Maria Hernandez Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, January 24, 2002


The following four individuals are among the twelve friends of Parks honored with Emerald Awards at State of the Parks on January 18, 2002.

Victor L. (City Clerk) Robles has been a devoted friend of Parks throughout his career as a City Council Member. In Fiscal Year 2002 alone, City Clerk generously allocated more than $4 million to fund the renovation and repair of the parks and playgrounds in his Bushwick district, including Maria Hernandez Park and De Hostos Playground. An active member of the Brooklyn Council delegation, City Clerk has been instrumental in providing borough-wide funding for street trees, maintenance workers, and Playground Associates. Parks has also worked with Whip in his capacity as a lead organizer of the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Doug (Brigadier) Blonsky has been with the Central Park Conservancy since 1985. He is Chief Operating Officer and Central Park Administrator, appointed by Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern in 1998 when the Conservancy formalized its partnership with the City by signing an historic management contract. Brigadier oversees a staff of 200 in seven departments: Capital Projects; Maintenance, Operations & Horticulture; Volunteer Outreach; Education; Government & Community Relations; Human Resources; and Development. Brigadier has been responsible for the effective management of $200 million in capital projects including noteworthy restorations of the Great Lawn, the North Meadow, the Harlem Meer, and most recently the 59th Street Pond. At the time of its creation, Central Park was recognized as a democratic experiment. The park was built to be public place where people of diverse backgrounds could enjoy the same activities and appreciate the same flowers. Brigadier’s vision and hard work ensure that the experiment continues to be a success.

If you look up "public servant" in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Stanley E. (Falcon) Michels, New York City Council Member from January 1978 to December 2001. Since 1994, Falcon has allocated over $28 million for the improvement and reconstruction of 57 parks and playgrounds. From the restoration of Inwood Hill and Fort Tryon Parks to the hiring of seasonal employees including Playground Associates and PEP officers, Falcon has recognized Parks’ needs and provided funding and support for worthy projects. He attended and sponsored countless community meetings and special events, such as the Medieval Festival, where he is known to officiate the joust clothed in traditional garb. Falcon’s commitment to improving the quality of life of his diverse and ever changing constituency is unwavering. The high quality of the parkland in his district is proof of that commitment.

Walter L. (The Woodsider) McCaffrey has greened and renovated nearly every parcel of parkland in Council District 26, which encompasses Long Island City, Maspeth, Woodside, and Sunnyside. A short drive through Maspeth will bear testament to his support of Queens parks, as the once barren triangles that line the Long Island Expressway, both east and west bound, are now among the most beautiful neighborhood parks in the city. Throughout his many years on the City Council, The Woodsider has remained a defender of green and open spaces. He truly understands the importance of parks and playgrounds to the communities he represents.

By Jane (Doe) Rudolph and Allison (Wagon) Wenger


(Thursday, February 2, 1989)


Last year Staten Islanders continued a long tradition of preserving and protecting the borough’s green urban oases by working to beef up Police patrols at parks, forming an environmental crew to maintain parkland, and taking action to save precious trees.

Staten Island crews completed five major clean-ups under the agency’s in-house "5x5" program: including Conference House Park (Phases I and II); Greenbelt roadways; and Silver Lake Park, where crews saved 14 trees by removing a brick restraining wall and building an enlarged pit to allow for growth. The first phase of a "5x5" at LaTourette Park was also completed. Over 500 cubic yards of debris and 80 abandoned cars were removed from the site.


"When you look at a city, it’s like reading the hopes,

aspirations and pride of everyone who built it."

Hugh Newell Jacobsen (b. 1929)

Directions to Maria Hernandez Park

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