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Van Cortlandt Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, July 1, 2002


On June 15 and 16, Parks hosted the annual citywide Big Blue Handball Championship. The tournament was a huge success and the largest to date with over 1,200 handball players participating. Borough preliminary matches took place on Saturday at Coney Island, Lincoln Terrace Park, Orchard Beach, Van Cortlandt Park, Far Rockaway, London Planetree Park, Midland Beach, and Central Park. The Championship games took place in Central Park on Sunday and first place winners each walked away with $400 in prize money, a medal, and a prestigious "Big Blue Trophy."

The competition was fierce, as spectators cheered on their favorite players. One excited spectator commented, "I had no idea that these were some of the best players in the country." Paul Williams, President of the Inner City Handball Association and The New York Handball Alliance, was very pleased with the large turn out.

In addition to spectacular play, WKTU was on site in Coney Island and Central Park entertaining both players and spectators with their music and great give-aways. While the participants played hard, Fig Newtons and Snackwells donated by Nabisco and Kraft were readily available to keep the players energized.

The remaining finals concluded this past weekend in the North Meadow of Central Park. $3,000 in prize money, medals, and trophies went to the top players. In the top singles division, Robert Sostre of Manhattan and Veronica Figueroa of Brooklyn won the men’s and women’s finals, respectively. In the doubles tournament, Henry Styles and Eddie Santiago of Brooklyn took home the men’s title, and Gladys Miranda and Cheryl Howard of Queens won the women’s.

Written by David Kovall



On Wednesday, June 26, a team of more than 20 Parkies took part in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge, a 3.5-mile running race in Central Park. Wednesday’s race was the final iteration of the three such races in Central Park this summer. The first race was on Wednesday, May 15, and the second race, featuring more than 30 Parkies led by Commissioner Benepe, took place on Tuesday, June 4.

Team Captain, K.C. Sahl, took over from former captain Tom Rozinski three years ago. Sahl said he tries "very hard to to get as many runners as I can from as many different divisions as possible." He also notes that the Parks team has been successful. "Every year that Parks has participated, we’ve been able to qualify a team for the Nationals."

This summer marked the 26th season of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The first two races drew approximately 14,000 New Yorkers each. The Challenge travels around the World, stopping in cities like Frankfurt, Buffalo, London, and Sydney.

The following Parkies participated in one of three races: Steve Armstrong, Sarah Aucoin, Adrian Benepe, Steve Cain, Cindy Calderon, Katia Caldwell, Andrew Chazen, Christopher Clouden, Jake Cooper, Mike Dockett, Samara Epstein, Meredith Freimer, Robert Garafola, Hannah Gersen, Benjamin Haavik, Lynda Hamilton, Gabriella Harris, Annika Holder, Jon Jadrosich, Marcha Johnson, Harris Kaplan, Keith Kerman, Tony Killeen, Katherine Langhammer, Ronee Mattingly, Robert McDermott, Gabe Ramos, Darah Ross, Jane Rudolph, Mike Saharain, K.C. Sahl, Amelia Santos, Elizabeth Sargent, Christina Scully, Bill Shutte, Tyler Thorn, and Andrew Wilson.

Written by Tyler Thorn


Soil Compaction is a formidable challenge in urban horticulutre, particularly in public landscapes. The lethal repercussions of compaction are that a plant’s root system is exposed to too much or too little water, low oxygen levels, and the absorption of soil nutrients is restricted. A promising, new horticulturisal tool was demonstrated at the Olmsted Center last month. Don Gardner, Ph.D., presented Terravent, a hand-held, nitrogen gas power injector that releives compacted soil around root zones of new or existing trees. Terravent also delivers mycorrhizae fungi and bio-nutrients to a tree’s feeder roots. For Parks’ assessment, Gardner treated 2 out of 4 identical trees in Flusghing Meadows- Corona Park. The trees are planted in an area with severly compacted soil. Parks will be able to determine if Terravent’s soil de-compaction and aeration as well as the nutritive feeding significantly improves the health and vigor of the two treated trees.

Written by Matthew DiVittorio


(Monday, July 10, 1989)


Swimming is one of the best aerobic exercises, and witht eh opening of Park’s 31 outdoor pools, New Yorkers can now keep trim and cool—at no cost.

Parks Aquatics specialists provide free instruction in swimming and water safety to thousands of New Yorkers at pools in all five boroughs. Courses offered this summer include a Learn to Swim program for children, adults and snioers; Early Bird and Night Owl Lap Swim Around Manhattan programs; beginner, advanced, and intermediate swimming courses; basic water safety; and special health and fitness programs for the disabled and senior citizens.


"The trade of authorship is a violent, and indestructible obsession."

George Sand

(July 1, 1804–1876)

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