Press Releases

Sunday, September 18, 2022


Rev. T. Wendell Foster Park Renaming
Rev. T. Wendell Foster Park Renaming
NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams was today joined by New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) Commissioner Sue Donoghue and the family of the late Reverend T. Wendell Foster for the official renaming of Mullaly Park and the Mullaly Recreation Center to the “Rev. T. Wendell Foster Park” and the “Reverend T. Wendell Foster Recreation Center” in the Bronx. Reverend Foster was the pastor of the Christ Church in Morrisania and the first Black representative from the Bronx in the New York City Council, where he championed low-income housing and served as long-time chair of the City Council’s Parks Committee.

“Reverend T. Wendell Foster was not only the first Black City Council member from the Bronx, but a giant in New York City politics,” said Mayor Adams. “Reverend Foster broke down barriers and inspired many, including me. He stood tall for the Bronx, and never gave up on this city or its people. I know that the Reverent T. Wendell Foster Park will inspire generations of future leaders to come, reminding us to live with courage and integrity, as he did.”

“Our parks and greenspaces are as varied as the communities they serve, and we are beyond proud to continue our efforts of renaming park spaces in honor of the Black experience. Names like Rev. T. Wendell Foster Park serve as physical representations of the contributions and legacies of some of our city’s and country’s most prominent Black Americans,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Donoghue. “Wendell Foster was a force in New York City politics and an inspiration to countless New Yorkers, and we hope the renaming of this park promotes reflection and inspiration for our next generation of changemakers in the city.”

“As the first African American elected official to serve in the Bronx, Reverend Foster was a trailblazer who paved the way for future Black elected officials to serve in elected offices both here in the Bronx and across New York City.” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “With today’s renaming of Mullaly Park, Reverend Foster, who served as Council Member for the 16th District from 1978 to 2001, will forever be remembered and his legacy forever cemented in our borough’s history. I want to thank the New York City Parks Department, the Foster family, Parks Advocates and everyone else who was involved for their partnership in this historic initiative.”

“Rev. Wendell Foster has paved the way for black politicians everywhere, especially throughout The Bronx. Through the renaming of this park, we are able to more than just honor his legacy, but we are now able to continue his story. He made things possible and brought necessary resources to this park, during the toughest times in the Bronx, and we will forever be in his debt. Our obligation now is to spread the word and utilize his accomplishments as guidelines to plant seeds for the next generation of leaders.” - Council Member Althea Stevens, District 16

In response to community requests, NYC Parks announced its plans to formally rename Mullaly Park in honor of Rev. T. Wendell Foster, for a September 2022 renaming in accordance with NYC Parks’ policy of naming three years posthumous.

NYC Parks announced its first tranche of namings in June 2020, when the agency created Juneteenth Grove at Cadman Plaza Park. Since then, 28 green spaces have been named in recognition of the Black experience across all five boroughs.

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