Mullaly Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, November 2, 2001


The Bronx’s green spaces have known few friends greater than John Mullaly. A respected newspaperman and civic official, the Irish-born American was one of the greatest advocates for parkland acquisitions in the 19th century. Created and named for this statesman in the 1920s, Mullaly Park has become a sanctuary for Bronx families, children, and athletes. Now, after a $3.2 million reconstruction funded by Council Member Reverend Wendell (Reverend) Foster, the park pays homage to the man for whom it is named.

In the most recent reconstruction of Mullaly Park, Parks added two small soccer fields, reconstructed two ballfields, and designed and reconstructed two playgrounds, each of them now equipped with brightly colored modular play equipment with safety surface underneath. A large spray shower decorated with concrete dolphins was added, and a new system for drainage and irrigation was installed. Park visitors may relax on World’s Fair benches, and sip from a new water fountain. For the grand reopening on Tuesday, October 23, the marching band from C.I.S. 22 performed a medley of patriotic tunes, and second and third graders from P.S. 114 shared poems and songs. Council Member Foster; Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Bill (Zorro) Castro, Bronx Borough Commissioner; Ade (Flying Eagle) Rasul, Chair of Community Board 4; Kevin Clark, Inspector for the 44th Police Precinct; and Lew (Scanner) Zuchman Executive Director of Support Children Advocacy Network, which runs programs in the park and recreation center, spoke.

As New Yorkers and Parkies, we’ve inherited the great projects of the past. Commissioner Castro and Bronx Chief of Operations Dotty (Polka) Lewandowski and their staff keep Bronx parks healthy, maintaining the legacy of John Mullaly. Mullaly helped found the New York Park Association. The group, which anticipated the city’s rapid population growth, called for extensive parkland acquisitions in the Bronx and prompted the purchase of land for many parks and parkways including Pelham Bay, Van Cortlandt, Crotona, and Bronx Parks. The new properties quintupled the City’s parkland from about 1,000 to 5,000 acres.

By Eric (Goat Boy) Adolfsen


The West Harlem Art Fund had planned to host an historical re-enactment of the Battle of Harlem Heights in Manhattan’s St. Nicholas Park on September 16 and 17, 2001, the 225th anniversary of the conflict. But on September 11, our city became engaged in a present day battle that rendered the re-enactment inappropriate. A crowd gathered in the park on Saturday, October 27 to anticipate the installation of a new commemorative plaque on the Broadway mall between 147th and 148th Streets. In 1909 the Daughters of the American Revolution installed a plaque to honor the first line of defense in the battle of Harlem Heights fought in 1776. Four years ago, that plaque was stolen from the site. With the New York City chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the West Harlem Art Fund, Parks has ordered a new one to be made.

Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia (Sparrow) Fields; Council Member Bill (Rock Dove) Perkins; Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Steve Lace, Chief of Interpretations for the National Park Service; Carmine Marino, a member of the Board of the West Harlem Art Fund; and Savona (Artemis) Bailey-McClain, Director of the West Harlem Art Fund were among those stood together in Heights of Harlem and recalled how many of New York City’s parks once served as fortifications. Commissioner Stern observed that "as times have changed, the places that were once military positions—heights, borders, and waterfronts—have become treasured parkland."

Today battles are commemorated, rather than fought, in parks. Indeed on that day, across the park, a group of fifty volunteers from JP Morgan Chase and City College’s Golden Key Club Honor Society planted 6,000 daffodil bulbs as part of the citywide daffodil memorial that will bloom this spring in memory of September 11. This was the JP Morgan Chase team’s third year volunteering in the park and City College’s second.


(Friday, October 28, 1988)


To encourage ecological and botanical research in city parks, the Natural Resources Group is establishing an herbarium in the Bronx which will enable the division to house specimens of all plants found within the city’s natural areas.

An herbarium consists of a collection of plants which are pressed, dried, and mounted for preservation on acid-free paper. The labeled plants, which are often the only proof that rare and extinct specimens once existed in the metropolitan area, are then used for study by taxonomists, morphologists, ecologists and ethnobotanists.


"The memory is like a cat scratching my heart."

Marina Oswald

Directions to Mullaly Park

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