Baisley Pond Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, August 28, 2001


Mother Carter is a well-honored lady in Baisley Pond Park. Mayor Ed Koch and Parks Commissioner Gordon (Commissioner) Davis planted a tree there to honor her—the woman who placed the first Christmas tree in Baisley Pond Park. On Thursday, August 23 a new one-acre garden was dedicated to her. Fay, Stoffard, and Thorndike designed Mother Carter Garden with Project Manager Andrew (Mako) Penzi. Already the garden is unique in Baisley Pond Park—it is the only quiet sitting area along the water.

Baisley Pond was formed in the 18th century when local farmers dammed three streams to power their grain mill. In 1914 when Parks acquired the land, the surrounding area was farmland. Today, farmland is a distant memory for Queensites, and Baisley Pond Park is a unique oasis set apart from the crowded streetscape. The new Mother Carter Garden provides an oasis within the oasis.

Each winter Canadian geese, mallards, ducks, shovelers, coots, grebes, and gulls make their home in Baisley Pond Park. In summer, blackbirds, cormorants, herons, egrets, doves, mockingbirds, robins, starlings, warblers, cardinals, and sparrows forage and breed nearby. Likewise, the garden will bloom year-round with evergreens in winter and an array of flowering trees and plants in spring. The designers planted the area with crab apple, eastern red bud, and service trees. At the ground level, azalea, inkberry, and hydrangeas will bloom. The profusion of lush life is suitable for the memory of a woman who gave her time and energy to a neighborhood park.

Neighborhood residents and church members were actively involved in the garden design process. At their request, Mother Carter Garden, but 20 feet from the water, includes the park’s only gazebo. Already, in another affirmation of new life, young couples have asked to pose for wedding photographs there.

Council Member Thomas (El Blanco) White; Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; James Davis, Chair of Community Board 12; Reverend Eldridge Gittens, Pastor of the Rush Temple AME Zion Church; Richard (Ricardo) Murphy, Queens Borough Commissioner; William (Dollar Bill) Gilbert, Park Manager; and Audrey (Baisley) Lucas, Outreach Coordinator for Partnerships for Parks ate fried chicken and finger food with a crowd of neighborhood residents and relatives of Mother Carter including her great-granddaughter.

(Tuesday, August 30, 1988)


Now that the busy summer season is ending, it’s time to go “back to school” and register for in-house seminars offered by the Parks Academy. To make Parkies aware of the type and variety of training courses available to them, the Academy has published a catalogue with details about how to apply for in-house seminars and courses offered by private training consultants.

“Previous participants have benefited form the courses, which are now even more varied,” said Director of Training Janice Melnick. “You can learn to write, how the budget operates and even how to improve your driving skills! I encourage employees and supervisors to participate in this program.”


“A gardener not wholly herbivorous
From wiltin was out to deliver us.
With blood, sweat and toil
She composted the soil
And made even the lilies carnivorous.”

Cecil Beaton

Directions to Baisley Pond Park

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