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The Daily Plant : Friday, November 22, 2002
EAST RIVER PARK SCORES MAJOR RENOVATION
Parks had a breakthrough on Monday, November 18. Literally. Over 100 first through sixth graders from P.S. 142 ran top speed through a sports banner held by Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Benepe to celebrate the over $6 million renovation of East River Park. From Jackson Street to Delancey Street, residents of the Lower East Side have a new place to hit home runs, score goals and cool off with the help of the seal spray showers.
Mayor Bloomberg, standing among the intricate harbor seal sculptures, told the crowd, "Reclaiming New York City's 578 miles of waterfront is one of my Administration's top priorities. This project is another important step in opening our waterfront for greater public use and enjoyment." Mayor Bloomberg continued, "East River Park is used by thousands of people - young and old - and its location on the Lower East Side makes it easily accessible to all New Yorkers." Professional Athletes from the NY/NJ Metro Stars and the Long Island Lizards as well as Council Members Alan Gersen and Margarita Lopez, and former Community Board 3 Chair Anne Johnson were among those groups who joined the festivities.
East River Park, developed by Robert Moses in the 1930s, is the largest park south of 59th Street in Manhattan, and on December 10, 2001, East River Park was renamed in honor of John V. Lindsay (1921-2000), the 103rd Mayor of New York City. The renovation of John V. Lindsay East River Park, which began in August 2001, was constructed with $6.84 million in mayoral capital funds. Parks installed an artificial multi-use turf field for football and soccer. Athletes of all ages will be able to play on two new artificial turf softball fields. Younger athletes can now hone their juggling skills on the new practice soccer field. As the weather gets warmer, toddlers will romp in the tot-play water area complete with harbor seals spray showers. The renovations also include new gardens, walking paths and pedestrian seating. New asphalt volleyball courts and asphalt basketball courts will soon open to the public.
East River Park has received numerous renovations through the years. Most recently, in December of 2001, Parks worked with an ABC television show, "Challenge America" to revitalize the amphitheater as well as one of its soccer fields.
Parks Designer George Vellonakis, Parks Project Manager Lawrence Mauro, Parks Resident Engineer Hassan Mehrpour, M.K.W. & Associates, O'Brien-Kreitzberg Inc. and D. Gangi Contracting Corporation all worked hard to make the reconstruction of John V. Lindsay East River Park possible. Special thanks to Lower Manhattan Together and the Lower Eastside Ecology Center who have been longtime supporters of the revitalization of East River Park.
After the ceremony, Parks Commissioner Benepe got to spend a few moments shooting goals with the students of P.S. 142. "I am grateful for the Mayor's support for this valuable project that will benefit so many New Yorkers," Commissioner Benepe said. "The new fields, picnic areas, gardens and playgrounds will bring new life to the entire southern end of the park."
Written by Jocelyn Aframe
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Friday, December 1, 1989)
NATURAL RESOURCES GROUP TO RESTORE WETLANDS
The Natural Resources Group (NRG) received $875,000 in grants in September through the New York State Environmental Quality Bond Act to restore three wetlands habitats: Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx and Alley Pond Park and Aurora Pond, both in Queens.
Much of New York City’s original wetlands have been filled or developed. A hundred years ago extensive areas of productive saltmarsh provided habitats for rails and herons. Freshwater wetlands harbored wood ducks, frogs, and muscrats. In an era when open space was plentiful, many of these wetlands became dumping grounds for the residue of development and ground for further building.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Perhaps the wind
Wails so in winter for the summers dead,
And all sad sounds are nature’s funeral cries
For what has been and is not."
(November 22, 1819–1880)