Tune-Up Week Recap
Sustainable Parks launched the agency’s first ever Tune-Up Week from May 14-18 to encourage energy conservation and make a concerted effort to perform maintenance work such as air conditioner tune-ups at recreation centers and other facilities. The week ended with an energy-themed ribbon cutting at St. Mary’s Recreation Center to celebrate recent energy efficiency upgrades that are expected to save $169,000 annually at the city’s oldest recreation center. I’d like to thank Parks’ 30 Green Gurus, 5-boro Technical Services, and other staff that helped our agency “get energized” before the start of the summer season.
Here are a few other highlights:
• $30,000 in energy efficient air conditioners were delivered to recreation centers to replace old units.
• The first full retrofit of a comfort station with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs was completed in Manhattan. A typical LED bulb lasts five times longer than a compact fluorescent (CFL) and uses half as much electricity.
• Thumb drives with energy tips were distributed to staff in addition to tire pressure gauges to promote fuel conservation.
Additionally, over 80 Parkies tuned-up their Green Pledges or rode their bikes to work.
Green Applied Parks Projects (GAPP)
In conjunction with Forestry and Operations, POP launched this 5-week program to train youth ages 18-24 in caretaking and maintaining green public spaces on May 29. The 250 GAPP Corps members will spend four days a week in the field and one day a week in classroom training covering GED prep or employment counseling. The $350,000 is being funded by Veronica White, the Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO). The original grant from CEO totaled $250,000 for 180 trainees, but POP successfully requested an additional $100,000 to fund 70 more trainees after 347 youth applied. There are work sites in all boroughs, many hosted by administrators. The GAPP members will work on environmentally themed assignments, in addition to basic cleaning, and will execute a signature project at the conclusion of their term at Parks.
During Tune-up Week, Lyons Fitness Center Manager and Staten Island Afterschool Coordinator Bill LaCurtis went the extra mile to help our agency save energy. As the Staten Island Recreation Green Guru, he reviewed energy saving procedures with staff at the borough’s recreation facilities and made visits to ensure follow-through. He checked that A/C filters were cleaned or changed, fitness equipment and other appliances were unplugged at the end of the day, and helped switch out remaining incandescent light bulbs with more efficient models. Bill applied his enthusiasm for the environment to the fleet as well, checking the tire pressure of several vehicles to maximize fuel efficiency and safety. He also met with the Afterschool Program Site Coordinators to encourage them to talk with the kids who visit centers about the importance of saving energy at home. Bill has been with Parks since 1987. In addition to energy conservation, Bill engages staff and the after school kids around recycling and food composting.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”
(551 BC - 479 BC)