Around town, Myron "Mike" Blumenfeld is known as a “nudge,” a “curmudgeon.” But he’s also considered Port Washington’s “environmental conscious,” a “catalyst for change,” and a “generous” man who “doesn’t see something that needs fixing,” but rather someone who “sees the finished product."
In other words, a visionary.
In what he laughingly referred to as his eulogy, Mike Blumenfeld was honored Monday as the Citizen of the Year 2011. The event at was standing-room only.
Blumenfeld was recognized for a lifetime of outstanding volunteer service.
A Port Washington resident since 1965, Blumenfeld is known for his environmental contributions – many of Port’s local parks and trails are thanks to his efforts.
In 1968, Blumenfeld and some like-minded friends formed Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, planting trees, expanding parks and improving bay water quality.
With Blumenfeld as chairman, Residents next learned of dangers imposed by the disposal of garbage in Hempstead Harbor and in a surrounding landfill, and later of a plan to construct an adjacent, larger mass burn incinerator. Concerned about the spewing of toxic gases, Blumenfeld led RMBPW and collaborated with others to stop these hazardous practices and plans. Despite the loss of many law suits, the notoriety surrounding the incinerator and potential environmental health threats angered enough residents to vote out the town officials at the time. Today, Harbor Links Golf Course, senior housing and a planned industrial park exist on the site.
A Sierra Club member since the early 1950s, Blumefeld served on boards of the Environmental Planning Lobby and the American Friends of Neot Kedumim – the biblical landscape preserve in Israel. Gov. Mario Cuomo appointed Blumenfeld chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission, where he initiated its first environmental education program.
Blumenfeld is serving his second five-year term as a library board trustee. Active in the library's children's room events, he regularly reads to and tutors children. He also founded the Josh Blumenfeld Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee, named in memory of his son, who tutuored English as Second Language Students.
Currently, Blumenfeld is a board member of the Port Washington Parks Conservancy, an organization he founded to enhance, restore and protect local parks. The first beneficiary of their efforts is a $1 million reconstruction of the Nassau County Stannards Brook Park, which officially opens May 29 at 11 a.m.