Van Cortlandt Park
The Daily Plant : Thursday, July 26, 2001
KIDS HOLD THEIR HEADS HIGH IN WILLETS POINT PLAYGROUND
New York City's tallest security guards are two giraffes that flank the entrance to the reconstructed Willets Point Park in Whitestone, Queens. Having welcomed guests at a ribbon cutting there Tuesday, July 24 "on behalf of the giraffes and Mayor Giuliani", Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern described the recent changes made to the playground. These include the addition of play equipment, safety surfacing, swings, an overhead spray shower, and painted games. The wall of the handball court has been reconstructed and the basketball court resurfaced with color seal coating. A drinking fountain and benches have also been added. The paving and fencing are rehabilitated and new asphalt is laid down on the multi-use yard.
There are several people to thank for the improvements to Willets Point Park: Council Member Michael J. (Wild Turkey) Abel provided $1 million for the work. That enabled Project Manager Bob Cook and Miceli, Kulik, and Williams and Associates to create a design. Vicki Lombardi worked with Quigg Construction as they turned the design into real steel and concrete. Eric (Clouseau) Goetz will oversee the cleanliness and safety of the park on a daily basis.
Often, a physical change to a park spurs neighborhood residents to take even better care of it. The ribbon cutting was held to celebrate improvements already made in Willets Point Playground and to herald a new era of respect for the park. The event included remarks by Council Member Abel; Commissioner Stern; Eugene Kelty, Chair of Community Board 7; Richard (Ricardo) Murphy, Queens Borough Commissioner; and Marilyn (Allergy) Bitterman, District Manager for Community Board 7, and the unveiling of an historical sign.
VAN CORTLANDT PARK RECEIVES STEWARDSHIP GRANT
On Thursday, July 12, Governor George E. (Hudson) Pataki announced $477,000 for projects that promote community participation and educate about New York's natural resources. Van Cortlandt Park's northeast forest is one of six natural areas that will benefit from the funds. Congratulations to everyone at the Van Cortlandt Park Administrator's office who helped leverage these funds, and good luck to all those who will implement them.
By Brenna (Tuscany) Sevano
TURTLE RESCUE MISSION
Last month, Staten Island Electrician Fred Renschler saved a palm-sized turtle from an aerator in Clove Lakes Park. Yesterday, he saved a 12-inch snapper. Driving down Martlin Avenue, Renschler caught sight of a short, squat turtle dodging traffic. Reportedly without hesitation, he stopped his vehicle, donned gloves, and brought the turtle from the roadbed to Martlin Pond in Clove Lakes Park. He recommended that all readers of The Daily Plant "be kind to turtles. It might seem like a small thing, but someone's got to save them." And Renschler, for one, has found his calling.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Thursday, July 28, 1988)
ARVERNE URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT
IN ROCKAWAYS TO ADD MORE PARKS
New York City is preparing to create a residential community along a two-mile stretch of beachfront property in the Rockaways in Queens, and Parks is working closely with the Department of Housing Preservation & Development and the Department of City Planning to create parks as part of the development.
The initiative to develop what is known as the Arverne Urban Renewal Area (AURA), extending from Beach 32nd to Beach 73rd Streets, is being carried out in two stages. The first stage of the project, a Request for Expressions of Interest asked developers to submit preliminary conceptual designs, and has just been completed. Nine developers responded with proposals.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"The giraffe, in their queer, inimitable,
vegetative gracefulness, as if it were not a herd of animals
but a family of rare, long-stemmed speckled
gigantic flowers slowly advancing."
Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen] (1885-1962)
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