NYC Parks News for Korean War Veterans Plaza copyright © 2016 NYC Department of Parks and Recreation NYC Department of Parks & Recreation en-us Wed, 25 May 2016 15:27:20 GMT NYC Parks News 25 25 <![CDATA[Parks & Recreation Cuts The Ribbon On The Columbus Park Pavilion]]> pressrelease19964

For over a hundred years, Columbus Park has served as a crossroads for people of different cultures and generations in the heart of one of the oldest residential areas of Manhattan, said Commissioner Benepe. Reconstruction of the Pavilion is another part of a multi-phase renovation of this popular neighborhood park. Thanks to federal grants from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Urban Park and Recreation Recovery, Council Member Gerson, and the offices of the Borough President and the Mayor, the Pavilion will once again serve as a proud anchor of a historic gathering place.

Columbus Park is a recreational treasure for many of Chinatowns residents who find refuge there from the bustle of city life, said Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President David Emil. We are pleased to help expand the parks use by supporting this important pavilion restoration. This section of Columbus Park sat unused for years, but now it becomes part of a wider plan to create more open space throughout Lower Manhattan.

The restoration of the Pavilion includes increased accessibility to the building with new access ramps, stairs and mechanical lifts. The interior of the Pavilion has been redesigned to promote space for multi-use activity, along with public toilets, new flooring and storage space. The exterior of the structure has been enhanced with stone work and new paint, along with windows and doors. The area surrounding the Pavilion has been newly landscaped with plants, trees, lighting and fencing.

In 2003, Parks & Recreation and the LMDC began a comprehensive restoration of Columbus Park. The renovation included a new sports field, play equipment, basketball courts, and picnic tables. In addition to Columbus Park, the LMDC has funded the creation or improvements to 20 parks in Lower Manhattan.

Columbus Park stands at the crossroads of residential, cultural, and industrial history of New York City. Adjacent to the infamous five points district of the 19th century, it is also one of the Citys first major urban parks. Originally names Mulberry Bend Park, it was designed by Calvert Vaux in the 1880s. The purpose of the park was to provide much-needed green space to an over-crowded section of the city.

<![CDATA[Recycle Your Trash!]]> dailyplant20074 Garbage cans are aplenty in our public parks and now, under a 3-month pilot program by the Department of Sanitation, New Yorkers can recycle their trash in select parks.

Last week, the public space recycling pilot program was announced at the Saint George Staten Island Ferry Terminal. In attendance were Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Administration Edward Skyler, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Council Member Michael McMahon, Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall, and David Hurd, Director of the new Office for Recycling Outreach and Education.

The program will target busy commercial streets, parks, and transportation facilities where significant amounts of recyclable materials, such as paper, plastic, and glass, are being deposited in trash receptacles and entering the waste stream. For the next three months, Sanitation will partner with Parks and Transportation to provide recycling receptacles for bottles and cans, as well as for paper, at key locations. These include parks in all five boroughs and both Staten Island Ferry Terminals. Sanitation hopes to expand the pilot, one of the many new initiatives created by the historic Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) adopted last year, to additional locations this summer.

During the pilot, which officially began yesterday, blue and green recycling bins will be placed in and around the Whitehall and Saint George Staten Island Ferry terminals, as well as Poe Park in the Bronx, Columbus Park in Brooklyn, Union Square Park in Manhattan, Hoffman Park in Queens, and Tappen Park and Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island. The blue receptacles will collect bottles and cans and the green receptacles will collect paper. Upon collection, the materials, in addition to being recycled, will be used in a waste characterization study that will determine the effectiveness of the program.

"Last summer, after years of discussion and debate, we adopted a comprehensive, long term plan to deal with our Citys solid waste, and one of the plan's biggest and most important goals was an ambitious expansion of our recycling programs," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Today, we are acting on our commitment to pursue new, innovative initiatives and enhance our recycling efforts. If this pilot program is successful, we hope to expand it to other parts of our City and raise our public space recycling to unprecedented levels. If all of us do our small part, we can make a big difference for our City."

"New Yorkers can act locally to make a 'greener' city by recycling in their local parks, starting with this pilot project," said Commissioner Benepe. "The six parks chosen for this program are important public spaces and offer an excellent opportunity for New Yorkers to continue the practice of recycling outside of their homes and offices. We look forward to working with the Department of Sanitation and Department of Transportation to implement this exciting initiative."


"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."

