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Crotona Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, February 7, 2003


The following employees were awarded Employee of the Month for January on Monday, February 3. The other awardees will be listed in an edition of The Daily Plant next week.

Laura M. Lavelle is the Commissioner’s Employee of the Month for January. Laura is an Assistant Counsel in the Parks Legal office and joined us on August 23, 1999. Laura works on myriad legal matters affecting Parks including negotiation and drafting of agreements for Historic Houses, Arts & Antiquities, and special events. She has also devoted substantial time to developing contractual relationships with our numerous non-profit partners. Most recently, Laura has played a lead role in the drafting and signing of the agreement to have the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude display their project, "The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005." She works well under pressure on high-profile matters, and she is highly regarded by her colleagues at Parks and contacts at the City Law Department. She was nominated by Counsel Alessandro Olivieri.

Clara Holzwarth is Bronx’s Employee of the Month for January. Clara is the Nature Center Coordinator at Crotona Park and has been with the City Parks Foundation since September 2001. Clara demonstrates initiative on many projects including outreach to schools and neighborhood organizations, writing and producing a newsletter, leading volunteers, and coordinating events and activities. Recently Clara coordinated a volunteer project with Timberland Boot Company and School District 12 to paint a mural, which she sketched and touched up herself. She also worked with School District 9 to arrange Family Day in the Park with parents, teachers, and students. Clara works long hours and has shown exceptional commitment to her work. She was nominated by PRM Samantha Stone.

Decker Lewis is Brooklyn’s Employee of the Month for January. Decker is a CPW in Brooklyn Shops and has been with Parks since May 16, 1978. Decker works with the plumbing and trades staff in the borough. He assists with various jobs relating to drinking fountains, heating problems and leaking pipes. Last month, Decker played an instrumental role in converting a wading pool into a skating rink at Brevoort Playground. This was a successful part of our effort to promote safe skating during the current cold spell. Decker also has an accident free vehicle record. Cooperative and reliable, Decker was nominated by Supervisor for Trades Al Simoncini.

Andrew S. Penzi is the Capital Projects Employee of the Month for January. Andrew began with Parks on March 8, 1999 and is a Landscape Architect with the Consultant Project Management (CPM) team. Andrew has a horticultural background and manages 14 consultant projects, ensuring their quality and timeliness. His projects include synthetic turf soccer fields and restoration of historic Richmondtown. A skilled newcomer to Parks, Andrew is married to another Parkie at Capital, Shirley Kindler-Penzi. Energetic and capable, Andrew was nominated by AC Nancy Barthold.


2003 Art Exhibition Celebrating Black History Month

Over forty artworks celebrating Black History Month are on view at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park through Tuesday, February 25, 2003. Organized by Parks & Recreation’s Ebony Society Black History Committee, the exhibition features oil paintings, quilts, pastels, masks, and tile mosaics. By the Strength of Our Hands highlights the creative contributions of Parks employees, retirees, and seniors who are members in recreation centers throughout the city.

"This exhibit is also a wonderful way to celebrate Black History Month," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe at the recent opening reception. "New York has always been a nurturing place for African American artists—beginning with the Harlem Renaissance—and I am glad that the Ebony Society has carried on this tradition by curating this exhibit."

The opening reception included performances by Tiffany Butler, a high school student, Jackie Rowe-Adams, and Sister Sha~ron Mason. The Arsenal Gallery is located in Central Park at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street. The gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed February 17, 2003).


"Dumb as a drum with a hole in it, sir."

Charles Dickens

(February 7, 1812-1870)


Directions to Crotona Park

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Nature CentersCrotona Park Nature Center

The Crotona Park Nature Center is currently closed, with no public access.

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