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The Battery

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, June 11, 2002


On Friday, May 31, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe hosted an awards ceremony for the dedicated officers of the Urban Park Service. The ceremony, which took place at the Hunts Point Recreation Center in the Bronx, honored members from all three divisions of the Urban Park Service: the Parks Enforcement Patrol, Urban Park Rangers, and officers of Central Communications. In addition to the distribution of awards, Mayor Bloomberg officially swore-in Adrian Benepe as the new Parks Commissioner, Liam Kavanagh as the Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Amy Freitag as the Deputy Commissioner for Capital Projects, Robert Garafola as the Deputy Commissioner for Management and Budget, Kevin Jeffrey as the Deputy Commissioner for Public Programs, and Dorothy Lewandowski as the Bronx Borough Commissioner.

Following the opening remarks by Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Benepe, thirteen awards were presented to individuals who excelled in their field of service. The awards were given for many different aspects of assistance including emergency response, creating new public programs, protecting revenue, and Parks Stewardship. Chief of Urban Park Services Alex Brash said, "The Urban Park Service Awards are the Agency's annual opportunity to recognize all those associated with fulfilling this division's distinguished mission. This year's ceremony had three highlights. First, the Mayor honored us with his presence. Second, the Commissioner who began his career as a Ranger, hosted the event. And finally, all those in the Urban Park Service who gave so much of themselves at the World Trade Center disaster were bestowed an award for their great efforts."

The ceremony culminated with a special presentation thanking the 100 officers who were stationed near the World Trade Center on September 11 and the days that followed. Parks was one of the most prominent uniformed service agencies present at the scene. They assisted in rescuing animals from lower Manhattan and aiding residents retrieve belongings from their apartments. Captain Kenneth Brown narrated a special media display that recaptured the heroic efforts of the Urban Park Service officers present on that day.

For the past 23 years, the Urban Park Service officers have helped maintain and protect the city’s parks. These officers have enforced the rules and regulations of the Parks Department, educated the public, and set an example for urban park services around the country. They also have helped with numerous special events and programs including nature walks, canoe expeditions, and rock climbing. They have made children and adults alike feel a sense of security throughout the 28,000 acres of parkland.

Written by Brenna Sevano

List of Awards:

  • Honorable Service Medal - An honorable action showing initiative and accomplishment.

Protecting Parks Property. Officer Peter Rivas and Officer Lee Addison.

Creating Public Programs. John McCoy and Laura Gili.

Emergency Response. Sgt. Rodney Collazo, Sgt. Richard Williams, Sgt. Thomas Mathew, Officer Bennie Campbell, Officer Bernie Solomon, and Officer Mercedes Velilla.

Park Stewards. Captain Glenn Rowan, PACT Lt. William Munoz, PACT Officer Jemal Grace, and Officer Vincent Nollez.

Safeguarding the Revenue Stream. Captain William Cardoza, Sgt. Irvin Benjamin, Officer Earl Fisher, Officer Noelbe Pesante, Officer Derek Walther, and Officer Jerry Cordero.

  • Meritorious Service - A highly unusual accomplishment under clearly adverse conditions.

Protecting the Flora & Fauna. Officer Kimberly Wilkins.

Park Steward. Officer Evelyn Fasanaro.

  • Urban Park Service Award - Awarded to someone who acts in an outstanding manner consistent with the mission and values of the Urban Park Service.

Creating Public Programs / Building Partnerships. Board of Education Deputy Chancellor David Klasfeld, National Geographic Society Education Foundation Director Barbara Chow, Grant Program Analyst Chris Shearer, Urban Park Ranger Deputy Director Sarah Aucoin, Ranger Anne Arrowsmith, and Design Consultant Vivian Kaye.

Building Partnerships. Biodiversity Coordinator E.J. McAdams and Fordham University Assistant Professor Bill Giuliano.

FDNY Training Academy. Chief Nicholas Santangelo and Captain Thomas Robson.

Yale University’s Urban Resource Initiative. Yale Forestry & Environmental Studies Professor Dr. William Burch and Urban Resource Initiative Director Colleen Dunning.

  • Chief’s Award - Awarded to an officer who most typify the values of Urban Park Service. Traditionally bestowed on those exemplifying dedicated service over the course of an entire year.

Lt. Benne McCants & Sgt. Lynda Miller

  • Medal of Honor - An outstanding act in the line of duty at imminent risk to the officer involved, and for actions undertaken with full knowledge of the risks.

Emergency Response on September 11. UPS Directors: Richard Gentles, Sara Hobel, and Elizabeth Holmes. Battery Park City Authority: Tim Carey, Ann Kutter, Steve Harper, Tessa Huxley, and Vince McGowan. Hudson River Park Trust: Jim Ortenzio, Robert Balachandran, and Juan Moreno.

These people accept this award for those with the Urban Park Service, Battery Park City Authority, and Hudson River Park Trust, who served at, or adjacent to, Ground Zero on September 11, 2001.


On Friday, May 31, many Parkies joined the Fire Department and grieving friends and family in Staten Island at the funeral service for Fire Fighter Paul M. Beyer. A former Parkie, Paul worked as a machinist at 5-Boro from 1988 to 1994. He worked at our repair shop in Passaralle, fixing a wide variety of equipment and machinery. He also worked with shops, maintaining Parks pools and skating rinks. In 1994, he joined New York's Bravest as a firefighter for Engine 6. He was one of the first to respond to the terrible events of 9/11.

The funeral was a touching tribute to a skilled, calm, brave and resolute firefighter. Always there for the people in his life, Paul was there for all New Yorkers on 9/11. He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Arlene, his two sons Michael and Shawn, his parents, three sisters and a brother, Mark Beyer, Parks Supervisor of Auto Repair in Staten Island.

Written by Keith Kerman and Ira Steinberg


"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment,

for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger,
for my long walk is not yet ended.

Nelson Mandela

(b. June 11, 1918)

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