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Union Square Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Parks Green Fleet Grows Even Greener

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

Parks has already received multiple national recognitions for alternative fuel implementation for its fleet of over 2,200 vehicles. This hasn’t stopped us from advancing these efforts even further.

This summer, Parks completed its second pilot use of Biodiesel 50 (B50), an alternative fuel resource which uses fifty percent biodiesel. The implementation was especially successful in Staten Island, where all Parks vehicles successfully used one of the highest blends of biodiesel used anywhere in the transport industry. The Staten Island pilot was more than twice the size of our B50 pilot at Orchard Beach in the Bronx in 2008. Currently, all Parks vehicles regularly fuel with at least Biodiesel 20, which is also the heating oil that Parks uses citywide.

In addition, our fleet will soon get even more electric. In partnership with the New York Power Authority, Parks has just received five electric carts for Central Park. These will replace all of the current gas-operated EZ-Go carts. Parks will also soon submit its first orders of plug-in Toyota Priuses and electric Chevy Volts, and plans to increase its fleet of hybrid diesel-electric trucks. In addition, the first of 91 new diesel pickups trucks has begun to roll in to Parks. These units have the highest level of diesel emissions reduction technology implemented at Parks to date, and will help replace almost 25 percent of our older gasoline-powered pickup trucks.

On October 14, Parks helped kick off the Alternative Fuel Odyssey Day events nationwide at Union Square Park. Odyssey Day is a nationwide educational effort sponsored by the US Department of Energy and the New York City and Lower Hudson Valley Clean Cities program. Assistant Commissioner Keith Kerman read a proclamation from Mayor Bloomberg that, in recognition of efforts to promote cleaner, greener vehicles, declared the day Alternative Fuel Day in New York City. Parks also received another award this week, when the organization 100 Best Fleets named it one of the nation’s 40 greenest fleets at its annual conference in San Diego.

All Parks employees can further these efforts by using public transportation whenever it is practical, by keeping car tires properly inflated, and by turning off vehicles when idling is unnecessary. Parks used 350,000 fewer gallons of fuel last year, saving over a million dollars for the agency. Let’s keep it up.

By Jonathan Ells


Over 100 children and their families came from near and far to attend the Circle of Friends Basketball Clinic held on Saturday, October 9 at Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center in Manhattan. NBA legends Earl “the Pearl” Monroe, John Starks, Hollis Copeland, Mel Davis, Lowes Moore, and James “Fly” Williams led the day with coaching and instruction. The players taught the children not only how to play the game, but also promoted the importance of dedication, teamwork, and responsibility.

This is the sixth year that Geoff Huston, Center Manager and former NBA player, has organized the clinic for local youth. Huston sees it as an opportunity to get together with his former colleagues and to give back to the youth of the community.
Huston named the event ‘Circle of Friends’ in honor of bringing his closest friends together to celebrate the game and the community. The children who came to the event were certainly impressed with Huston’s friends from the NBA. It was a thrill from them to learn from the pros and to see them play a game together.

Minister Michael Lowery from the Fellowship Baptist Church in Brooklyn took 25 children from his church to the event. He said that even days later, “the kids were still talking about it.” He was impressed with the way the players spoke to the children and advised them to “keep working on their game and don’t give up.”

Everyone at Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center is looking forward to the next time Huston decides to invite some of his friends over for the day.

By Adrienne Meryl

“I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.”
John Muir

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