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Crotona Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, January 10, 2001


Photo courtesy of Bronx Recreation

The snow began to fall Saturday morning, December 30, and when Parkies from Recreation awoke Sunday December 31, it was to a city full of snow and a phone call asking them to staff a snow day in their local park. In all five boroughs, teams assembled to offer families a program of winter fun in some of the best places to spend a snowy afternoon. Crotona Park, Prospect Park, Central Park, Forest Park and Clove Lakes Park hosted parents and kids from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. As partygoers around the city geared up to celebrate the final night of 2000, families enjoyed the last day of the New Year sweeping down snowy slopes and sipping hot chocolate to a background of wintertime tunes. Thanks to the Parkies who rallied in the eleventh hour, and welcomed families to the parks. Chiefs report a total of 1,000 visitors.

Snow days have been a Recreation tradition since at least 1996. Parks organizes sledding and snowman-making contests, distributes prize ribbons, Parks visors, hot chocolate, and music. Occasionally PEP officers attend, introducing themselves and their horses to the kids.

This year, Bronx Parkies shot free Polaroids of visiting kids and their families. Chief of Bronx Operations Dorothy (Polka) Lewandowski tested the safety of Crotona's slopes the fun way: by sledding down it. Brooklyn Recreation measured attendance at the snow day in cups of hot chocolate. In all, they served 800.

Thanks to the Parkies who provided a memorable way for families to spend their last day of the year: Chief of Bronx Recreation Iris (Almond Joy) Rodriguez-Rosa, St. James Center Manager Kim (Gazelle) McNiel, Recreation Facilities Manager for the Bronx Gustan (Goose) O'Neal, Playground Supervisor Fernando (Pepsi) Rosa, Borough Recreation Director Joseph (Deuce) Smalls, Playground Associate Duane Weston, St. James Recreation Center Supervisor Dennis King, Deputy Director of Brooklyn Recreation Eddie Vargas, Center Manager of the Fort Hamilton Senior Center Donna Remmen, Larry McCrory, Harold Sanchez, Ralph Millard, Chief of Manhattan Recreation Chris (Horizon) Clouden, Deputy Chief of Manhattan Recreation Chris (Robin Hood) Caropolo, Peter Andrew, Carlin (Shade Tree) Dawson, Robert James, Ivan (Clutch) Zuniga, Clavin Slayton, Danny Chavis, Shirley Jaquet, Queens Chief of Recreation Laura (Devil Dog) Gili, Queens Chief of Operations Geraldine (Lawless) Lawless, TAP Coordinator for Queens and Manhattan Valerie (Rec Diva) Edwards, Recreation Supervisor Lisa (Loon) Kooney, Community Associate Christine Bilardi, Recreation Specialist Mark Besterman, Recreation Specialist Kevin Hall, Recreation Specialist Marquette Elliot, Director of Recreation Katie (Catalan) Langhammer, Deputy Director of Recreation Emily (Little Rhody) Brennan, and Commissioner Stern's Chief of Staff Chris (Boswell Croswell) Osgood.


Blood is urgently needed and so is our help. Parkies are asked to participate in the first Blood Drive of the New Year on Wednesday, January 24 and Thursday, January 25 from 8:30 A.M. to 2: 00 P.M. in the Arsenal Gallery. For those who prefer not to donate blood but would be willing to contribute their time, volunteers are needed at the sign-in and sign-out tables as well as to distribute food. To ask questions or express interest, please contact Jennifer Akapabla at the Central Park Conservancy (212) 310-6635, Tarice Harris at Arsenal West (212) 830-7814, Sydney (James Joyce) Goldstein at Arsenal North (212) 360-2774, Maureen (Chimp) Benson in Manhattan (212) 408-0222, or Hedi (Headlight) Piel in the Arsenal (212) 360-3442.

(Wednesday, January 10, 2001)


SummerStage, Central Park's two-year-old, free summer-long concert series, was recently chosen as a recipient of a Mullen Arts & Humanities Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Recreation & Parks Association. The category in which SummerStage competed, arts programs serving more than 200,000 people, is one of the most competitive in the nation.

Originally established in 1985 to revitalize the Central Park Bandshell, SummerStage is co-sponsored by the Central Park Conservancy and the Parks Department with additional funding from other public, private, and nonprofit sources. In 1987, SummerStage, under the direction of Joseph Killian, attracted approximately 150,000 spectators to 41 Jazz, Opera, World Music, New Music and Dance performances.


"God makes sech nights, all white an' still,
Fur'z you can look or listen,
Moonshine an' snow on field an' hill,
All silence an' all glisten."

James Russel Lowell (1819-1891)

Directions to Crotona Park

Know Before You Go

Nature CentersCrotona Park Nature Center

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

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