Willowbrook Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, November 12, 2003


On Friday, November 7, 2003, the following employees were awarded Employee of the Month.

Dinyar A. Master is the Capital Projects Employee of the Month. Dinyar is the supervisor of the Shop Drawings and Samples Unit, and has been with Parks & Recreation since June 11, 1984. Dinyar works with designers and senior staff to thoroughly check proposal drawings and building materials, such as bricks or concrete, before approving contract work. Previously, the approval process took weeks or months, but under Dinyar's supervision the process is completed from start to finish in one to two days. His prompt turnaround record has resulted in contracts completed on or ahead of schedule, and cost savings for the agency. As a Project Manager for 8 years, Dinyar also worked on projects such as the $2.3 million Carousel Pavilion at Willowbrook Park and the $1.3 million Gazebo & Shade structure at South Beach. Efficient and professional, Dinyar was nominated by Chief Engineer John Natoli.

Leslie K. Nusblatt is Management's Employee of the Month. Leslie began with Parks & Recreation on October 28, 2002 and works with Budget. Leslie serves as the liaison with DCAS for personnel development programs such as the Mayor's Scholarship Fund, the Leadership Institute, and Management Academy, as well as helping to draft correspondence, process budget modifications, and assist with budget hearings. Most notably, Leslie has assumed oversight of Parks Internship Program. This summer, she recruited and supported 85 unpaid interns who worked in all parts of Parks. In short time, she made contacts with schools, set up interviews, coordinated work assignments and kept the interns entertained through gatherings and lectures. Leslie created a hugely successful program for Parks & Recreation to build on. She was nominated by Chief Fiscal Officer David Stark and Ed Feldman.

Joseph Bonkowski is an Operations Employee of the Month. Joe is the Director of Landscape Management in Queens, and has been with Parks & Recreation since May 23, 1989. Joe supervises a crew of 32 people, which performs various tree care tasks such as removal, pruning, and stump work. Joe worked hard on emergency tree response and debris removal during Hurricane Isabel and during the equally troublesome windstorm which struck New York City recently. Hurricane Isabel alone led to over 1,500 emergency tree requests citywide. As a certified exterminator, he also takes the lead on larvicide and pesticide application, which keeps down the rat and mosquito population in the borough. Always going the extra mile, Joe worked through this summer’s blackout, helping to mobilize light towers for NYPD and working to get the pools running. Tireless and dependable, Joe is one of Parks' most capable managers. He was nominated by DCO Lee Henry and Queens Borough Commissioner Rich Murphy.

Pham Quyen is an Operations Employee of the Month. Pham is a CPW in Bronx District 7, and has been with Parks & Recreation since April 16, 2000. Pham handles lawn care, supplies, cleaning, and repairs at properties such as Harris Field, St. James Park, and Poe Park. Pham is willing to do whatever is needed each day, whether it is arriving early, staying late, volunteering for special events, or fixing machinery. His hard work is reflected in cleanliness ratings for the district averaging 91% over the last two fiscal years. Well-liked and respected by both patrons and co-workers, Pham was nominated by SPMO Vincent White.

Patricia J. Hamilton is Public Programs' Employee of the Month. Patricia is the Public Art Coordinator for Parks & Recreation, and has been with the agency since October 10, 2002. In the last year, Patricia has installed or curated 10 Arsenal Gallery exhibitions, and arranged high profile outdoor installations such as Robert Indiana's One Through Zero sculptures and Jean Debuffet on Park Avenue. Patricia has also worked with independent artists and local cultural organizations to program sites that hadn't previously hosted public art, such as St. Nicholas Park in Harlem and Court Square in Long Island City. Behind the scenes, she has strengthened our ties with cultural organizations such as the Sculpture Center, Wave Hill, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council while increasing public awareness of our programs. A creative thinker with a BA in Art History and an MA in Visual Arts Administration from NYU, Patricia was nominated by Director of Art and Antiquities Jonathan Kuhn and Deputy Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey.


The Greenbelt Conservancy, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and Greenbelt volunteers presented a unique and successful Haunted Halloween event in the deep dark woods of High Rock Park on October 25.

Visitors, or vistims, were warned by entrance signs, seemingly written in blood, to "be prepared to be scared" and to "enter at your own risk." The first stop along the walk was a graveyard with tombstones. Past the graveyard, brave visitors proceeded along a jack-o-lantern lined path where they were greeted by witches, ghouls, vampires, masked monsters, the grim reaper and some indescribable beings who jumped out of coffins, from behind cemetery plots and dark trees to scare the wits out of mortals.

A featured guest at the event was Staten Island Out LOUD, a local literary group, that displayed the remains of Miss Haversham's never realized wedding banquet, from Charlies Dickens’ Great Expectations. The group encouraged children to discover for themselves how the story ends by visiting the library to borrow a copy of the novel.

The Greenbelt's maintenance staff created a "table of drawers," and for those who dared to put their hand into one of the drawers, they encountered something that felt like eyeballs, a weird and wet substance, a furry friend, or if they were lucky, some candy.

The Greenbelt relies a great deal on the assistance of volunteers for all of its special events. The annual Haunted Walk included over forty volunteer actors and assistants. One volunteer who stands out is Mark Petersen and we owe him and all of the Greenbelt's volunteers and staff a great deal of gratitude for participating in this wonderful event. A frightening time was had by all; join us next year!

Written by Dorothy Reilly


"Do not leave my hand without light."

Marc Chagall


Directions to Willowbrook Park

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