NYC Parks News for Forest Park copyright © 2016 NYC Department of Parks and Recreation http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/newsroom.html NYC Department of Parks & Recreation en-us Fri, 27 May 2016 08:27:39 GMT NYC Parks News 25 25 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/newsroom.html http://www.nycgovparks.org/common_images/parks_leaf_thumb.gif <![CDATA[NYC Parks Breaks Ground On Renovations To Forest Parks Mary Whalen Playground]]> pressrelease21332 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/press_releases/press_releases.php?id=21332 Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski today joined Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Assembly Member Michael Miller, and District Manager of Community Board 9 Lisa Gomes for a ceremonial ground breaking on nearly $1.5 million in renovations to Forest Parks Mary Whalen Playground.

Reconstruction is in full swing at Mary Whalen Playground, said Commissioner Lewandowski. By next summer, neighborhood kids will be able to enjoy a brand new spray shower, upgraded and challenging play equipment, and a more inviting play space.

Forest Park truly is one of Queens' greatest parks, said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. That is why I am so pleased to have allocated funding for the renovation of Mary Whalen Playground. For the first time in over 20 years, these much needed upgrades will breathe new life into this section of the park to be enjoyed for generations to come."

The goal of this project is to upgrade the playground with engaging and contemporary play equipment for kids of all ages. The spray shower will be relocated and designed to evoke the glacial history and landscape of Forest Park.

An additional accessible entrance to the playground will be constructed, and an eight-foot chain link fence will be replaced with an ornamental, four-foot steel panel fence to open up sight lines and beautify the park. Additional trees will also be planted to provide shade and contrast to the paved areas of the site.

Renovations to the playground were made possible by the generous funding of $1.1 million dollars from the City Council and $339,000 thousand dollars from the Mayors Office. The playground project is expected to be complete in Summer 2016.

Mary Whalen Playground was named in 1988 to honor a local resident who was a dedicated member of her community and served, among many other titles, as the Vice President of Community Board 9. The playground was formally dedicated on September 26, 1990.

Forest Park is one of the natural treasures of New York City. The Wisconsin glacier molded the land 20,000 years ago, creating a series of small hills, known as knob and kettle terrain, within Forest Park.

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<![CDATA[A Greener Greenhouse Blossoms In Queens]]> dailyplant22664 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=22664 On April 30, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, 3rd and 6th grade students from the St. John Evangelical Lutheran School, members of Community Boards 5 and 9, area residents, representatives of DC 37 Gardeners Local 1507, and Forest Park Greenhouse employees both past and present - to cut the ribbon on the reconstruction of the Forest Park Greenhouse.

This $3.88 million renovation converted a deteriorating, century-old greenhouse into a state-of-the-art facility with a new ventilation system that will prolong the growing season, a redesigned interior to increase the buildings growing capacity, a computerized drip-irrigation system that can be programmed to the watering needs of individual plants, and a more efficient heating system that will decrease the buildings energy footprint. In total, these new renovations are expected to increase the amount of plants grown, from 200,000 to 250,000 per year.

The Forest Park Greenhouse has provided plants and flowers to our parks for more than a century, said Commissioner Benepe. Thanks to funding from the City Council, Borough President Marshall, and Mayor Bloomberg we have restored this building and outfitted it with the latest green technology that will allow us to continue greening the city for the next hundred years.

"Gardeners maintain them throughout the summer, and as they are doing that we are still growing here again in the Greenhouse to get ready for the next crop, so that throughout the summer and fall we always have splashes of color in our parks," said Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski.

"It's a computerized, controlled system where it controls the temperature, humidity, high points, low points, where you can set it along the computer depending on what you are growing," said Queens Deputy Chief of Operations Paul D'Amore.

"There are sensors inside the house as well outside, and it will automatically identify what the problems are and the computer will adjust the system as needed," said Greenhouse Supervisor Mark Ford.

Located inside the citys tenth largest park, the Forest Park Greenhouse was built from 1904 to 1905. The building is thought to have been designed by the famed American greenhouse and conservatory company, Lord & Burnham.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

I don't believe in childhood. I don't believe that there's a demarcation. 'Oh you mustn't tell them that. You mustn't tell them that.' You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it's true. If it's true you tell them.

