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Msgr. McGolrick Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, December 8, 2005

NPI Gardener Brings Nature’s Lessons To Fourth Graders

Sometimes, the best reward for a job well done is the accompanying sense of accomplishment—especially in an agency like Parks & Recreation, where good work touches the lives of so many New Yorkers. Though, a letter from a happy constituent doesn’t hurt, either.

The following letter was sent to Brooklyn’s Deputy Chief of Operations, Thomas Ching, in reference to a particularly enthusiastic Neighborhood Parks Initiative (NPI) gardener:

December 1, 2005

Dear Mr. Ching,

I am the science teacher at P.S. 110, which is an elementary school located in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn across from Monsignor McGolrick Park. In October, I got to meet Mr. David Wysocki, the park gardener. Through a series of meetings and telephone calls, David and I formed a partnership for my fourth graders to create a link in science with their neighborhood park. Through David, the children are learning to respect the park environment. They got to dig and plant tulip bulbs, an opportunity that many city children do not get to experience.

I am writing to let you know that, through the wonderful leadership on the part of your park gardener, the children will have pride in their garden, a deeper understanding of plants and trees, and a promise to help keep the park clean.

David Wysocki is an employee who truly enjoys his work and has gotten to know many children and adults in our neighborhood. He is a true role model, leader, and friend. I continue to look forward to working with him to benefit the children.


Shelley Maslankowski


David Wysocki has been gardening since he was six years old. After a long career in retailing gourmet foods, he decided to turn his favorite avocation into a full-time vocation. He received a Citizen Pruner certificate from Trees New York, graduated from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s horticulture program, and joined Parks as a seasonal assistant gardener through NPI in May of this year.

The NPI program, a collaboration between Parks & Recreation, New Yorkers for Parks, and the Central Park Conservancy, encourages park stewardship among the residents, businesses, and organizations surrounding a neighborhood park. The program hires an Assistant Gardener and a Playground Associate in these smaller parks to serve as ambassadors to the community, beautify the park, and encourage active recreation and volunteerism.

Mr. Wysocki enthusiastically took his mission to heart. He led a group of neighborhood children around McGolrick Park during the summer, teaching them watering, weeding, and planting techniques. This October, he volunteered at P.S. 110, teaching several classes about botany and gardening—and inspiring Ms. Maslankowski’s letter. The classes then helped plant hundreds of tulips throughout the park.

-written by Thomas Ching



"We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it."

John Lennon

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