Randall's Island Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Manhattan Wins Parks Softball Championship

On Monday, September 15, Manhattan won the 2014 Parks Softball Championship by beating Queens 9 - 0 on Randall’s Island. Pitching phenom Tom Vinetti scattered 5 hits in front of a stellar defensive team to shutout the explosive Queens team for the win.

The score was 1- 0 in the fourth inning when Manhattan erupted for 6 runs. Manhattan’s balanced attack featured 10 different players combining for 15 hits including key hits by first-year players Matt Brown, Nick Cohen and Sam Forman. Veterans Dennis Ayala, Jeff Antonowicz and Chris Davis added two hits apiece.

Under the critical eye of Skipper Al Vinetti, Manhattan’s defense only allowed 4 total runs in their 3 playoff victories. The road to the championship included wins over teams from DEP and defending champion Staten Island. This is Manhattan’s third championship in five years.

The following team members all contributed in 2014 and should be commended for a great season: Chris Davis, Scott McAuliffe, Dennis Ayala, Nick Cohen, Matt Brown, Sam Forman, Felix Perez, Tom Vinetti, Matt Mullaney, Lauren Primerano, Lou Vazquez, Frank “Cheech” Mazzuca, Jeff Antonowicz, Debra Shadwick, Dave Mazzuca, Jamil Phillips. Cory Shaw, Terese Flores, Dan Calderon, Greg OHare, Tom LaTourette, Hal Sekzer, and Al Vinetti.


NYC Parks' GreenThumb Director Nancy Kohn joined multi-Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, band members from Raining Jane, Council Member Stephen Levin, Brooklyn Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, and Brooklyn community gardeners at La Casita Verde Garden to plant cover crops and make new furniture for the garden. The event celebrated the wonderful work NYC gardeners do all year long, highlighted the importance of both urban and rural farms across the nation, and helped prepare this new garden for the winter.

"Since 1978, GreenThumb gardeners have successfully transformed vacant, unattractive, and unsafe plots of land throughout the five boroughs into thriving, blooming gardens,” said GreenThumb Director Nancy Kohn. “We are so grateful that Jason Mraz took the time to be with us today to help us inspire the next generation of community gardeners and for the support of the Jason Mraz Foundation.”

“I always jump at the chance to share my passion for gardening with the next generation," said Mraz. "By inspiring them to get their hands dirty and experience the thrill cultivating live crops, we not only enrich the lives of the students, we teach them how to give back to this beautiful planet-- something they can carry with them for their lifetimes."

Council Member Levin said “I am thrilled to partner with Jason Mraz and the Parks Department's GreenThumb to highlight the wonderful community gardens we have here in Brooklyn. Gardeners here in Brooklyn and throughout New York City do incredible work and this event is an excellent way to show our children the opportunities that can be found in community gardens.”

At the event, young and aspiring gardeners were connected with gardening veterans, showing what a crucial role community gardens play in promoting inter-generational learning and collaboration. Urban gardens will be critical to the future of agriculture and food on both the local and broader levels. Gardens retain rainwater to prevent pollution of rivers and streams and also provide cool green space to allow neighborhood residents to relax and enjoy the outdoors, while also beautifying their surrounding environments.

Jason Mraz kicked off his "The Five Boroughs Tour" in New York City, Wednesday, September 17th in Brooklyn. The singer is a dedicated farmer and gardener who owns an avocado orchard at his home in San Diego. The singer also formed the Jason Mraz Foundation in 2011, with a mission to invoke and inspire change in the human experience by advancing equality, promoting the arts, empowering through education, and preserving the environment.

In addition to racking up two Grammy Awards among six nominations and winning a prestigious Hal David Songwriter Hall of Fame Award, Mraz has become an impassioned social activist and philanthropist, lending his support to efforts from environmental advocacy to LGBT equality. He is also a surfer, filmmaker, photographer, and is first and foremost a committed global citizen.

GreenThumb provides programming and material support to over 600 community gardens in New York City. Workshops, which are the access point for supplies, are held every month of the year, covering gardening basics to more advanced farming and community organizing topics.

GreenThumb gardens are located in all five boroughs in the city. Some are green spaces meant for relaxation and as a community meeting space, others are full–fledged farms, and many are a mix of the types. The volunteer gardeners are the backbone of the program and are of diverse ages and backgrounds.


"Believe you can and you’re halfway there."

Theodore Roosevelt


Directions to Randall's Island Park

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