Maurice Sendak
(1928 2012)

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<![CDATA[Parks Issues Request For Proposals To Renovate, Operate And Maintain Carousels At Forest And Flushing Meadows Corona Park]]> pressrelease21043 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/press_releases/press_releases.php?id=21043
Taking the family on a carousel ride in a park is a treasured New York City experience, said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. We hope to receive proposals from companies with strong backgrounds in developing, operating and maintaining carousels and amusement venues, so that the carousels at Forest Park and Flushing Meadows Corona Park can continue to delight New Yorkers for many generations to come.

The Forest Park Carousel holds some of the last surviving creations of master wood-carver Daniel Carl Muller. He crafted figures for twelve carousels in his lifetime; this carousel is one of only two that remain. The Flushing Meadows Corona Park Carousel is one of the Citys four vintage carousels, it is an example of the "Illions" style. The Flushing Meadows Corona Park Carousel is a combination of two earlier Coney Island carousels, the Feltman Carousel (ca. 1903) and the Stubbman Carousel (ca. 1908). The Flushing Meadows "hybrid" debuted at the 1964 World's Fair. Both carousels are much loved by the communities that surround them and are an important part of the childhoods of many people who have grown up in Queens.

All proposals for this RFP must be submitted no later than Friday, January 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm. Parks will hold two recommended proposer meetings on Thursday, January 12, 2012, one at each location. At 11:30 a.m., we will meet at the Forest Park location, which is located at the Woodhaven Boulevard entrance to the park. At 1:00 p.m., we will meet at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park location, which is located near the parks entrance at 111th Street and 55th Avenue. All interested parties are urged to attend.

Hard copies of the RFP can be obtained, at no cost from Tuesday, December 13, 2011 through Friday, January 27, 2012, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays, at the Revenue Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which is located at 830 Fifth Avenue, Room 407, New York, NY 10065.

The RFP is also available for download from Tuesday, December 13, 2011 through Friday, January 27, 2012, on Parks website. To download the RFP, visit www.nyc.gov/parks/businessopportunities and, after logging in, click on the download link that appears adjacent to the RFPs description.

For more information or to request to receive a copy of the RFP by mail, prospective proposers may contact Evan George, Project Manager, at (212) 360-3495 or at evan.george@parks.nyc.gov.]]>
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<![CDATA[Parks Cuts The Ribbon On Seven Reconstructed Tennis Courts At Forest Park]]> dailyplant22518 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=22518 2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00 <![CDATA[Forest Park Residents serve and volley at Seven Newly Reconstructed Tennis Courts at Forest Park]]> pressrelease21014 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/press_releases/press_releases.php?id=21014 2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00 <![CDATA[Autumnal Equinox: Parks Foliage Guide]]> dailyplant22264 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=22264 2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00 <![CDATA[This Weekend in Parks]]> dailyplant22261 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=22261 2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00 <![CDATA[Parks & Recreation Partners with U.S. Paralympics to Present Paralympic Sport Training Program]]> dailyplant21919 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=21919 2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00 <![CDATA[This Weekend In Parks: Holiday Edition]]> dailyplant21854 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=21854 2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00 <![CDATA[This Weekend In Parks]]> dailyplant21481 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=21481 2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00 <![CDATA[Forest Park Is December’s Park Of The Month]]> dailyplant20257 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=20257 Covering five different communities of Queens, the 543-acre Forest Park sits atop an ancient glacial ridge overlooking Jamaica Bays southern plains and is the boroughs third largest park. Most importantly, Forest Park is a vivid representation of its diverse surrounding neighborhood.

With its many nature trails, athletic facilities, events and more, Forest Park is an example of the ideal park, said Commissioner Benepe. It's a beautiful wooded space filled with a little bit of everything and plenty to keep New Yorkers of all ages busy and connected to nature. In these winter months, I suggest everyone take a walk along one of the trails that weave through the towering oak treesits a little piece of country in the city.

