Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, November 26, 2002


On October 23, nearly 350 Parkies gathered in Keyspan Stadium for the 2002 "Best of Parks" and "Best of the Borough" awards. Commissioner Adrian Benepe helped recognize Parkies for their outstanding performances as both individuals and teams. Over the next few weeks, The Daily Plant will run a series of articles featuring the winners of these awards, recognizing their hard work.

"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.

The Bronx: District 7

Congratulations to District 7, notably SPMO Ralph Albano, SPMO Felix Valentine, Crew Chief Wash Anderson, Crew Chief Ismael Lopez, Crew Chief Ralph Alvarez, CPW Julio Aquino, and CPW Quyen Van Pham.

District 7 is large and diverse and has achieved some of the highest ratings. District 7 has 44 ratable sites and 55 ratable acres, including St. James Park and Williamsburg Oval. Their overall ratings for fiscal year 2002 were 90%, up 7.5% from fiscal year 2001. Their cleanliness rating was 94%, up 10% from the previous year. SPMO Ralph Albano credits District 7’s success to his hard working staff.

"I also received a lot of support from the administration for getting me the supplies and staff I needed," Albano said. Bronx Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski praised Ralph’s leadership, saying, "A core of workers have come together under Ralph Albano and they continuously rise to the occasion. They’re a great bunch of people."

Brooklyn : District 18

Congratulations to District 18, especially PRM Frederick C. Wilken, SPMO Joe Ardigo, SPMO Anthony Pearsall, SPMO Lloyd Cohn, APSW Gaetano Battista, APSW John Quinzi, APSW Edward F. Pagan, APSW Byron A. Lindsay, CPW Louise Giammarino, CPW Keith Faltz, CPW Ahitophel Brown, CPW Jesus D. Diaz, CPW Vernon Scott, and Director of Salt Marsh Nature Center Rita R. Sandler.

With 70 ratable sites and over 1,000 ratable acres, District 18 has more park acreage than any other district in Brooklyn. Their overall ratings were 91%, up 15% from last year. At 94%, their cleanliness rating was up 14%. The district encompasses over 93 properties including a regional park, Marine Park (798 acres), neighborhood parks, playgrounds, greenstreets, a nature center, "Forever Wild" sites and the historic Lott house.

District 18’s tremendous improvement impressed Commissioner Julius Spiegel, who said he was "proud of the hard work that goes into maintaining a district of its size." Frederick Wilken, the current manager of District 18 said, "The award is due in part to the efforts of the former manager, Art DeCesario, volunteer groups, and the accomplished team that works in District 18. We work closely with the community and anticipate a continued partnership for years to come."

Written by Hannah Gersen


(Tuesday, December 5, 1989)


Is your golf game mired in a sandtrap? Sign up now for the winter golf academy, offered by Parks’ Sports & Fitness Programs division. The classes, covering rules, etiquette and the use of all golf clubs- woods, irons and putters—are limited to 50 students on a first come, first serve basis.


"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;

what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

(1900-1944), The Little Prince

Directions to Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

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