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McKinley Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, July 9, 2001

A NEW GARDEN TRIANGLE IS PLANTED AND DEDICATED IN McKINLEY PARK

Since last year, Kathy Reilly Triangle has been re-imagined, planted with a mix of Blue Girl holly, firethorn, Fountain grass, Lowbush blueberry, and plants of equally evocative names. For visitors who approach 8-acre McKinley Park from the south, Kathy Reilly Triangle will be the first place they see, a bright, blooming welcome to the park. By chance, the parkhouse in McKinley Park is a landmark in Mayor Giuliani's administration-the site of his first town hall meeting as Mayor.

In changing a concrete sitting area to a blooming garden, we lined the triangle with granite block, and paved it with asphalt. We installed ten new benches to make it a more comfortable place to sit. This botanical offshoot of McKinley Park will usher visitors into quiet contemplation even as colorful plantings burst upon the eye. The $160,000 for reconstruction came from requirements contracts with Mayor Giuliani's office, and enabled us not only to effect a beautiful change worthy of the woman for whom it is named, but to do it quickly and well. I consider a wonderful thing when a park spurs us to remember and honor the heroes-famed and unnamed-of our city's past. The park is now better able to commemorate Kathy Reilly for whom it is named. Ms. Reilly served as an executive assistant to Deputy Mayors Joe (Pooh) Lhota and Peter (Chief) Powers. In a ceremony on Monday, July 2, the garden was dedicated to her. Mayor Giuliani; Deputy Mayor Lhota; Former First Deputy Mayor Powers; Commissioner Stern, and Samantha Stafford of Ms. Reilly's own family all spoke.

PARKS SOFTBALL HEATS UP

In the last week of games, June 25 to 29, Randall's Island was over-run with softball loving Parkies as all nine teams faced off in five games over three days. On Monday two undefeated teams took the field, but only one emerged as Queens handed Central Park their first defeat of the season in an 8-1 contest. Close by, Brooklyn and Manhattan met in Brooklyn's first game. The more experienced Manhattan handled Brooklyn, and walked away with an 18-6 victory.

On Tuesday Brooklyn played again, and they weren't too tired to stage a two run rally in the top of the seventh to beat the Arsenal 19-18 in a rough and tumble game that saw hard sliding and several collisions in the outfield. Bronx also defended their perfect record with a decisive 20-6 win over the Zoo Garage. On Wednesday UPS played for the first time this season and managed to sneak past Arsenal West for the 6-5 win. All teams took off the week of July 2, but next week will see plenty of exciting match-ups.

By Sarah (Cria) Coleman

BOPP TRIANGLE IS DEDICATED TO A FALLEN FIREFIGHTER

Henceforth, a garden inside Marine Park will host the memory of Firefighter Christopher Michael Bopp. Marine Park was Bopp's neighborhood park-the place where he played baseball as a boy and posed for wedding photographs as a young man.

The tallest tree in Bopp Triangle is an American redbud, native to this country. It is also the first to bloom. Like a firefighter, the redbud responds immediately to the call of spring. In its garden location, its brilliant red leaves will pay homage to firefighters. Anyone who looks closely at its leaves will notice that they are heart-shaped. This sensitive design was the work of Brad (Straight) Romaker.

Standing as it does in the midst of tennis courts, the ballfields of Mr. Bopp's childhood, and the oval walkway, Bopp Triangle will be enjoyed by New Yorkers out to exercise as well as those who visit the site for quiet contemplation. On the morning of June 26, 2001, the friends and family of Mr. Bopp gathered with Mayor Rudolph (Eagle) Giuliani, Council Member Herb (Merlin) Berman, Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern, Fire Commissioner Thomas (Elephant) Von Essen, and Battalion Chief Brian Dixon to invest the triangle with the memory of the man to whom it is dedicated.

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Monday, July 11, 1988)

MOSQUITOS SWALLOWED NATURALLY
AT DUBOS POINT ON JAMAICA BAY

Faced with an unusually high mosquito population in a Queens wetland area, the Mayor's Council on the Environment, the New York Audubon Society, and Parks' Natural Resource Group (NRG) have devised a plan to fight nature with nature; just bring in some insect-eating birds, and let them have a feast. The mosquito-infested area is Dubos Point, a 36-acre peninsula of salt marshes and sand dunes on the Jamaica Bay side of Rockaway. Rather than resort to pesticides, which can harm fish and disrupt the food chain, the groups have decided to build nest boxes to attract swallows.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"If triangles had a god, he would have three sides."

Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

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