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Washington Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, June 29, 2001

A 100 YEAR OLD PARK KEEPS PATRONS YOUNG

Silver Lake Park is looking good for a 100-year-old. Over the last ten decades, a succession of community groups and Parkies have groomed the maturing park, securing for it a long and healthy life. Thomas (Richmond) Paulo, Staten Island Parks Commissioner; Gerry (Outlaw) Lawless, Staten Island Chief of Operations, and their staff have worked hard to keep the park a clean and exciting place to be. They gathered in it Monday, June 25 to celebrate the centennial. Members of the Silver Lake Association, the Friends of Silver Lake, Rosecourt Mall Group, and the Polish American Alliance are great friends to the park's 209 acres. On occasion, the Boy Scouts and local school groups have joined their efforts to clean the grounds. Their use of Silver Lake Park as both consumers and caretakers will ensure for it a legacy as long its life thus far.

Like other venerable seniors, Silver Lake Park has borne witness to cultural change. The lake, for which it's named, was once the source of ice in the summertime. Each winter, Staten Islanders would harvest the ice off Silver Lake and store it in cool places for use in mid-July. The practice continued until the advent of modern refrigeration in the 1910s. In 1913, Silver Lake was drained and converted to a reservoir. Today the reservoir is one of the park's major scenic elements. Visitors are drawn to its banks to picnic and exercise. From there, athletes fan out to the park's tennis courts, its ballfield, and its web of walkways. For athletes on the island, Silver Lake Park is a great place to visit.

WASHINGTON PARK IS RENEWED

On Thursday, June 21, Joel (Mambo Kid) Rivera, Council Member; William (Zorro) Castro, Bronx Borough Commissioner; Frances Rosenstein, Principal of P.S. 159; and Ivine (Chihuahua) Galarza, District Manager for Community Board 6 joined schoolchildren to celebrate the renovation of Washington Park, a half acre place to play. Decades ago, a fire destroyed the buildings on the site. In their place, a park was built.

Since Parks acquired Washington Park in 1997, it has needed attention. Mayor Rudolph (Eagle) Giuliani and Council Member Rivera provided $1 million of attention, and Parks used that money to create a great place for kids. Parks furnished it with play equipment and covered the ground with modern, cushioned, safety surfacing. In the center of the spray shower, a frog sculpture was placed. Color seal coating was added to the basketball court. And along the edges of the park, benches and fencing were installed, and greenery planted. The redesign includes a stage area for impromptu performance. Washington Park, like so many New York City landmarks, is named for George Washington who spent the first year of his presidency in New York.

 

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Friday, July 1, 1988)

U.S. NATIONAL SYNCHRONIZED SWIM CHAMPS
TO KICK OFF SIXTH SUMMER SWIM-A-LONG

Three-time U.S. national synchronized swimming championships Sarah and Karen Josephson will take a break from training in northern California for the 1988 Summer Olympics to open New York's Super Summer Swim-a-Long, an annual fundraiser benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and Parks Aquatics programs.

The event will take place on Saturday, July 9 at 11 A.M. at New York University's Jerome S. Coles pool, 181 Mercer Street in Manhattan, and will feature several of the captivating synchronized swimming routines that made the Josephson sisters the best in the country.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Since people are going to be living longer and getting older,
they'll just have to learn how to be babies longer."

Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

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