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Riverside Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, May 28, 2002

MELLON FOUNDATION GRANTS $5 MILLION TO PARKS GROUPS

Following the events of September 11, 2001, many New Yorkers looked to their neighborhood parks as places of refuge, relaxation, and reflection. Countless volunteer hours were logged in downtown Manhattan and millions and millions of dollars were donated by people across the country and the world to help the victims of the attacks. A private foundation has recently announced their contribution to rebuilding New York.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced last Tuesday that $5.2 million in grants will be given to non-profit parks and cultural organizations that were directly affected by the terrorist attacks on September 11. Among the many organizations receiving grants, 12 parks groups received funds directly.

Largely through the efforts of Tupper Thomas, Prospect Park Administrator, the Mellon Foundation promised to devote 10 percent of the total $50 million to parks groups. Mellon asked four leaders in the parks movement to advise them on how to fairly and appropriately donate the 10 percent, or $5 million.

Regina Peruggi, President of the Central Park Conservancy, David Rivel, Executive Director of the City Parks Foundation, and Dick Dadey, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks joined Thomas as advisors to the foundation. Twelve prominent parks groups received grants totaling $3.25 million. The final $1.75 million has been granted to the City Parks Foundation (CPF) to regrant to other park support groups. $1 million has been set aside for groups with a budget of less than $100,000 and the rest set aside for groups with budgets larger than $100,000. CPF is currently preparing brochures that lay out the guidelines for applying for a grant through CPF.

"It’s very forward thinking of the Mellon Foundation to devote a portion of the money to parks groups, because, after all, that’s what people did after 9/11--they went to parks," said David Rival, Executive Director of CPF. "This grant reaffirms the importance of parks to the fabric of the city."

Of the $50 million, performing arts organizations received $20.7 million and museums and related organizations received $19.7 million. In addition to the City Parks Foundation, the Alley Pond Environment Center, Central Park Conservancy, Conservancy for Historic Battery Park, Greenbelt Conservancy, New York Restoration Project, the Prospect Park Alliance, Randall’s Island Sports Foundation, and the Riverside Park Fund also received grants. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a private foundation, with assets of approximately $4 billion, which makes grants on a selective basis to institutions in higher education; museums and art conservation; performing arts; population; conservation and the environment; and public affairs.

WELCOME BACK, MARY PURCELL

Mary Purcell, Chief of Correspondence, is back after two months away from Parks. It is rumored that she was seen with Paul Newman in the South of France at the Cannes Film Festival. We’re glad she is back in time to celebrate her 58th anniversary at Parks on June 24.

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT

(Tuesday, June 6, 1989)

BROOKLYN SOFTBALL FIELDS NAMED

FOR SLAIN POLICE OFFICER HOBAN

When he was young, Christopher Hoban spent many hours hitting and fielding on the new softball diamonds in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park in Brooklyn. The boy who grew up to become one of New York’s "finest," was tragically killed while working as an undercover police officer on Tuesday, October 18, 1988. But Hoban’s memory will live on in Bay Ridge, where Mayor Koch and other city officials unveiled a green Parks sign naming three softball fields after the officer during a poignant ceremony last Saturday.

The Mayor was joined at the dedication in Leif Ericson Park by State Senator Christopher Mega, Commissioner Stern, other elected officials, relatives and friends of Hoban, and more than 500 community leaders, neighborhood residents and fellow officers.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"From what we get, we can make a living;
what we give, however, makes a life."

Arthur Ashe

(1943-1993)

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