BROOKLYN CELEBRATES LIFE WITH THE PLANTING OF THE CITY’S FIRST MEMORIAL GROVE
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Sunset Park is one of New York's hidden treasures. Tucked away in the Brooklyn neighborhood that bares its name, Sunset Park holds one of the best views of Lower Manhattan this city has to offer. On Monday, November 25, 2002, it also became home to the first Living Memorial Grove in New York City parks to commemorate those lost of September 11. The Memorial Groves project is a citywide effort to develop "urban forests" as living memorials in parks around New York City. Seed money for this effort was provided by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) as part of their Living Memorials grant program to fund commemorative tree plantings in memory of the victims of September 11, 2001.
With a view of Lower Manhattan on the horizon, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe was joined by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Seymour Lachman, Assembly Member Felix W. Ortiz, and members of the NYPD, FDNY and Port Authority for the dedication of the Sunset Park Memorial Grove.
"After the September 11th attacks, many New Yorkers searched for ways to help the city heal," said Commissioner Benepe. "This grove will serve as a site for remembrance and reflection. The tree, one of the of the most enduring symbols of life, will stand as a memorial for generations to come."
The Sunset Park Memorial Grove consists of 45 Trees - 16 Yellowwood, 21 Two-Winged Silver Bells, and 8 White Flowering Red Buds - planted in an oval. In addition, Parks has planted a triangular garden with 78 White Carpet roses, 70 Cotoneaster shrubs and 3,000 White Dwarf narcissus. Inside the grove, local school children from P.S. 169 and P.S. 94 planted daffodils linking the Memorial Grove to the Daffodil Project, New York City's first living memorial effort sponsored by the Department of Parks & Recreation and New Yorkers for Parks.
In September 2002, the Department of Parks & Recreation received $150,000 from USFS to create memorial projects. In addition to the Sunset Park Memorial Grove, the grant will fund other memorials in park sites in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, all with views of Lower Manhattan. These memorials will be created by non-profit greening groups including the District 1 Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, the New York Restoration Project and the Rockaway Partnership.
Standing on the top of the hill in Sunset Park looking down on this grove of saplings some of the days words truly hit home. Paraphrasing Andy Warhol, Matt Arnn of USFS explained that trees are truly one of the most unselfish donations a person can make. We may have planted these trees here today, but we will never enjoy their shade, will never know their splendor. We plant these trees here today for our kids, and their kids, so that they can have a quiet place for reflection on the past, future and present.
Written by Jeffrey Sandgrund
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, December 13, 1989)
PARKS ACQUIRES HISTORIC SEGUINE MANSION
Seguine Mansion on the southern shore of Staten Island has looked over the marshy wetlands of Lemon Creek and down onto Raritan Bay since the 1840’s. About 10 years ago, Elizabeth Seguine sold the landmarked structure and surrounding property to local businessman George Burke. Last Friday, Parks completed an agreement with Burke which will designate the site as City parkland, an addition to the adjacent 79-acre Lemon Creek Park.
The 18-room Greek Revival-style house will eventually become Parks’ 16th historic house museum, and the structure will be open to the public for tours on a limited schedule. As part of the agreement to turn the house and its 2.1 acres of ground over to Parks, Burke will live in the mansion as caretaker for the rest of his life. Burke will help Parks with the upkeep, maintenance and improvements of the house; Parks will maintain the surrounding area.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."