For the young (or young at heart), seven playgrounds are scattered throughout the park, nearly all of which are named after a local resident who strived to better his or her community. Families can also enjoy a ride on one of the 49 horses, a lion, a tiger, a deer or two chariots of the beautiful 1890s carousel. It is the only remaining carousel designed and produced by master carver Daniel C. Muller. Be sure to visit the Visitor Center for a park map and information on upcoming eventsthe Seuffert Bandshell and Oak Ridge Community Center host numerous childrens and cultural programs, concerts and exhibits.

Sports enthusiasts should head to the west side of the park where they can take advantage of the parks 110-acre golf course, five ballfields, handball, basketball and tennis courts. Victory Field boasts a newly renovated track and multi-use field, which opened last spring, and the very first wheelchair football field in New York State. The parks skate park is also being renovated and will open next spring with all-new ramps and paving.

Nature aficionados will undoubtedly be pleased to visit Forest Park. For the plant lover, the park is a hotbed of many gorgeous flowers and trees. And for those who simply want to enjoy a scenic stroll or a quiet picnic, Strack Pond, Pine Grove and Jackson Pond are great spots to relax and spot wildlife. And on the serene eastern side of the park, dont miss the parks namesakea 170-acre forest and its three marked hiking trails and equestrian path. Now that winter has set in for the long haul, Forest Parks forest is the perfect setting to escape into a winter wonderland.

Forest Park is as rich in history as it is in variety. Its heavily wooded forest provided an effective shroud for American riflemen during the Battle of Long Island, the bloodiest battle of the Revolutionary War. Monuments pepper the park in honor of important historical events and people.

Park of the Month introduces some of our greatest parks and green spaces to curious New Yorkers and visitors. Visit www.nyc.gov/parks for photos of Forest Park and an archive of featured parks.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

Promises made to yourself are often like the Japanese plum tree
they bear no fruit.

Francis Marion
(1732 1795)

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<![CDATA[Forest Park is Decembers Park of the Month]]> pressrelease19981 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/press_releases/press_releases.php?id=19981

With its many nature trails, athletic facilities, events and more, Forest Park is an example of the ideal park, said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. It's a beautiful wooded space filled with a little bit of everything and plenty to keep New Yorkers of all ages busy and connected to nature. In these winter months, I suggest everyone take a walk along one of the trails that weave through the towering oak treesits a little piece of country in the city.

For the young (or young at heart), seven playgrounds are scattered throughout the park, nearly all of which are named after a local resident who strived to better his or her community. Families can also enjoy a ride on one of the 49 horses, a lion, a tiger, a deer or two chariots of the beautiful 1890s carousel. It is the only remaining carousel designed and produced by master carver Daniel C. Muller. Be sure to visit the Visitor Center for a park map and information on upcoming eventsthe Seuffert Bandshell and Oak Ridge Community Center host numerous childrens and cultural programs, concerts and exhibits.

Sports enthusiasts should head to the west side of the park where they can take advantage of the parks 110-acre golf course, five ballfields, handball, basketball and tennis courts. Victory Field boasts a newly renovated track and multi-use field, which opened last spring, and the very first wheelchair football field in New York State. The parks skate park is also being renovated and will open next spring with all-new ramps and paving.

Nature aficionados will undoubtedly be pleased to visit Forest Park. For the plant lover, the park is a hotbed of many gorgeous flowers and trees. And for those who simply want to enjoy a scenic stroll or a quiet picnic, Strack Pond, Pine Grove and Jackson Pond are great spots to relax and spot wildlife. And on the serene eastern side of the park, dont miss the parks namesakea 170-acre forest and its three marked hiking trails and equestrian path. Now that winter has set in for the long haul, Forest Parks forest is the perfect setting to escape into a winter wonderland.

Forest Park is as rich in history as it is in variety. Its heavily wooded forest provided an effective shroud for American riflemen during the Battle of Long Island, the bloodiest battle of the Revolutionary War. Monuments pepper the park in honor of important historical events and people.

Park of the Month introduces some of our greatest parks and green spaces to curious New Yorkers and visitors. Visit Park of the Month for photos of Forest Park and an archive of featured parks.
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<![CDATA[Reading Is Fundamental At Forest Park]]> dailyplant20133 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=20133 Festivities kicked off for the 7th annual Read-a-thon at the Lawrence Linekin Childrens Playground in Forest Park on June 7. Children of all ages enjoyed games, music, a stiltwalker, storytelling, arts and crafts and received a free book.

