Washington Square Park
The Daily Plant : Thursday, April 4, 2002
PARKLANDS AND NEW PARKLAND
Parklands was established by the first Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses, with a threefold purpose: to maintain information about already existing parks, to acquire new parkland, and to protect New York City parks from encroachment or misuse. As technology has advanced, Parklands has stayed in-stride by creating a comprehensive search engine for vital park information and using Geographical Information Systems (G.I.S.) technology in mapping the contemporary park system. Parklands also participates in citywide planning projects for new parks, playgrounds, gardens, wildlife refuges, and more. In working with agencies like New York City Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) and the New York City Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP), Parklands forges new grounds.
Presently Parklands has seven projects in the final stages of acquisition. Barring unforeseen circumstances, these new additions will officially become part of the Parks system within the year. Previously mapped as undeveloped land through ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure), all of the projects in the final stages of acquisition will bring new life to old areas. Three of these projects exemplify the good that Parklands does for neighborhoods and Parks
Staten Island’s West Poillion Woods is soon to become an addition to Blue Heron Park, creating a critical land bridge between the two large designated wetland areas. The purchase of this 1.5 acre area was made possible by former Council Member Steve Fiala. Working closely with the DEP’s Staten Island Bluebelt Program, Parks see this land bridge as an essential link in creating a natural-land drainage system on the southern half of the island.
The Historic House Trust will also be gaining from Parklands’ new acquisitions. The Hendrick I. Lott House, located on East 36th Street between Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S in Brooklyn, will become a new realm for educational programs, tours and special events. The Lott House and its surrounding areas, previously designated as a Nationally Registered Landmark, will no doubt flourish under the auspices of the Parks Department and The Historic House Trust.
Playgrounds can be the life blood of a community. Beyond keeping kids off the streets and out of potentially dangerous play areas like construction sites, playgrounds offer a place for residents to relax on a hot summer day. In the South Bronx, the Nelson Avenue Playground has been a cornerstone of this heavily populated community since its creation. The addition will expand the playground from 0.978 acres to 1.24 acres with the annexation of 9 adjacent lots. After completing the purchase of these lots, Parks will refurbish these lots and incorporate them into the existing play area.
Four more additions are expected in the coming year. The Brougham-Mallien Cottage in Staten Island will become part of Blue Heron Park. There will be additions made to Robert Venable Park in Brooklyn and Yellowstone Park in Queens, as well as the purchase of private property in Udalls Ravine for natural area preservation.
By Jeffrey Sandgrund
PARKS HONORS 9/11 VICTIMS IN DAFFODIL PROJECT
Last fall, more than 10,000 volunteers planted over 1.5 million daffodil bulbs in parks and green spaces to honor those people lost on September 11. Now that spring has arrived those bulbs have bloomed, creating "fields of gold." This Saturday, April 6, is a day of remembrance for the lost, and at noon, in parks and greenspaces across the city, a moment of silence will be observed. Commissioner Benepe will give remarks at Morningside Park at 120th Street and Morningside Avenue. A few blooming sites are Central Park, Clove Lakes Park, Prospect Park, Crotona Park, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and Battery Park. A full list of daffodil sites is available on the Parks website (www.nyc.gov/parks).
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Thursday, April 13, 1989)
BY GEORGE! IT’S FLOWERS FOR WASHINGTON
Parks did not plant cherry trees on Tuesday to mark the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration as the first president of the United States. That will happen on Arbor Day, April 28 in Washington Square Park. But it did the next best thing by helping expand the flowerbed at Washington Square Park in Manhattan.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
if things unknown
but longed for still…
…the caged bird
sings of freedom."
(b. April 4, 1928)