The Daily Plant : Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Daily Plant: Parks Cuts the Ribbon on Improvements to Hawkins Park
On August 30, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined City Council Member James Vacca, Assembly Member Michael Benedetto, Director of Planning and Development for the Bronx Borough President Wilhelm Ronda, and Community Board 10 Parks Committee Chair Virginia Gallagher to celebrate the renovation of Hawkins Park on City Island. The $250,000 project was funded by Council Member James Vacca.
“Thanks to $250,000 in funding from Council Member James Vacca, Hawkins Park has received a renovation befitting a park named for one of New York’s greatest war heroes, City Island native Leonard Hawkins,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “New park features include safety surfaces, pavement, a seating area, landscaping, and ADA accessible amenities. Opening just in time for mild fall temperatures, this new and improved green space will delight City Island residents of all ages.”
The project included new benches, plantings, trees, paving, fencing, utilities, an ADA accessible drinking fountain, and new safety surface around the park’s distinctive dolphin sculpture. Hawkins Park is located on City Island in the northeast corner of the Bronx. Once known for its shipbuilders, the area’s unique charm and magnificent views of the Long Island Sound make it a favorite destination of both tourists and Bronxites alike.
Hawkins Street, originally named Orchard Street, was renamed by local law in 1950 for the Hawkins family, who have lived on City Island since 1784. Hawkins Park is named after a member of this family, United States Navy Seaman Second Class Leonard Hillson Hawkins, who died while serving on the USS Delaware during the First World War, just four days before the Delaware’s return home. The park contains a granite monument with a bronze plaque that honors Hawkins as well as the 104 other young men from City Island who served in World War I. City Island’s American Legion Post is also named after Hawkins, and its women’s auxiliary was responsible for the monument’s construction.
Hawkins Park was first acquired by the city as a school site in 1860. In 1900, it was transferred to the Police Department, and in 1933 Parks obtained the property.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.”
(1819 – 1900)