NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Aqueduct Walk

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, November 27, 2001


Wash (Devotion) Anderson is the Bronx’s Employee of the Month for November. Devotion is a City Park Worker who joined Parks on September 8, 1986. He is the crew chief for District 7 where he maintains Devoe Park and the Aqueduct Lands. Devotion is an experienced and committed crew chief who has challenged his WEPs and POPs to perform well. Devotion has helped the district achieve 96% acceptable cleanliness ratings so far in 2001. For his many years of effective service to the Bronx, Devotion was nominated by Zorro and Scout.

Jose (El Leon) Cruz is Brooklyn’s Employee of the Month for November. El Leon joined Parks on May 12, 1975 as a City Seasonal Aide. He became a Parks Supervisor in 1987, received seasonal step-ups to PPS starting in 1991, and currently works as SPMO in District 8 & 9 in Brooklyn, which includes Wingate Park. El Leon has helped the district achieve 90% acceptable cleanliness ratings in 2001. He also played a key role in clean-up for the West Indian Day Parade. El Leon was nominated by James (Troutman) Holden.

Vincent (Alpha) Alfano is Capital Projects’ Employee of the Month for November. Alpha joined Parks on August 27, 1984 and currently works as Director of Construction for Queens, where he oversees all in-house construction projects, which totaled over $16 million this year. He manages 13 resident engineers and works closely with Design, Management Services, Contractors, and Queens M&O. Alpha has recently played a key role in the Flushing Bay Marina Promenade restoration. Dedicated and knowledgeable, Alpha was nominated by Wildcat.

Raymond E. (Brushstroke) Grasso is Citywide Services’ Employee of the Month for November. Brushstroke began with Parks on October 1, 2000 and is a Supervisor of Painters. He and his staff paint and finish various standard items including plaques, picnic tables, signs and basketball hoops. Brushstroke has focused on expanding the citywide spraying program, which restores and beautifies recreation centers, comfort stations, and other Parks facilities citywide. He has worked to lower the time it takes to complete jobs and increase overall productivity. A valuable new asset at 5-Boro, Brushstroke was nominated by Artie (Stallion) Rollins and Bill (Shuttle) Shutte.

Darah A. (Chance) Ross is Management’s Employee of the Month for November. Chance joined Parks on April 3, 2000 as an Analyst in Central Recreation. She currently runs our successful soccer initiative which promotes soccer year-round through summer clinics and indoor winter soccer. Under her leadership, Learn to Play Soccer expanded from 576 participants last year to 968 participants in 2001. Chance has fostered valuable relationships with Major League Soccer, and her mobile unit program recorded over 70,000 visitors last summer. She piloted a Learn to Play Lacrosse initiative this spring, and still found time to run in the NYC Marathon this fall. For her service to the city’s youth, Chance was nominated by Catalan.

Elana C. (Little Oak) Levy is Manhattan’s Employee of the Month for November. Little Oak joined Parks on July 19, 1999 as an analyst in Labor Relations. In October of 2000 she was promoted to Manhattan WEP Coordinator. Little Oak helps assign WEP participants to various positions throughout the borough and has played a critical role in quickly processing over 700 Manhattan POP (Parks Opportunity Program) participants. Little Oak has dedicated herself to this new and important initiative, taking time to address the needs and concerns of individual POP workers. For her hard work and support of workfare, Little Oak was nominated by A-Train.

Tyrone E. (Sarge) Alford Sr. is Queens’ Employee of the Month for November. Sarge was a volunteer at St. Albans Park where he purchased a portable blower for the park and performed cleaning and gardening. On May 8, 2000 he joined Parks full time and now devotes his complete energies to St. Albans. Diligent and caring, Sarge has helped greatly to improve conditions there. He is also popular with park patrons. This year, St. Alban’s has received 100% acceptable inspection ratings. For his contributions to Queens, Sarge was nominated by Ricardo.

Barbara J. (Bella Vita) Vitagliano is Staten Island’s Employee of the Month for November. Bella Vita joined Parks on June 28, 1990. She worked in Manhattan for many years and currently works as a WEP Crew Chief in District 2, which includes La Tourette Park. Bella Vita supervises WEP and POP workers, operates borough tractors, and assists with horticulture projects. Bella Vita has helped the borough achieve 93% acceptable cleanliness ratings. Energetic and responsible, Bella Vita was nominated by Outlaw.

Amy L. (Friday) Freitag is the Commissioner’s Employee of the Month for November. Friday joined Parks in March 2000 as the Executive Director of the Historic House Trust after years working in Philadelphia for the Fairmount Park Commission. In her current role, she is responsible for Parks’ 20 historic houses. She and her staff of curators, architectural conservators and historic property managers oversee capital projects, conservation and maintenance operations for these historic sites. Friday has been instrumental in developing the Landmarks Preservation Fund, which has raised nearly $1 million for restoration projects. In addition she has worked closely with Parks to target additional historic sites for acquisition. A talented and brilliant asset to Parks, Friday was nominated by Kirkwood.

Find out more about the Parks Employee Awards Program and see who has won in the past here.

By Keith T. (Kermit) Kerman and Sarah (Cria) Coleman


(Tuesday, November 29, 1988)


With help from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a number of rare and endangered species of plants and wildlife in the city’s 26,000 acres of parkland will be preserved for years to come, according to Natural Resources Group Director Marc Matsil.

The Nature Conservancy is an international private organization established to find, protect, and maintain threatened species of ecosystems in the natural world, and to secure commitments from private landowners and public land managers to preserve these areas.


"Many admire, few know."

Hippocrates (C. 460-400 B.C.)

Directions to Aqueduct Walk


Was this information helpful?