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The Daily Plant : Tuesday, March 5, 2002

NRG IN THE WINDY CITY

Parks’ own Marc Matsil, Chief of Natural Resources Group (NRG), Chris Osgood, Chief of Staff to Commissioner Benepe, and former Parks Commissioner, Henry J. Stern, traveled to Chicago last week to attend a conference entitled "Natural Spaces in Urban Places." This was not the first time that NRG has gone on the road; last year Matsil flew to London, England, to meet with Tony Blair’s administration and to Kobe, Japan, to speak at a conference attended by 3,500 people, sharing NRG’s experiences in urban natural resources in both places.

Natural Resources group in the premier urban ecology program and was founded in 1984. NRG develops and implements management programs for protection, acquisition, and restoration of the City's natural resources, of which there are 10,000 acres. These acres of forest, woodland, freshwater wetland and salt marsh ecosystems face a constant threat of encroachment and degradation from development, public works construction and other human impacts.

In Chicago, New York City and Pittsburgh’s programs were showcased as noteworthy examples of creating a city of natural preserves. Matsil presented a paper and sat on a panel discussion. He found that while NRG was commended for its successes, it was "surprising to be at the top because we can do a lot more." He spoke fondly of NRG’s first director, Commissioner Benepe, in having helped pave the way towards NRG being a world leader in urban natural resource programs. During the panel discussion, an audience member stood up and said "we need a Marc Matsil in Chicago," demonstrating that Chicago understands that NRG provides innovative and thoughtful programs to maintain natural spaces in cities and the importance of those programs.

Chris Osgood noted that there was a "tremendous amount of respect for what New York City is doing in financing projects" that help acquire and maintain natural spaces. This respect was not just for the funds raised, but also the focus placed on maintaining our 10,000 acres of natural resources.

300 people attended this conference in Chicago, mainly professionals in the field, such as planners, natural resources specialists, and park managers. Commissioner Stern gave a short presentation about his role as founder of NRG. The purpose of the conference was for Chicago to learn from the experiences with urban natural resources in both New York City and Pittsburgh. Chicago has 7,000 acres of parkland and a very visionary planning division, according to Matsil. One interesting thing they’ve done, noted by Chris Osgood, is a program similar to greenstreets, but on the roofs of buildings. All in all, the trip to the conference was a success and enjoyed by our 3 Parkies that attended.

BRONX BLOOD DRIVE

Thank you to all the Bronx Parkies who went to St. James Recreation Center on Tuesday, February 26, to participate in the Bronx Parks Winter Blood Drive. Myrna Calderon, from Bronx Personnel, coordinated this successful drive that collected 38 pints of blood from38 Bronx Parkies. The blood was given to the Hudson Valley Greater New York Blood Program. After giving blood, all the donors were invited to recoup their strength over juice and cookies. Dottie Lewandowski, a card-carrying member of the Gallon Club, was proud to give her first pint as Bronx Borough Commissioner. We look forward to seeing Parkies in August for the Bronx Parks Summer Blood Drive.

By Shelagh Patterson

CONGRATULATIONS WILL EBERHART!

Parks congratulates Will Eberhart on the birth of a baby boy named William Eberhart III, born yesterday at 10:16 a.m. He weighs 6 lbs. 3 ounces and is 18 ½ inches long. The Daily Plant wishes that baby and mother are doing well.

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT

(Tuesday, March 14, 1989)

GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE TO CITY WORKERS

Applications for the 1989 Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship Program are now available, Training Director Janice Melnick announced.

This year 13 New York City schools are offering full or partial scholarships to City employees for study on their own time in specific areas of public policy analysis, computer science, planning and other management programs.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"I want to do it because I want to do it.

Women must try to do things as men have tried.

When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others."

Amelia Earhart

(1897-1937)

 

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