The Daily Plant : Friday, February 15, 2002
NEW LEADERSHIP FOR PARKS: COMMISSIONER BENEPE MAKES THREE ANNOUNCEMENTS
On Wednesday, February 13, 2002, Commissioner Adrian Benepe announced three appointments during the Borough Commissioners meeting. William T. Castro, Liam Kavanagh, and Dottie Lewandowski have new positions effective next week.
Bronx Borough Commissioner William T. Castro has been appointed as Manhattan Borough Commissioner. Castro began his career at Parks over 20 years ago as Assistant to the Director of PEP, after serving as a legislative assistant for City Councilman Antonio G. Olivieri. In 1982 he became the Director of PEP. In 1985, Castro served as the Chief of Recreation for the five boroughs for three years and the assistant Commissioner for Recreation until 1991. He left Parks for a short break to obtain a Masters in Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Returning to Parks in the Spring of 1994, Castro served as the Bronx Borough Commissioner under Henry J. Stern until his most recent appointment. Regarding his move to Arsenal West, Castro says "I’m very proud of the Bronx Parkies who have all helped to make Bronx parks better places for the public over the last 7 and a half years. And I’m very much looking forward to working with Manhattan Parkies to keep up the fine job that they have been doing."
Manhattan Borough Commissioner Liam Kavanagh has been appointed Deputy Commissioner for Operations. Kavanagh started his career in city government in the Mayor’s Office of Operations. He joined Parks in December of 1981 as Assistant to the Brooklyn Borough Commissioner. In 1983 he was named Director of Brooklyn Forestry and Horticulture where he served for the next nine years. Kavanagh served as Deputy Chief of Brooklyn Operations for two years and became Deputy Chief of Manhattan Operations in 1996, eventually becoming Chief of Operations for Manhattan in 2000. One of Kavanagh’s most memorable parks experience was following Hurricane Gloria in 1986. Extensive tree damage caused homeowners tremendous problems and Parks was the only agency equipped to deal with these issues. This proved to Kavanagh that Parks is relied upon by residents of New York City for a variety of reasons, both large and small. "I look forward to helping Commissioner Benepe make a great agency even better," said Kavanagh.
Chief of Operations for Bronx Dotty Lewandowski has been appointed as Bronx Borough Commissioner. A self-proclaimed parks lovers, Lewandowski joined Parks in 1979 as a Park Ranger in Prospect Park. Along with Commissioner Benepe, she was one of a select group of summer rangers asked to remain as year-round employees. A year later she was a part of the first group of mounted Rangers and eventually became Supervisor of Rangers in Brooklyn. Once again a part of a pioneering group, she joined the Natural Resources Group (NRG) at its beginning in 1983. She became Director of Urban Park Rangers citywide until 1987 when Henry J. Stern appointed her as a Park and Recreation Manager. In 1991 she was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Operations in Queens and the Chief of Operations in Bronx in 1994. Born and raised in Queens, Lewandowski had to say of her recent appointment the following: "I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help Commissioner Benepe move forward with Parks and Recreation, particularly in a borough where I’ve spent almost three-quarters of my career."
Katy Rosa works as a gardener in Brooklyn and is a tremendous asset to Parks. Katy orders and designs the plants for the entire borough. Those areas that she helps beautify include the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and Columbus Park. Katy recently completed Parks’ Master Gardener Program and earned the distinction of graduating first in the class. Katy is a true Brooklynite. She was born in Bay Ridge and currently lives in Park Slope. She is a dedicated volunteer, serving as a Junior and Cadet Girl Scout Leader. Katy has been married to her husband, Sal, for nearly 16 years. A fellow Parkie, Sal works in Brooklyn’s horticulture and lawn mower shops. Katy’s favorite color is appropriately green. She loves working for Parks and we are extremely fortunate to have her.
By Philip Abramson
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"You cannot teach a man anything;
you can only help him find it within himself."
(February 15, 1564- 1642)