Washington Square Park
The Daily Plant : Wednesday, July 24, 2002
QUEENSBRIDGE SEAWALL RECEIVES FEDERAL ATTENTION
Throughout the city, Parks owns waterfront properties ranging from piers and docks to marshes and beaches. Many of you might not know that Parks also owns seawalls – one in particular is located at 40th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens. On Friday, July 19, Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Congressman Joseph Crowley, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator George Onorato, State Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, and Council Member Eric Gioia in Queensbridge Park to announce plans for a survey of this East River seawall.
Soon after taking office, Mayor Bloomberg began expressing his support for the creation of a "ring around Manhattan" – a system of parks reclaiming the island’s waterfront for public use. Before long, Governor Pataki advocated projects like the Brooklyn Bridge Park. With Congressman Joseph Crowley and Senator Charles Schumer securing federal funds for our greenway initiatives, the project is rapidly gaining momentum.
With members of Community Boards 1 and 2 and the Friends of Queensbridge Park looking on, Commissioner Benepe remarked, "Although we tend to focus our capital in playgrounds and greenspaces, a project like this is equally important. Repairing this seawall is actually a part of our ultimate goal of developing 350 miles of greenways, with those along the waterfront having the added benefit of providing public access to our rivers and oceans."
Parks proposes to extend the greenway in Queens along Vernon Boulevard. However at Queensbridge Park, the greenway will be able to take a more attractive off-street route – one that would offer a stunning view of the East River waterfront – once the promenade is repaired. In the meantime, Parks is working with the Department of City Planning to explore route alternatives.
Congressman Crowley worked to find funding to repair the Queensbridge Seawall. Parks engineers initially estimated that an extensive survey involving underwater, subsurface and structural investigation of the seawall and promenade including parks and other utilities would cost $300,000. Fortunately, the Army Corps study will be done for $100,000 – just a third of the original estimate. The restoration would likely take a year to complete and it would carry an estimated price tag of $6.97 million.
"With the support of local officials, specifically Council Member Eric Gioia and Congressman Crowley, behind this vital improvement to the Queens waterfront, we are taking an important first step," said Commissioner Benepe. "It will take a continued commitment from city, state, and federal government to move this massive project forward in the future."
Written by Jennifer Keeney
PARKS OFFERS TERRORISM TRAINING
Domestic terrorism is probably the most important topic and troublesome worry of the American people today. Law enforcement agencies at all levels of government and also business are reorganizing operations, ordering new proactive equipment, maintaining a heightened alert and providing terrorism training to personnel. Parks’ Urban Park Service division is keeping pace with other law enforcement entities. According to Inspector Richard P. Gentles, "one important way in which we are doing this is to provide terrorism training to all UPS personnel."
PEP Officer Walter Luciano has trained over two hundred members of UPS. Some of the topics covered are defining terrorism and recognizing the chief characteristics of terrorist activities, defining appropriate responder activities, identifying characteristics of the common types of harm, and the steps to take in responding to an emergency. Officer Luciano currently works in Washington Square Park and has an extensive military background. He is an active member of the New York National Guard serving as a Battalion Commander and Training and Operations Officer. He was also well decorated for his efforts in the United States Army. Officer Luciano is also a member of the newly established Urban Park Service Search & Rescue team.
If interested in taking the three hour training, please E-mail Inspector Gentles or call him at (212) 360-2778. Training will be arranged in each borough for those interested as long as there is a large enough group.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, August 2, 1989)
PARKS TO CELEBRATE POINTS OF LIGHT
AT HISTORIC LITTLE RED LIGHTHOUSE
In one of his first actions as President, George Washington signed the Lighthouse Act on August 7, 1989, bringing the nation’s lighthouses under federal jurisdiction.
On Saturday, August 5, Parks will celebrate the anniversary with a public ceremony at the Little Red Lighthouse at West 175th Street in Manhattan, underneath the George Washington Bridge, in Fort Washington Park.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Women must try to do things as men have tried.
When they fail their failure must be but a challenge to others."
(July 24, 1897–1937)