The annual Read-a-thon event began in 2000 as a way to promote literacy and education to the community in a fun and exciting way. By engaging children through shows, storytelling and hands on projects, children gain a positive experience of reading and other learning processes.

Continuing to be a great success, the 7th annual Read-a-thon had a myriad of activities with over 1,000 people in attendance. Children were able to participate in making bookworm bookmarks, activities with the Museum of Natural History mobile museum and the Urban Park Rangers. Children were also encouraged to use their athletic skills by playing basketball, jump rope and hockey.

The festivities culminated with storytelling and a visit from the NY Islanders mascot Sparky and Officer McGruff from the NYPD. All of the children also received a free, age-appropriate book so they were able to take the Read-a-thon experience home.

Written by Jonathan Matt

GROW AT PARKS

Did you know that Job Opportunities for Parks employees can be accessed by phone? Dial 1-888-292-5653 to hear current vacancies, application deadlines and how to apply. The Job Hotline is updated weekly. Parks is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

More opportunities to Grow at Parks are now posted on the intranet, internet and job hotline.

  • Parks Opportunity Program (POP) Employment Services Analyst (Principal Admin. Assoc.)/Arsenal West 11735
  • Inspector (City Park Worker)/Arsenal 11736
  • Budget and Personnel Supervisor (Principal Admin. Assoc.)/Arsenal North 11737
  • Fitness Programming Coordinator (Recreation Supervisor)/Arsenal North 11738
  • Recreation Assistant/Bronx EL155
  • Clerical Associate/To Be Determined EL156

...and take another look at the following postings:

  • Program Associate (Computer Aide)/Manhattan 11635A
  • Program Associate (Community Assoc.)/Manhattan 11635B
  • Web Application Programmer (Computer Operations Manager)/Arsenal 11662

Remember to send cover letter and resume with the Vacancy Number to grow@parks.nyc.gov

To see what these jobs entail and for other opportunities to Grow at Parks, please visit the Parks Intranet. You can access the postings two ways: 1) from the top of the screen go to Divisions to Personnel to Job Postings or 2) scroll down on the left side to quick links to the red icon.

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

"We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities."

Walt Kelly

(1913 1973)

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<![CDATA[Strawberry Festival Sweetened Highland Park]]> dailyplant20130 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=20130 2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00 <![CDATA[Reaching Out To Immigrant Communities]]> dailyplant20098 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=20098 How can a park respond to demographic changes in neighborhoods? Forest Park reaches out!

In November 2006, the administration of Forest and Highland Parks in Queens welcomed an Immigrant Outreach Coordinator to its staff to explore ways in which Forest and Highland Parks can engage immigrant communities. The latest development in this project, funded by a $50,000 grant from the J. M. Kaplan Fund, is a partnership between Forest Park and South Asian Youth Action! (SAYA!), a Queens-based organization providing academic and leadership development for South Asian youth. Beginning in fall 2006, Forest Park collaborated with SAYA! to develop a new park-based afterschool youth development program. This program, Desi Youth Growing (DYG), meets at the administrators office, Oak Ridge, twice a week during the school year. Over the course of DYG, South Asian youth engage in team-building activities, learn about media activism and environmental justice, and explore Forest Park and the natural environment.

But thats not all. Forest Park turned over responsibility for Its My Park! Day over to DYG, who are planning Family Fun Dayya DYG? an event featuring an afternoon of dance workshops and performances, a magic show, crafts, and games. Family Fun Day will be held at Jackson Pond where DYG put their new gardening skills to task, implementing Phase II of Jackson Ponds landscape design. On event day, DYG will showcase their hard work, be honored with a plaque, and display their own temporary signage for the gardens they renovated. They will also help visitors plant flowers and demonstrate the skills they learned from their media activism workshop by displaying a photography exhibit on Forest Park.

Debby Kuha, Administrator for Forest Park said, This process is a significant departure from previous Its My Park! Days, as it is the first time immigrant youth from local schools are fully responsible for planning and carrying out a park event. Were excited to see the results.

