In recent weeks, we celebrated exemplary Parkies at the Annual Awards, and held a workshop for People Make Parks, a Partnerships for Parks program aimed at eliciting community participation in public design.
On Wednesday, March 28, Parks celebrated the 22nd annual Awards Ceremony in the Arsenal Gallery. Recognizing the individual achievements of Parkies throughout the year, the awards at this year’s ceremony were given in the traditional categories of Rookie, Manager, and Employee of the Year as well as the Commissioner’s Award. In addition, the Thomas Stofka Award, given for extraordinary commitment and skill in protection and care of our trees and natural areas, was presented for the eighth year. The Stubbs-Davis award, for recognition of career dedication to Parks and public service was given for the 29th time. The award was established by former Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis in honor or his parents.
This year’s honorees were:
• Rookie of the Year: Charlette Hamamgian, Chief of Management Services and Agency Chief Contracting Officer for the Capital Division (presented by Deputy Commissioner for Capital Projects Therese Braddick);
• Manager of the Year: Tricia Vanderbeck, Deputy Chief of Operations for the Bronx (presented by First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh);
• Stubbs Davis Award: Stanley Brown, Recreation Director at Sorrentino Recreation Center (presented by Assistant Commissioner for Public Programs Annika Holder);
• Employee of the Year: William Ferraro, Queens Maintenance Worker (presented by Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski);
• Thomas Stofka Award: Edward Toth, Director of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center (presented by First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh);
• Commissioner’s Award: Susan Donoghue, Senior Adviser and Assistant Commissioner for Communications and Strategic Initiatives (presented by Commissioner Adrian Benepe).
Individual stories on each of the award winners will be featured in upcoming issues of The Daily Plant.
People Make Parks Workshop
On March 20, First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh invited borough and capital leaders to a workshop about the People Make Parks initiative. People Make Parks is a Partnerships for Parks initiative meant to encourage collaboration in park design between invested communities and NYC Parks; when communities contribute to a park's design, community residents become more committed long-term park stewards. In September 2011, the online toolkit for communities launched at PeopleMakeParks.org. Over 200 people celebrated the website launch at the BMW/Guggenheim Lab at First Street Park on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
The workshop highlighted the new People Make Parks website as well as first hand reports on the People Make Parks approaches by designers Allan Scholl and George Bloomer, who tested them at Hester Street Playground and Luther Gulick Park, projects made possible by the early support of Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro. Principal Urban Designer Charles McKinney pointed out that people who participate in the design process do not need to be convinced during the approval process.
The People Make Parks initiative was developed in partnership with the Hester Street Collaborative, a nonprofit design firm, and was created with input from an advisory committee composed of friends groups and community-based organization representatives, urban planners and landscape architects, academics, and representatives from the Borough and Capital divisions, including Martin Maher, Brooklyn Chief of Staff, and Nette Compton, Director of Green Infrastructure.
Patricia Perone was hired by Parks in 2007. Until October 2010, she worked as an Environmental Educator at the Staten Island Greenbelt delivering educational programming to scores of NYC schoolchildren and to the general public. In October 2010 she started working as Grants Analyst in the Planning Division. In her role as Grants Analyst, Patricia works with funders, various divisions within the Agency, and with our not-for-profit partners; submitting grant applications, maintaining grant records, grant reporting and grant contracting. She manages over $30 million in grant funding from a variety of sources. In addition to her grants work, Patricia has also been instrumental in assisting with the Capital Project Scorecard pilot project and various Sustainable Parks Initiatives. Her blood truly runs green; in her spare time she serves as the Green Guru for the Arsenal 4th floor, leads educational programming, such as the Arsenal’s Recycle Relay being held in March 2012, and is a Certified Master Composter through the Department of Sanitation.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished,
unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
(1694 - 1778)