The Daily Plant : Wednesday, January 2, 2002
PARKS TOP 25 ACCOMPLISHMENTS 1994-2001
Congratulations, Parkies! The past eight years have been busy ones. Read on for a review of the agency’s top accomplishments. They are your achievements.
- Improved Citywide park overall condition and cleanliness ratings from 38% and 74% in 1994 to 86% and 94% in 2001, while using a more rigorous inspection system that conducted over 3,400 park inspections in FY’01, up from fewer than 500 inspections in FY’94.
- Invested over $1 billion in capital improvements to Parks’ infrastructure. Increased annual capital construction from $50 million in FY ‘94 to $250 million in FY ’01.
- Used requirements contracts to complete small replacement and repair projects at over 1,250 sites citywide.
- Acquired over 2000 acres of new parkland, the largest increase in City parkland since the Wagner Administration.
- Applied for and received over $110 million in grants for natural area restoration, and used those funds to restore 2200 acres of forest and wetlands.
- Increased the database of park volunteers from 500 to 65,000 though the Partnerships for Parks program, which received the Innovations in American Government Award for 2001.
- Partnerships coordinators attended over 3,700 meetings with community groups to discuss problems and future projects. To cover minor expenses, Partnerships provided neighborhood groups with $431,912 in small grants.
- Created 2001 greenstreets, converting asphalt traffic triangles and medians into pocket parks and tree-lined malls.
- Solicited community stewards to be responsible for greenstreets and street trees, providing maintenance workshops and gardening tools. By October 31 of 2001, 166 Stewardship groups were caring for 211 Greenstreets and 2,900 street trees.
- Increased the number of annual recreation center visits by 90%, from 1.5 million in 1994 to a projected 3.1 million in 2001.
- Opened Computer Resource Centers at 19 Recreation Centers to provide computer access, technology classes, and office skills training.
- Worked co-operatively with public/private partnerships such as the Central Park Conservancy, the Randalls Island Sports Foundation, and the City Parks Foundation to build support for New York City parks.
- Received nearly $100 million in additional capital investment through projects funded by these partnerships, by concessionaires operating on parkland, and by organizations hosting events in parks.
- Drafted and installed 2001 historical signs that document the history of each park and highlight the important natural and physical features of that park.
- Launched www.nyc.gov/parks, which receives over 250,000 page views per month. Posted hundreds of pages of park information on-line, as well as video messages from the Commissioner. Sent thousands of messages to Parks "newsgroups" subscribers, providing information on special events, capital projects, and recent press stories.
- Published the Daily Plant and the Parks Gazette, daily records of what is going on at Parks.
- Reduced Citywide fleet out-of-service rates by 65% using managed competition, while reducing costs by 16%, or $1.27 million. Maintained the oldest City agency fleet, averaging 7.2 years per vehicle, while also achieving the lowest out of service rate at 5.5%.
- Planted more than 100,000 street trees citywide. Conducted the City’s first street tree census in 1995.
- Developed a street tree block-pruning program that has cut the pruning cycle by more than two-thirds. Whereas trees used to be pruned once every 30 years, each tree is now pruned once in every eight years.
- Reduced the thirty-day dead tree backlog from over 9000 to zero, guaranteeing that any tree inspected and confirmed to be dead would be removed within 30 days.
- Recovered over $1.5 million in restitution for damages to City trees.
- Managed as many as 6,000 Work Experience Program participants and found for them over 1,800 full-time jobs, 90% of which are in the private sector.
- Implemented a citywide Customer-Service initiative, by phone, mail, and Internet.
- Developed scores of miles of new greenways citywide, including paths along the Hudson and Bronx Rivers.
- Opened the Parks Library in 1999, a free public library that contains many primary and secondary sources on the history of New York City and its parks.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, January 11, 1989)
THE YEAR IN REVIEW: BRONX PARKS
In 1888, George Eastman’s Kodak camera was introduced, Jack the Ripper terrorized London, and the City of New York received title to St. Mary’s, Claremont, Crotona, Bronx, Van Cortlandt, and Pelham Bay Parks, as well as Bronx, Pelham, Crotona and Mosholu Parkways—3,495 acres in all.
This year, Bronx Parks celebrated its centennial by continuing the greening of its 6,772 acres of parkland through concentrated "5x5" maintenance campaigns and routine year-round cleanups and repairs by its approximately 1,000 dedicated parkies.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"You will find that the truth is often unpopular and
between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal.
For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news."
Adlai E. Stevenson
Directions to Bronx Park
- NYC PARKS INSTALLS NEW FITNESS EQUIPMENT AND BASKETBALL COURT AT BRONX PARK
- NYC Parks Continues To Transform Gravesend Park And Breaks Ground On Phase Ii Of Renovations
- The Bronx Received $20,000 Grant From Td Green Streets To Support Local Urban Forestry