Van Cortlandt Park
The Daily Plant : Monday, July 15, 2002
HANGING WITH MR. JETER
What do Jorge Posada, Robin Ventura, Jason Giambi, and hundreds of kids from Parks’ recreation centers around the city all have in common? They’ve all had baseball practice with Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter. On Tuesday, July 2, the All-Star champ led busloads of bright-eyed children in base running, hitting, and fielding contests at the stadium grounds of Van Cortlandt Park. The baseball practice was part of Turn 2’s KidFest 2002 sponsored by the Parks Department, the Turn 2 Foundation, and Skippy Peanut Butter. Jeter was joined by his family, as well as Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, Bronx Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, Deputy Commissioner for Public Programs Kevin Jeffrey, and Van Cortlandt and Pelham Bay Park Administrator Linda Dockeray.
There was a hint of sadness in the air, however, as Kidfest marked the end of the six-week-long baseball clinics offered by Parks and the Turn 2 Foundation throughout the five boroughs. "Sadly, all fun things must end, and the Turn 2 Clinics are no exception," said Commissioner Benepe. "But even though these clinics are over, I know they have set you on a course for living healthier and more active lives." And active they were. Kids jumped like they were out of this world on the Moon Bounce, tested their aim and strength at the carnival games, and challenged their endurance on the obstacle course. While all these energetic activities were going on, there was plenty of water—both from bottles and hoses—to replenish and cool down the kids during the week-long heat wave.
The baseball clinics are run by Parks and the Turn 2 Foundation, a private nonprofit corporation Derek Jeter established in 1996. Jeter coined the foundation’s name to signify both the agile movements of every shortstop as well as the program’s goal that kids can "turn to" the sports clinics for exercise and support. Celebrating their fifth year, the clinics teach children ages 8 to 13 the basics of baseball while also giving them a chance to make new friends and work as a team.
Addressing the kids, Jeter spoke to the kids about the importance of playing sports, doing well in school, and listening to their parents teachers. Later, Jeter praised the recreation centers he used as a kid growing up in Michigan. The coaching he received then, he said, inspired him to become an athlete. Now, as one of the most respected players in baseball, Jeter has made it his mission to offer leadership and inspiration to future generations of children.
Written by Eric Adolfsen
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Monday, July 24, 1989)
FUND CREATED FOR BRONX TREES
Two years ago, Parks helped launch the Adopt-A-Monument program to preserve New York City’s public art. And now, to preserve our living monuments—trees—Bronx Parkies are launching a "Future Forest Fund" in Van Cortlandt and Pelham Bay Parks. Finance by tax-deductible contributions, the fun will be used to help replace trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants in the borough’s two largest parks.
"Our forests are a much needed refuge for New Yorkers feeling the hustle and bustle of city life," said Van Cortlandt and Pelham Bay Administrator Paul C. Berizzi. "We’ve contacted hundreds of people we hope will help us plant thousands of seedlings.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly."