, what does this community consist of, and much more.
Forest hills is located in the borough of Queens, New York and the zip code is 11375. Forest hills shares boundaries with Corona, Flushing, and Rego Park. The north, east, and south boundaries are the Long Island Expressway, Grand Central Parkway, and Union Turnpike, respectively. Forest hills is mostly a residential area consisting of houses and apartment buildings.
According to the Census Bureau(2016), Forest hills has an approximate population of 71,159 which is rising compared to 2010 population being 68,733. Now with 33,173 of that population being male and the other 37,986 being female. The difference in the number of females to males isn’t that great. So from my own experience of living there I couldn’t tell that there was a slight edge on the amount of females and males residing in Forest Hills. Out of all the 71,159 people that live there 91.2% are native and only 8.8% are foreign-born (Census Bureau, 2016). In forest hill the median age average is 41. According to the book A “Primer on Social Problems” 81 percent of all violent crimes are committed by males and “people in the 15–24 age range account for about 40 percent of all arrests even though they comprise only about 14 percent of the population.”(p34) Based on this, one could guess that this neighborhood will be somewhat calmer in the sense that there are more adults, and are much more mature than young teenagers and there are less males in the over all population. So, this would mean less crime since most of the crime is committed by young teenagers rather than adult who have families, jobs, and children that they must care for.
When it comes to race forest hills is somewhat diverse. According to the Census Bureau, with that larges race group being white folk, 44,992 amount of the population; they measure over 50% of overall population. The second-largest race that occupies forest hills are the Asians. With 18,997 residents living in forest hills being Asian. Some other races that have less than five thousand residents live there also. However, it might all shift at a later time with all the population mixing and more people moving in.
The Census Bureau also states children under 18 in households are estimated to be 13,444. The school enrollment in Forest hills is high with there being seven public schools. There are two high schools, two middle schools, and three elementary schools. With 9,463 out of the 10,168 that enrolled in to school in 2016 according to the census bureau.
Forest hills has many assets around its community. For example, there are many delis, corner stores; there is the Queens Mall just outside to the North West side of forest hills. There are many accessible train stations along Queens Blvd. which goes through this neighborhood. Some of the assets include the people that live there. Diversity brings much different kind of values and tradition, but most importantly many talents that are of great value. For instance, there are many different types of restaurants with people of different cultures working in it and that bring different kinds of dishes and different styles of cooking. Since I happen to be living in this neighborhood I had the opportunity to experience this from different people and learn many new skill set that will definitely help me in the future and improve my ways of cooking. The diversity within the community helps because the diversity brings different ideas, and skill sets that are needed within the community and help the community improve all around. For another example, the places of worship are another asset of this community there are many synagogues and many Jews living in Forest hills. Historically, Forest Hills has had many Jewish residents. The border between Rego Park and Forest Hills is home to many Bukharan Jews, one of the largest population of such in the world outside of Israel (Forest Hills Property Group, 2015). These places of worship are helping all of the Jews gather together and practice their religion, this helps them bond and that’s helps the community grow.
Adding on, according to Chloe Morales (2017), in the article “Forest Hills Nonprofits: Check Out These Organizations Near You” forest hills has many nonprofit organizations which include and are not limited to “Queens Community House”, “Songs of Love Foundation”, “Central Queens Y”, “Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce” and many more. Queens Community House offers many programs to the community, these programs include after-school programs for children ages 5 to 12, gender-specific youth leadership development, development activities for LGBTQ youth, workforce readiness and employment counseling, drop-out prevention programs, programs geared toward success in obtaining an associate’s degree, adult day services programs, meal delivery for homebound elderly persons and much more. Songs of Love Foundation provides free professionally recorded personalized songs for children and teens who are fighting serious medical challenges, and finally according to the Central Queens Y’s website, Y “staff is dedicated to bringing to the central Queens community life-enhancing services, cultural and educational experiences and a diverse array of programs that meet Forest Hills residents’ needs.” Forest hills Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping business owners and other residents of the Forest Hills community. The Chamber promotes commerce, community and cultural arts in what the organization calls ‘the three Cs.’ According to the Chamber, the group’s events draw upward of 60,000 attendees. Some of the Chamber’s events include weekly jazz concerts and seasonal festivals. Finally, the Vita Center this organization’s “singular mission is to ignite women of all generations and cultures to higher levels of opportunities and skills.” More specifically, the nonprofit works to achieve “value and justice through education, business initiatives and survival services for the women of Forest Hills and beyond.”( Joel, M. Paul, M. Greg, P. Anne, P. 2015) These assets help greatly to its community by offering help from within the community by using its own resources and not depending on outside help.
One of the unique things about this community is the school and accessibility of schools. With having 3 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 2 high schools all under 1 zip code. Another fun fact is that Forest Hills was once the home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. There are many point of interests in forest hills one of them being Austin street. Austin Street is a busy, modern street with shops, cafes, restaurants, and other stores that acts as the center of Forest Hills. It has become a place people visit from other neighborhoods because of its charm. Other shopping districts include Yellowstone Boulevard, Metropolitan Avenue, and 108th Street. The nearest hospital is Forest Hills Hospital at 102-01 66th Road. The police station is located on Austin Street at 68-40 Austin Street. It represents the 112th precinct. Movie theaters are on Queens Boulevard and Austin Street. The most visited is the historic Midway Theater on Queens Boulevard.
Chloe Morales, the author of the article “Forest Hills Nonprofits: Check Out These Organizations Near You” states “Nonprofits can be the buildings blocks of a self-organizing — and self-correcting — community.” This statement completely supports what we have been learning in this class, that a community must use its own assets to grow as and not depend on help from outside its community because that gives of the impression that the community is weak and is a burden. The people living in the community also start to think that they need help from outside resources and not use their own communities’ ability to its fullest extent.
All in all, forest hills is a good community that is growing because it is peaceful and calm. With 71,159 approximate population that is fairly diverse. Forest hills has many assets with in its community and this community uses its assets to its best ability. These assets include many places of worship, remote location of stores, many public schools, remote train stations, the diversity of the population and so on. Forest hills has many great organizations working in it. Such as, Queens Community House, Songs of Love Foundation, Central Queens Y, Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce. Forest hills has many points of interests such as the Midway movie theatre, Austin street and it stores, the place where the open US tennis tournament used to take place, etc.