Brook Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, January 29, 2002


St. John’s Recreation Center was filled with high-spirited competition—and sunshine—when top boys and girls teams met on the court for the championship games of Parks’ 6th Annual Interborough Basketball Tournament. The games, which began the first weekend in December, have brought together 20 Boys teams and 8 Girls teams from around the city, all aged 15 and under. After six weeks of intense dribbling, passing and shooting, only 4 of the 28 teams remained. Adding to the air of suspense, both the boys and girls teams from St. John’s Recreation Center had successfully battled their way through the tournament’s ranks. On Saturday, both St. John’s teams faced their final challengers: the boys team from St. Mary’s in the Bronx and the girls team from Hamilton Fish in Manhattan.

Starting the day, St. John’s and Hamilton Fish met on the recreation center’s glistening courts. After a tremendous effort by both sides, St. John’s successfully defended their home court, winning 53-39 over their Manhattan opponents. After spectacular between-game performances by the St. John’s Wildcat Cheerleaders and the Von King Steppers, the boys from St. John’s and St. Mary’s faced each other for the final game of the entire tournament. The game, marked by outstanding skill and sportsmanship, ultimately ended with St. John’s 62-48 defeat over St. Mary’s.

Parks Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern was in attendance, tipping the first ball at the boys game. He noted that the "tournament is unique among Parks events. It has grown rapidly, from 70 participating players 6 years ago, to 280 athletes competing this year. The teams competing today represent the cream of the competition."

The Interborough Basketball Tournament is made up entirely of children from Parks’ recreation centers, allowing the kids a chance to travel within and beyond their borough. The tournament serves as a terrific warm-up for Parks teams preparing for the Millennium Basketball tournament, a competition involving over 2,000 children and starting mid-February.

Eric (Goat Boy) Adolfsen


Claire (Queen Bee) Shulman was a true friend of Parks throughout her 15 years as Borough President of Queens. Working to protect and nurture the city’s green spaces, Queen Bee consistently focused her efforts on funding the projects most in need. ] Her love of parks is especially evident in the transformation of Flushing Meadows Corona Park where she recently helped fund the beautiful promenade and the state-of-the-art indoor pool and skating rink, now under construction. Despite the many demands of running the city’s second largest borough, Queen Bee kept parks a top priority.

Dr. Kenneth (Sirocco) Saccaro served from 1994 to 1999 as the second President of the Greenbelt Conservancy, a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to acquire, maintain, and create programs for the 3,000 acres of green space that surround Staten Island. During his tenure, he helped secure $13 million in capital funds for the Greenbelt Master Plan and paved the way for the Conservancy’s management of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center—a propagation nursery singularly devoted to breeding plant species native to New York City. Sirocco is also responsible for helping to raise a $500,000 endowment for the new Carousel for All Children in Willow Brook Park.

As the Councilman representing southern Staten Island for four years, Stephen J. (Leafy) Fiala’s commitment to the preservation and acquisition of open space is unsurpassed. During his tenure, Leafy helped Parks to acquire 158 acres of parkland in Staten Island, including the Isle of Meadows and additions to Long Pond, Blue Heron, and Conference House Parks. In 2001, he secured more than $2.5 million for the acquisition of Seaside Nature Park, 14 acres of shoreline in Great Kills.

By Jane (Doe) Rudolph and Alison (Wagon) Wenger


(Tuesday, February 7, 1989)


January may seem like an odd time to be thinking of beaches and outdoor pools," said Commissioner Stern yesterday, announcing 850 openings for qualified Parks lifeguards this coming season. "But we do need to start recruiting and training our lifeguards now, so that they will be ready to protect the millions of swimmers who will use our facilities this summer."

The New York City Parks Department offers safe swimming every summer at nearly 15 miles of public beaches, and at 41 Parks indoor and outdoor pools and 33 mini-pools.


"Perhaps basketball and poetry have just a few things in common,
but the most important is the possibility of transcendence."

Stephen Dunn
(b. 1939)

Directions to Brook Park

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