Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

The Daily Plant : Thursday, April 26, 2001


Previously, when a park user wished to cross Van Cortlandt Park from east to west, highways intruded no fewer than three times. No longer. The 1.7-mile John Muir Nature Trail promises to be a highlight among highlights at Van Cortlandt Park. It is the brainchild of the American Scottish Foundation and the pride of many. On April 20, 2001, The American Scottish Foundation, the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, the Urban Park Rangers, and the Van Cortlandt Park Administrator celebrated an achievement four years in the works.

Even before the trail officially opened, visitors enjoyed hiking it. Properly blazed and dressed with signage, it is now even more enjoyable and easy to follow. The John Muir Nature Trail leads hikers into the forests of Van Cortlandt Park and into an experience previously unknown to them.

Among those who know the trail best are the young people who helped outline its design. Under the guidance of the Urban Park Rangers and the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, they built staircases, water bars, and bat boxes. Their participation is a defining feature of the trail, which is an educational resource as well as a natural refuge and a way to get from point A to point B. The young people will continue to work with the Rangers and the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park to maintain the trail.

The generous funding of The American Scottish Foundation, Walkers Shortbread Inc., and Con Edison enabled Parks to give this great gift to New Yorkers and visitors, and communicate its value to the public. With this trail, Parks honors a great advocate for this country's wilderness, Scotsman John Muir. As a youth, Muir nearly lost his sight in an accident in the factory where he worked. It was just after the accident, that he committed himself to the study of nature. For New Yorkers who occasionally lose touch with the richness of nature, this trail promises to reawaken all the senses to nature's manifold delights.


It rained catfish and dogfish at the first of the Urban Angling Clinics run by the Urban Park Rangers, but the weather didn't stop these youngsters from going after that big catch. The Clinic took place at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park, Brooklyn on Sunday, April 8, 2001. The Rangers present-Sgt. E.J. (Haiku) McAdams, Sarah Wolpert, Kim Acevedo, Karen Chaffee, Patricia (Jewelweed) Auro, and Yvonne Monge-, Salt Marsh Nature Center Volunteers, and participants were "soaked to the gills".

The all day event provided an opportunity for potential anglers to learn more about the sport. Young anglers focused on casting, fish identification, and the food chain. Young anglers also learned how to keep an Urban Angler's Fishing Journal. Their journals will help them remember this fishing experience and keep track of future ones.

The event couldn't have been staged without the help of two tackle manufactures:Shakespeare, who donated two captain's chairs for a free raffle for the participants and the Wright & McGill Co., makers of Eagle Claw hooks and lures. The weather did break for a little while, giving the young anglers a chance to get a little fishing in. Although no one caught the "big one", all participants had fun and are looking forward to the next clinic in better weather. At the end of the day the children received a gift bag that contained a copy of the NYSDEC fishing regulations, an Urban Angler's Fishing Journal, a set of four plaster magnets, and fish shaped erasers. They also received a certificate certifying them as Official Urban Anglers.

By Kim Acevedo, Urban Park Ranger

(Thursday, April 28, 1988)


From May 11 through June 7, Parks will present an exhibition entitled "A Tale of Two World Fairs: The New York World's Fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 1939-40 and 1964-56," featuring authentic photographs, memorabilia and film footage from both historic fairs at the Arsenal Gallery.

"A Tale of Two Fairs" comprises over 40 Parks photographs on exhibit for the first time, rare film footage, courtesy of Davis Oats, Naturalist "Wildman" Steve Brill and General Motors; and original souvenirs and official brochures from both New York World's Fairs. Many of the pieces are on loan from Peter Warner, Dr. Edward Friedman, and John E. Iannuzzi. Co-curated by Park Historian Jonathan Kuhn, Horticulture Coordinator Gordon Hellman, and Parks Photo Archivist Gerard Malanga, the show highlights visions of the future as perceived at the time of the fairs.


"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."

John Muir (1838-1914)

Directions to Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

Was this information helpful?