Neerja Vasishta, the Immigrant Outreach Coordinator for Forest Park remarked, Its been a great process to watch. Some of these high schoolers rarely came to the park. Now they come to Oak Ridge every week and are transforming Jackson Pond. They are planning and putting on all elements of a neighborhood event and are reaching out to their community to celebrate at a site they renovated and now feel ownership for. Thats a big change!

Through the Immigrant Outreach Project, immigrant communities involved in park decision-making have resulted in fruitful new partnerships that yield original ideas with positive benefits for all. Come out to Family Fun Day on May 19 from 1-4 p.m. at Jackson Pond in Forest Park (Park Lane South and Myrtle Avenue) and see for yourself!

Submitted by Neerja Vasishta

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

There are two types of people those who come into a room and say,
Well, here I am! and those who come in and say, Ah, there you are.

Frederick L. Collins

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<![CDATA[A Homerun And A Touchdown Too!]]> dailyplant20085 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=20085 On April 10, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, City Council Member Dennis Gallagher, City Council Member Joseph Addabbo, Community Development Officer Vincent Reina of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and more than 100 little leaguers and youth football players for the first pitch and kick-off at the $3.65 million renovated track and synthetic turf field at Forest Parks Victory Field. Then on Saturday, April 14, Victory Field was renamed in honor of the late Frederick Schmidt, former Assemblyman, judge and frequent park patron.

The newly renovated field features a reconstructed track and multi-sport synthetic turf field, as well as new bleachers, a state-of-the-art drainage system and new fitness equipment. The project was funded with $3.45 million from Borough President Marshall and an additional $200,000 grant from the New York Jets, the National Football League Players Association and the NFLs Grassroots program.

Parks began installing synthetic turf ballfields in 1997. There are multiple benefits to this material. They are more environmentally friendly than grass fields that require constant maintenance through chemical and fossil fuel burning mechanisms and millions of gallons of potable water. The fields do not require weekly mowing, watering, fertilizing, seeding, or other time-intensive maintenance tasks. Additionally, they are useable year-round, and wear out much more slowly. These differences add up to savings of more than $25,000 per field each year.

Prior to 1895, the year Forest Park was created, the site was owned by Lalance and Grossjean and was used to manufacture pots and pans. Victory Field was dedicated on December 6, 1925 in memory of the Unknown Soldier of the World War. When the field opened, it boasted six baseball diamonds, basketball and handball courts, and a quarter-mile cinder track. Today, the sports complex boasts the new track and field, as well as handball courts and the only wheelchair football field in New York State.

KUDOS!
The following letter was emailed to Commissioner Benepe on April 3, 2007

My 7-year-old daughter Lindsay attends the Tony Dapolito Afterschool program in Manhattan. I just wanted to send a note to commend the services at the center. You provide a safe place that allows the kids to enjoy themselves, relax and just be kids through the wide array of enriching activities and positive values. The children are building spirit, mind and body. This is all inspired by experienced and caring staff. They let the kids realize their potential, discover who they are and what they can become.

Thank you.

Sara Salerno


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

Defining and analyzing humor is a pastime of humorless people.

Robert Benchley
(1889 1945)

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<![CDATA[Victory Field is a Homerunand a Touchdown]]> pressrelease19879 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/press_releases/press_releases.php?id=19879 Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Community Development Officer Vincent Reina of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), City Council Member Dennis Gallagher, City Council Member Joseph Addabbo, and more than 100 W.O.R.K.S. little leaguers and Queens Falcons youth football players for the first pitch and kick-off at the $3.65 million newly renovated track and synthetic turf field at Forest Parks Victory Field in Forest Park. At the communitys request, on Saturday, April 14, Parks & Recreation will rename Victory Field in honor of the late Frederick Schmidt, former assemblyman and judge and frequent user of Victory Field.

"The completion of the new track and multi-use field at Forest Parks Victory Field trumpets yet one more recreational opportunity at the Victory Field Sports Complex," said Commissioner Benepe. "Just last November, we opened New York States first wheelchair football field and now, thanks to Borough President Marshall and a joint grant, residents can enjoy a state-of-the-art track and field. Synthetic turf fields offer numerous benefits such as improved safety, increased versatility and high durabilityas well as the opportunity for teams such as the Queens Falcons and W.O.R.K.S. Little League to enjoy the field year-round."

