The Daily Plant : Friday, September 21, 2001
OUT OF THE SMOKE, A HERO RISES
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a day that New Yorkers will remember as a day of destruction, out of the smoke rose a hero. This hero was not one person but several people whose actions were outstanding. The group I refer to is the Urban Park Service (UPS). It is comprised of Parks Enforcement Patrol, Rangers, and Officers from Central Communications. Together they stood the line with NYPD, keeping the public safe from harm. As the first tower fell and the crowd panicked, it was members of UPS that guided them to safety. When the second tower fell and the crowd pushed its way down the Battery Park City promenade, an elderly woman was pushed over. It was a member of UPS that sat with her on a bench and waited for the smoke and dust to settle. When a couple of days had passed, the residents expressed concern for their pets that were left behind. Members of the UPS went back into Battery Park City to retrieve these pets.
Parks has a lot to be proud of: the beauty of parks like Central Park and Prospect Park, the history of its historic houses, the way its pools and beaches bring joy to so many during the hot days of summer. Now it has one more thing to be proud of: the members of the Urban Park Service. I have stood side by side with Marines, in combat and during peacetime. The same pride I feel in saying "I am a Marine", I now feel when saying, "I am a member of the Urban Park Service". I can only hope that all members of Parks now stand a little taller and say with pride "I am a Park worker".
By Raymond G. (Batman) Brown
NYC KIDS FIND MENTORS
AT PARKS’ HOOPS AND LADDERS BASKETBALL CAMP
The Hoops and Leaders Basketball Camp (HLBC) was the brainchild of Aaron Dworkin, Director of Special Programs at the Coro New York Leadership Center. It started as an idea—to address the need for male mentors in the City of New York by holding a basketball camp based on the Bill Bradley book Values of the Game. At this camp there would be 32 male mentors and 32 teenage boys interested in being paired with a mentor. Parks embraced the idea and added to it. Al Smith Recreation Center was chosen as the site, a budget was formed, and four weeks later Coro had raised the necessary $16,000. NBA, Edwin Gould Foundation and Madison Square Garden were secured as sponsors. The Mentoring Partnership also signed on, promising to follow-up once mentor/mentee matches were made.
From August 23, 2001 through August 25, 2001 HLBC took over at Al Smith Recreation Center. The Center was closed to the general public while campers explored new themes each day—themes like discipline, teamwork, respect, and vision—through basketball drills, lectures and discussion groups, and leadership games. All kids received food and money for transportation each day.
HLBC ended with a community gardening project at Al Smith followed by a banquet dinner served in the gymnasium. Commissioner Henry J. (Starquest) Stern spoke, as did many of the teenagers and mentors. Out of 64 participants, approximately 65% were matched with a mentor or mentee. The relationships will be supervised by the New York Mentoring Partnership.
By Aaron (Ghinda) Greenberg
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Friday, September 23, 1988)
RESTORED ANGEL OF THE WATERS
STATUE DEDICATED AT BETHESDA TERRACE
Garbed in dark green fisherman’s waist waders and standing before a bright red water valve at Bethesda Fountain, Commissioner Stern joined Central Park Administrator Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and Art Commissioner President Edward Ames to dedicate the fountain’s newly-restored Angels of the Waters statue.
"I realize I’m dressed a bit unusually," said the Commissioner to those gathered around the base of the fountain, "but I have a mission to turn on the water as part of today’s dedication."
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it.
We must protect it by changing the world."
Elie Wiesel (b. 1928)
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