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Columbus Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, June 4, 2001


Mike (Greenman) Browne, Deputy Chief of Design and his partners, the School Construction Authority and Langan Engineering "put their shoulders to the wheel," as Aesop says, to create a park that is an ecosystem for its plants and animals and a setting for stories and learning. The forest that was on the land has been preserved and integrated with the elements of a playground. The designers preserved over 150 native trees and 50 exotics. To stabilize the ground layer, they planted 1,200 shrubs and 3,150 ground covers. Into this lush midst, Aesop's characters, the fox, the hare, the tortoise, the gnat, and the bull have found a home. Visitors can find them crouching beneath the grapes, or sweating under the force of the sun. An amphitheater that seats 200 people will be a stage for storytelling and a lecturn for lecturing. For active play, two large pieces of play equipment, two swing sets, a spray shower, and a fitness trail were constructed.

There are delights to eye all over this park. Like a good story, kids may return to it again and again and discover new things each time. It is home to depictions of the 36 flora and fauna found in Aesop's tales and to living plants and animals too. This rich collection of natural life, the array of imaginative features added, and the fun play pieces join together to create one park for P.S. 6 students and Staten Islanders-theirs to use and enjoy. $1.8 million were contributed by the Board of Education and Council Member Stephen (Leafy) Fiala to fund the creation of Aesop Park.

At the park's dedication, Commissioner Stern told students, "Aesop teaches that 'appearances are often deceiving.' This park is a good example of that truth," he said. "It looks fun. Stay here a little while and you'll discover: it's fantastic."

Guy (Rough Guy) Molinari, Staten Island Borough President; Vito (South Shore) Fossella, Congressman; Stephen Fiala, Council Member; Marie (Sundance) Bodnar, District Manager for Community Board 3; Thomas (Richmond) Paulo, Staten Island Borough Commissioner; Carol C. Ildebrando, Principal of P.S. 6; and Vincent Casella, Principal Park Supervisor were among those present at the opening of the park.

(Monday, June 6, 1988)


Quick thinking and prompt action helped Brooklyn Gardener Mauro Bacalo save a pedestrian's life two weeks ago. Bacalo was working in Columbus Park near the Supreme Court building in Brooklyn on May 23 when he heard a woman screaming. He rushed over and found an older man unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk. Apparently suffering from cardiac arrest, the man had stopped breathing.


"A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety."

Aesop (fl. c. 550 B.C.)

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