Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, July 3, 2001


This year, the International Festival of Conservation, the culmination of a month-long Festival of Mongolia, took place on the weekend of June 23 and 24. It featured demonstrations by Mongolian singers, dancers, musicians, wrestlers, and archers on the East Meadow. Representatives from the Urban Park Rangers, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Snow Leopard Project, and the American Museum of Natural History displayed educational materials.

Saturday's severe weather deterred neither the performers nor the crowd. Parks Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Ambassador Enkhsaikhan (Steppe Eagle) Jargalsaikhany, Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations; and other officials waited for the rain to let up together and then kicked off the festival with their remarks at noon. Ambassador Jargalsaikhany opened the nadaam, the Mongolian word for festival activities. There followed a presentation of the Mongolian flag and the Mongolian national anthem was played. Commissioner Stern read a Proclamation by Mayor Giuliani declaring June 23 and 24 Festival of Mongolia Days in New York City. Ambassador Enkhsaikhan concluded by presenting to Parks a Mongolian ger, a traditional nomadic tent of the type 40% of Mongolians live in.

Cultural performances included Mongolian khoomi, also known as throat singing, long-singing, traditional love songs, and dances. The athletic portions of the Festival featured a tournament of Mongolian wrestling and a competition of mounted and standing archery. Three Mongolian ger were set up.

The Urban Park Rangers took the opportunity to inform the public of their many citywide conservation programs including Project X, the Ranger Conservation Corps, the Rockaway Beach Endangered Species Nesting Site, and the AmeriCorps/EcoCorps programs. Other exhibits were presented by the Friends of Mongolia, Korean Air, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Snow Leopard Trust. Approximately 800 people attended.

Thanks to Parks coordinators Alex (Oiseau) Brash; Terry (Calla Lily) Jackson, Sara (Whisperer) Hobel, Kate (Kifaru) Mini, MJ (Pike) Furman, and Eric (Saybrook) Peterson.

By Andrew (Chevre) Gray


Blood supply in New York City is critically low. Please help replenish the supply of 200 hospitals by donating your blood. The number to call is 1-800-933-BLOOD. When you make an appointment, tell the staff person that you are calling from Group #1325, Parks. If you volunteer before July 15, you can donate again at Parks' drive this September 12 and 13. For more information, please call Hedi (Headlight) Piel at (212) 360-3442.

Dr. Robert Jones, CEO of the New York Blood Center explains, "Due to our low blood inventory, we were forced to cut shipments of Type O to metropolitan area hospitals six weeks ago, and we have been chronically short of Type B Negative blood since the beginning of the year. Following the July 4th holiday, we may have no Type O and very little B Negative blood to ship. Whatever your blood type, please participate.


On the afternoon of Saturday, June 16, Parks alumnus, Joseph Cuomo, died. Cuomo started with Parks as an Assistant Gardener in 1954 and moved up to General Foreman of the parks and playgrounds from 114th to 156th Streets between Lenox and Amsterdam Avenues in Manhattan. While serving in that role, he was one of six City employees to receive a $5,000 award for outstanding public service. Mayor Koch presented his award and Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis was quoted as saying, "If I had a dozen more Joe Cuomos, the parks would be in a lot better condition than they are." He described Cuomo as "the kind of top-flight professional most critically needed by the city today." Cuomo's funeral took place Thursday, June 21.

(Tuesday, July 5, 1988)


Now that a permanent spotlight has been installed on the Arsenal roof, the new Parks flag will be flown 24 hours a day. The flag, installed June 14 on the 110th celebration of Flag Day, features a green maple leaf against a white background, and flies atop a new 44-foot flagpole.


The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch
in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated
by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.

John Adams (1735-1826)

Directions to Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

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