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East River Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, July 22, 2002

FLUSHING MEADOWS-CORONA PARK SCORES A GOOOOAAAAAALLLLL


Commissioner Adrian Benepe hit the soccer field on Tuesday, July 9, in celebration of a donation of $91,000 from the United States Soccer Foundation. The grant will go towards soccer programming at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (FMCP) in Queens. Estelle Cooper, Administrator of FMCP, and Richard Murphy, Queens Borough Commissioner, were both on hand to celebrate the donation that was two years in the making.

The event took place just nine days after the World Cup championships so the enthusiasm for soccer was high. The Eastern New York Soccer Association played a key role in obtaining the grants from the United States Soccer Foundation by appealing to organization on behalf of FMCP and Parks. The U.S. Soccer Foundation aims to enhance, assist, and grow the sport of soccer in the United States.

There are six soccer fields in FMCO and three new ones to begin construction this fall. Over 2,000 kids with World Cup dreams will benefit from the new fields and the $91,000 which will be used for soccer programming. Park officials will look at the needs of FMCP soccer and determine exactly where the funds should be distributed.

Commissioner Benepe said "Soccer is a great way to stay healthy and fit. We believe that the healthy behaviors we teach our children will have a tremendous impact on their adult lives." About 30 children from the MetroKids Soccer League in there bright red uniforms posed for pictures before they took off onto the field, dribbling the ball and passing it back and forth. Even on a hot and humid day, the kids had lots of energy, demonstrating the positive effects of sports such as soccer. Park patrons can play a host of other sports in the Queens park, including tennis, volleyball, and basketball, all overseen by Miguel Cueller, the Sports Coordinator of FMCP.

BRONX RIVER GREENWAY IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO REALITY

Shortly after taking office, Mayor Bloomberg announced his support for plans creating a greenway ringing the 36-mile perimeter of Manhattan. Ultimately, Parks’ goal is to reclaim the city’s waterfront for public use – to develop 350 miles of greenways free from vehicular traffic to walk, run, skate, bike, or just sit and enjoy the view – across all five boroughs. Senator Charles Schumer recently pledged funds to finance projects that will bridge a critical gap in Lower Manhattan, a space stretching from East River Park along FDR Drive around the tip of the island to The Battery. The greenway project in Manhattan is moving closer to completion by the day.

Now the Bronx is reaching for the same goal. At a press conference held by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Erin Crotty on July 12, Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined State Senator Pedro Espada and representatives from the New York State Department of Transportation, the Bronx River Alliance, and the Trust For Public Land to announce the acquisition of a small strip of land adjacent to Soundview Park in the Bronx. Although it might not look like much in terms of acreage, the land represents another step that the City, State, and Bronx River Alliance partners have taken toward their goal of completing the Bronx River Greenway.

The Greenway is currently seven miles long, stretching from the City's border with Westchester County to Soundview Park. Another eight miles of greenway stretches from Soundview Park to Ferry Point Park. Parks is currently working on a 4-mile portion of the Hutchinson River Greenway – using funds obtained through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) – which will connect these paths to the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway at Pelham Parkway, creating a direct connection from this park to the city’s largest, Pelham Bay Park. This project will create a consistent loop of greenway reaching from Ferry Point Park to Pelham Bay – an outstanding improvement on existent waterfront greenspace.

Written by Jennifer Keeney

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’"

Emma Lazarus

(July 22, 1849–1887)

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