Conference House Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, December 3, 2002


The Daily Plant continues its coverage of the 2002 "Best of Parks" and "Best of Borough" awards which were awarded on October 23 in Keyspan Stadium.

"Best of the Borough"

This award honors the best district operations within each borough. Parks staff who work in district operations are the direct providers of daily services that keep the parks clean and safe. The quality of a district’s maintenance and operations can "make or break" a park. Each district faces different maintenance challenges, depending on its size, its natural terrain, and the age and popularity of the parks it contains. The winning districts were nominated by the Deputy and Borough Commissioners and were chosen in consideration of many factors, including ratings improvement, capital investment, acreage, and number of vehicle accidents. Since this is the first year Parks awarded the best district in each borough, in some cases, the award is in recognition of several years of high achievement.

Manhattan: District 1

Congratulations to District 1, notably SPMO Philip S. Lombardi, APSW Frank Mazzuca, MW Gary J. Gaddist, APSW Adem Hot, APSW Clayton Othiossinir, CPW Larry Stedley, CPW Tyrone P. McSweeney, CPW Johnnie L. Hopson, CPW Stephen Becchino, CPW Edwin Gonzalez, CPW Luis A. Quirindongo, CPW Arnold Beatty, Gardener Herman Matos, Gardener Richard Haugland, AG Darrel Stephens, and SPWO Gary Cutler.

District 1, which occupies the southern tip of Manhattan and includes many well-known parks including City Hall Park, Bowling Green, and Battery Park was chosen for its exemplary ratings and for the contributions parks workers made to the re-building of Lower Manhattan. District 1 has 23 ratable sites and 20 ratable acres. In fiscal year 2002, District 1 received a rating of 97% in both the overall and cleanliness categories, up 12% from the previous year.

"The staff of District 1 have performed under the most difficult of circumstances," said Manhattan Borough Commissioner Bill Castro. "They’ve had to deal with many issues this year from the September 11 attacks and the immediate aftermath. They kept the district in shape despite many special events and the large number of visitors. I can’t thank the managers—Bill Tai, Gary Cutler, Phil Lombardi, and Frank Mazzuca—enough for their fine work." Bill Tai, the former District 1 manager said that he was "very proud to be the inaugural recipient of the ‘Best of the Borough’ awards," and added that, "the Parks workers in District 1 really deserve an extra measure of praise for working in such a harsh environment for so long."

Queens: District 9

Congratulations District 9, notably APSW John Maher, APSW Diane L. Nelson, APSW Tommy D. Lee, CPW Joseph Bellamy, CPW Kathleen Scullion, CPW Hernan Torres, and CPW Anthony R. Gallego.

Queens Borough Commissioner Richard Murphy claims that District 9 is a textbook example of the way that one person can make a difference. For the past three years, John Maher, APSW, has been motivating his staff to care about the ratings and to keep them high. His efforts have led District 9 to achieve an astonishing 100% overall and cleanliness ratings for the past three years. Only one other district in the city has accomplished these ratings, and that is a district with only five sites; District 9 has 24 ratable sites.

"John Maher, the crew chief, has made the difference between night and day," said Commissioner Murphy. "Though the SPMOs have been revolving; the one thing that was constant was John and his ability to motivate people."

Staten Island: District 3

Congratulations District 3, notably PRM Anthony Arcamone, SPMO Robert Parrella, APSW Steven Ferrara, APSW Edward Herbst, WEP Crew Chief Teresa Valore, CPW Frank J. Baran, CPW Vyacheslav M. Bovtko, CPW Vladimir Biba, CPW Joanne Soto, CPW and Lashonda Hicks.

"District 3 is the best district in the city," said Staten Island Borough Commissioner Thomas Paulo. He’s biased, but it’s true that District 3 contains some of the loveliest spots in the city, including Conference House Park, Lemon Creek Park, and Wolfe's Pond Park. With 975 ratable acres and 62 ratable sites, the maintenance and operations crews have their work cut out for them. Their current ratings are a whopping 98.8%. District 3 has had the top Staten Island ratings for the last three years. District 3 has achieved this despite less capital investment than the borough’s other two districts.

"I am proud of the work they have done to maintain those ratings," said Commissioner Paolo.


"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wander."

G.K. Chesterton


Directions to Conference House Park

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