Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In Memory Of Irving Domenech

Irving Domenech, Park Supervisor and 19-year veteran of Parks & Recreation, passed away this week. Irving was an extraordinarily dedicated public servant, passionate community volunteer, and caring soul who will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

At a young age, Irving served his country in the Navy for three years on the USS Constellation CVA-64. He met Elisa deJesus on the dance floor in 1982; they wed on March 26, 1983. Later, they became the proud parents of Vincent (1985) and Justin (1988).

Irving began his work with Parks & Recreation on October 26, 1987 as a CPW, eventually becoming a Supervisor for various parks in Brooklyn, including Betsy Head Pool in Brownsville. That same year, he joined East Brooklyn Congregations, where he attended a 10-day training and became a dedicated leader. Irving went on to become deeply involved with the Brownsville Homeowners Association, serving as its president for two terms. Irving spent many tireless hours trying to better the Brownsville and East New York area, taking great pride in seeing positive changes take place. Even during his declining health, he continued to serve his beloved neighborhood.

Irving also served as an auxiliary police officer, and was an active member of Our Lady of Mercy—enjoying many memorable moments in the church, including countless strategy meetings and family events such as family reunions and birthday celebrations.

Irving loved people, traveling, cooking, dancing, relaxing in front of his large-screen TV (especially when watching his New York teams, the Yankees and the Knicks), spending time with his family, creating and reliving memories, and making people laugh.

"Irving was wonderfully dedicated to his work, a true professional who approached his responsibilities with a passionate and positive attitude, sincere in every respect," said Brooklyn Chief of Operations Charlie Gili "He was a model supervisor and a genuinely good man respected by everyone who knew him."

One of Irving’s last requests was for all who loved him to remain strong and to remember the happy times. Son of Aurelio Domenech and Natividad Torres, Irving is survived by siblings Robert, Manuel, Nancy, and Iris; his wife, Elisa; and by his sons, Vincent and Justin. Funeral services were held yesterday; condolences can be sent to the Brooklyn borough office.



Brooklyn’s Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park hosts some of the agency’s most innovative community outreach programs. For the unparalleled beauty of its surroundings in Marine Park and for its work with area youth, the Salt Marsh Nature Center was recently named January’s Park of the Month.

The Nature Center has helped introduce countless Brooklynites to the nearly 800 acres of marshland in Marine Park, and is an important center for youth educucation—particularly through the Ranger Conservation Corps.

Since then 2001, scores of students have participated in the Ranger Conservation Corps, many of them returning year after to year. Participants get school credit for their involvement and often find mentors in the Urban Park Rangers who run the center. The Rangers Corps takes part in wildlife management, creates interpretive displays, performs trail maintenance, and gets preference when applying for Parks Conservation Corps, a paid summer internship opportunity.

This past fall, the Corps created a Community Composting site at the Salt Marsh Nature Center. The Corps’ goal was to encourage community members to bring organic material to the nature center to be made into rich compost. So far, the Corps has collected nearly 300 pounds of leaves, food scraps, and grass cuttings from the community. The spring project for this group is an ongoing pollinator survey, which involves the planting of native wildflowers and incorporates the nature center’s indoor and outdoor beehives.

The Salt Marsh Nature Center Afterschool program is unique in its focus on an environmental curriculum. Geared towards middle school students, it accommodates 20 children and is held three days a week. Weather permitting, the group takes walks on the nature trail and will be doing trail restoration work in the spring. Given appropriate funding, this program will be expanded to all of the City’s nature centers. And, as with all Afterschool programs, it’s free.

The Salt Marsh Nature Center is located near the intersection of East 33rd Street and Avenue U in Brooklyn and is open daily, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the winter (closed on Wednesday).



"The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time."

Henry David Thoreau


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