George Bernard Shaw

(1856 1950)

<![CDATA[Are You Whistle Worthy? Parks & Recreation And NYC & Company Launch Summer Lifeguard Recruitment Campaign]]> pressrelease19859 The Citys Marketing and Tourism Organization Joins Parks in Giving Program New Look, Expanded Reach

New York, NY (February 21, 2007) - Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and CEO of NYC & Company George Fertitta today joined Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to kick off the Citys revamped 2007 lifeguard recruitment campaign: "Whistle Worthy." Each year, Parks recruits and trains more than 1,000 summer lifeguards for New York Citys 53 outdoor pools and 14 miles of beaches, including the world-famous Coney Island. This year, NYC & Company will work directly with the Parks & Recreation Department to grow the programs scope and raise participation numbers.

"The best way to beat a hot summer in New York City is with a cool lifeguard job," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Water safety depends on great lifeguards, and while its cold out now, summer will be here before we know it. Municipal lifeguard jobs now pay at least $11.72 an hour to start for a 48-hour week, and I strongly encourage anyone interested in working as a lifeguard this summer to take the first step and take a free swim qualifying test. New York Citys lifeguards are whistle worthy, and you may be, too!"

NYC & Company recently merged with NYC Marketing and NYC Big Events to form the world's leading municipal tourism, marketing, and events organization charged with meeting Mayor Michael R. Bloombergs goal of attracting 50 million visitors annually by the year 2015. With that goal in mind, NYC & Company has designed an advertising campaign that reaches out to international lifeguard candidates as well as those in the New York City area.

"Parks has done a wonderful job with recruitment over the years. It is because of their hard work that NYC & Company can now help turn Whistle Worthy into a campaign that resonates outside New York City as well," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. "Were going to involve more countries, which will bring in more recruitsand also more visitors. The message will be clear: You can come here in the summer, go swimming at our beaches, and experience the City in a whole new way."

The marketing campaign will feature "Whistle Worthy" media, including the signs already in place today on New York City buses and bus shelters. NYC & Company will leverage the Citys international presence to communicate that lifeguarding in NYC is a wonderful way to spend your summer vacation. The Citys tourism and marketing organization also sees it as an opportunity to publicize the fact that New York City has 14 miles of beaches.

To further help recruitment in the City, Parks has placed eight, 14-foot-tall, full-size lifeguard chairs in selected parks across the five boroughs, including: Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx; Columbus Park and Coney Island (at the Stillwell Avenue subway station) in Brooklyn; Union Square Park and Mitchel Square (168th street between Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue) in Manhattan; Hoffman Park and Corporal Ruoff Square (near the Rockaway Boulevard subway station) in Queens. A lifeguard chair will also be unveiled in the upcoming weeks at St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island.

Lifeguard beach chairs were manned by "whistle worthy" helpers from Parks and Metro who promoted lifeguard recruitment throughout the day. This is the second year in a row Parks has partnered with Metro, a free daily newspaper in New York City, which has provided generous advertising support.

"In Brooklyn, where not everyone goes to the Hamptons and residents like me are proud to summer in Brooklyn, keeping our beaches open as a way to cool off is essential," said Borough President Marty Markowitz. "And with the 10 million annual visitors to Coney Island and Brighton Beach helping make Brooklyn one of the worlds hottest tourist destinations, we rely on lifeguards even more to keep our beaches safe, fun, and relaxing."

The process to become a New York City lifeguard is simple. First, candidates are encouraged to take a free qualifying test. Parks has been hosting qualifying tests since November, and will continue to do so through Mid-April. As part of the qualifying test, successful candidates will:

    1. Be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less with proper form.
    2. Have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other - without corrective lenses. Glasses and contact lenses are not permitted during the eye exam.
    3. Be at least 16 years of age by the start of employment.

Qualifying tests are held twice a day, Monday through Friday, at 4:30pm and 6:30pm at the Parks Lifeguard School at 533 West 59th Street. No appointment is necessary.

Candidates who pass the test may enroll in Parks free Municipal Lifeguard Training Program, which is the only certification accepted for employment as a New York City Lifeguard. The training program consists of 40 hours of instruction in swimming and rescue techniques, first aid, and CPR, and includes a final swim test and a written exam. Candidates who begin working as a lifeguard, will be paid for their time spent in training. First-year lifeguards will earn at least $11.72 an hour and work 48 hours (6 days) a week. If you become a lifeguard, you will be guaranteed a job for the summer at one of the Citys seven beaches or 53 outdoor pools.

Last summer, more than 22.2 million visitors flocked to New York Citys beaches and pools. This summer, beaches are scheduled to open on May 26, and pools are scheduled to open June 29; both will remain open through Labor Day. For more information on the Citys beaches and pools or how to become a lifeguard, call 311 or visit our web site at

To learn more about NYC & Company, click here.