The newly renovated Victory Field features a reconstructed track and multi-sport synthetic turf field, as well as new bleachers, a state-of-the-art drainage system and new fitness equipment. The project was funded with $3.45 million from Borough President Marshall and an additional $200,000 grant from the New York Jets, National Football League Players Association and NFLs Grassroots program.

Parks began installing synthetic turf ballfields in 1997. There are multiple benefits to this materialthe fields do not require weekly mowing, watering, fertilizing, seeding, or other time-intensive maintenance tasks. Additionally, they are useable year-round, and wear out much more slowlythese differences add up to savings of more than $25,000 per field each year.

Prior to 1895, the year Forest Park was created, the site was owned by Lalance and Grossjean and was home to a kiln used to manufacture pots and pans. Victory Field was dedicated on December 6, 1925 in memory of the "Unknown Soldier of the World War." When the field opened, it boasted six baseball diamonds, basketball and handball courts, and a quarter-mile cinder track. Today, the Victory Field Sports Complex boasts the new track and field, as well as handball courts and the only wheelchair football field in New York State.

Over the past five years, Parks & Recreation has spent more than $157 million for Queens park improvements, adding more than 80 acres of parkland and the largest recreational facility in any City park. Currently, Parks is in the midst of a major initiative to improve parks throughout Queens, with 33 projects costing $72 million under construction, and another 88 projects costing $67 million currently in design or procurement.

About The NFLs Grassroots Program

The NFLs Grassroots program is a partnership between the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nations leading community development support organization. In addition to the Forest Park field, the Grassroots program has supported new or refurbished fields in Brooklyns Prospect Park, as well as in Harlem the Bronx.

Since 1998, the Grassroots program has provided more than $17 million to help community organizations build, or rebuild, 155 youth fields in more than 40 cities in NFL markets, typically where funding sources are few and far between. The program identifies local, nonprofit, neighborhood-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing community football fields. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of their fields in their neighborhoods.

About The NFL Youth Football Fund

Established in 1998 by the NFL in collaboration with the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund promotes positive youth development, while securing the health and future of football at the grassroots level. Through $150 million in funding by the YFF, many NFL youth programs such as NFLHS.com and Coach of the Week have been developed, providing youngsters with opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors.

About LISC
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize underserved neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $7.8 billion to build or rehabilitate more than 215,000 affordable homes and develop 30 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.

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<![CDATA[Demonstrating The True Volunteer Spirit]]> dailyplant19994 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19994 Parks are where communities come together and it is especially gratifying when neighbors join forces with the common goal of improving their local park. This volunteer spirit was demonstrated in raring form on November 18, when 178 volunteers participated in Forest Parks Fall Volunteer Cleanup.

Participating groups included the Forest Park Running Club, the Glendale Kiwanis Club, WORKS Little League and the Bayside, Grover Cleveland, Cardozo, Francis Lewis, and Forest Hills High Schools Key Clubs. The event was held at the George Seuffert Bandshell with the organizing assistance of Al Polte, Ed Gerrity, Jonathan Matt and Josephine Scalia.

Volunteers raked leaves in the area and used plastic trashcans and tarps to dump leaves directly into a Parks Packer. City Parks Worker Herbert Weinkauff was on hand to ensure that everything went smoothly with the leaf removal. Amazingly, the volunteers filled the Packer to capacity; thats 16 cubic yards of compacted leaves!

Volunteers also scraped and painted over 50 benches at the George Seuffert Bandshell. Used throughout the year for theater performances, concerts and movies, the Bandshell benches hold 3,600 people. Thankfully, the volunteers were eager to paint and were a tremendous help in maintaining the benches.

The last project for the day was to clean and plant around the Seuffert Bandshell and the 9/11 Memorial Garden. Volunteers weeded and raked out the beds and planted 350 daffodils and 14 shrubs. Their work is an important part in keeping the gardens in the Park healthy and looking great. Come out to the Bandshell in the spring to see the daffodils bloom!

