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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, February 5, 2001

PRAIRIE DOGS COMMAND THE SPOTLIGHT— IF NOT THE SUN


That groudhogs most accurately predict the coming of spring is a myth. Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern appeared at the Queens Zoo Friday, February 2, 2001 to dispel that myth and sing the praises of the under-appreciated marmots of the animal kingdom: prairie dogs. Most cities take Groundhog Day to accord their resident woodchucks their fifteen minutes in the sun (or clouds, as the case may be). But New York City Parkies know that when it comes to accuracy, Prairie Dogs offer the truest report, and we've relied on them for seven years.

As a citizen, Commissioner Stern relies on prairie dogs to deliver the oracle of spring. As Parks Commissioner, he depends on them to tell him when to expect the crowds, the first crocus buds, and the first crack of the baseball bat.

In the meantime New York City groundhogs are out of a job. A quote from Benjamin Franklin speaks to this: "Some are weather-wise, some are otherwise." But Parks has a plan for the groundhogs. In New York State each year, groundhogs move about 1.6 million tons of earth. To put that number in impressive context, roughly 7.5 million tons of earth were moved to build the English Channel. Certainly Parks infrastructure could benefit from the targeted efforts of a woodchuck team. And just imagine, how much they could achieve if they could they could chuck wood...

The good news is: when the moment of truth arrived, Corona Kate and Flushing Meadows Phil predicted an early spring. Claire (Queen Bee) Shulman, Queens Borough President; Karen (Panda) Koslowitz, Council Member; Estelle (Unisphere) Cooper, Assistant Commissioner for Queens Parks; Edward (Labrador) J. Lewis, Assistant Commissioner for Queens Parks; Robin (Arizona) Dalton, Queens Zoo Director; and students from P.S. 150 bore witness to the prediction.

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Monday, February 8, 1988)

TOBI BERGMAN IS APPOINTED CENTRAL PARK CHIEF OF OPERATIONS

Tobi Bergman has been appointed Central Park Chief of Operations, Central Park Administrator Elizabeth Barlow Rogers announced. Bergman, who reports directly to Administrator Rogers and to Manhattan Parks Commissioner Patrick J. Pomposello, replaced Ron Cianculli, who was appointed Manhattan Chief of Operations in September 1987.

Prior to coming to Parks, Bergman was the Operations Manager at the Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway near Grand Army Plaza. Serving in that capacity for four years, Bergman oversaw the construction of exhibits; the renovation and maintenance of galleries; and overall building and ground maintenance.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go, Winter, and come not again"

Traditional Scottish Poem

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