Thanks to everyone who participated on the 18th including the volunteers, coordinators and Park workers. The time and effort that made the Volunteer Cleanup such a success is greatly appreciated.

Submitted by Jonathan Matt & Josephine Scalia


If you have a Parks event that you would like to see covered in The Daily Plant, please do not hesitate to contact us at (212) 360-1311.


CORRECTION

The November 20th edition of The Daily Plant, featuring an article on the Flight 587 Memorial in the Rockaways, neglected to include the participation of Situ Studio LLC, the preliminary and schematic design consultant to the artist.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
(1882 1945)

65 years ago today

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<![CDATA[Are You Ready For Some (Wheelchair) Football?]]> dailyplant19991 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19991 Parks & Recreation teamed up with the United Spinal Association and the Forest Park Trust on November 16 to celebrate the opening of the first Wheelchair Football field in the State of New York. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Executive Director Paul J. Tobin and Director of Sports & Recreation Bill Hannigan of the United Spinal Association and former New York Giants fullback Charles Way to dedicate this field at Victory Field in Forest Park.

After the opening presentations, the field had its debut showing of the United Spinal Giants football team. The scrimmage gave many spectators their first glimpse of Wheelchair Football. In an intense exhibition, athletes with disabilities from around the City showcased the exhilarating adaptive sport.

Wheelchair Football rules are adapted from 6-on-6 flag football. The game is played on asphalt, which is easier to maneuver in a wheelchair. The team, sponsored by the New York Giants and the United Spinal Association, will use Victory Field for practices and games.

Wheelchair Football began in the 1970s. The game has been adapted for players in wheelchairs, but the basic goals of the game are the same; get the football into the in-zone. Wheelchair Football is growing in popularity around the country and is currently played in cities such as Cincinnati, Chicago, Lexington, Las Vegas, Austin and Santa Barbara. In fact, there is so much excitement about the new field, it has already been scheduled to host practices, games and a football tournament that will take place in the spring.

Parks is proud to add an official Wheelchair Football field to our other Accessible programs, which already include Wheelchair Basketball and Ballroom Dancing, Aquatic Therapy, and Playgrounds for All Children, said Commissioner Benepe. It is one of the Parks Departments highest priorities to help ALL New Yorkers discover how New York Citys 29,000 acres of parkland can enrich their lives.

Parks has partnered with the United Spinal Association, a national membership organization enhancing the lives of people with spinal cord injuries and disorders. The Association sponsors a wide variety of wheelchair recreational and adaptive sports programs guided by the belief that the benefits of participating in sports are no different for athletes with disabilities than for able-bodied athletes. Membership is free and open to all individuals with disabilities of the spinal cord. More information is at www.unitedspinal.org or (800) 404-2898.

Parks goal is to provide access and opportunity. Visit our website at www.nyc.gov/parks for more information on accessibility at Parks, including playgrounds, centers with programming and field trips, free Aquatic Therapy Instruction, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Ballroom Dancing, and Quad Rugby.

With contributions by Jonathan Matt

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

If youre mad at your kid, you can either raise him to be a nose tackle or send him out to play on the freeway.

Its about the same.

Bob Golic
(1957 - )

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<![CDATA[Giant Victory: Wheelchair Football Comes To Parks]]> pressrelease19834 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/press_releases/press_releases.php?id=19834 Players and Supporters at Wheechair Football Field
See pictures from today's event

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Executive Director Paul J. Tobin and Director of Sports & Recreation Bill Hannigan of United Spinal Association, and former New York Giants fullback Charles Way to dedicate the first wheelchair football field in New York State at Victory Field in Forest Park.

In an intense exhibition game, athletes with disabilities from around the City showcased the exhilarating adaptive sport. Wheelchair football rules are adapted from 6-on-6 flag football. The game is played on asphalt, which is easier to maneuver in a wheelchair. The team, sponsored by the New York Giants and United Spinal Association, will use Victory Field for practices and games, with plans to host a tournament.

Parks is proud to add an official Wheelchair Football field to our other Accessible programs, which already include Wheelchair Basketball and Ballroom Dancing, Aquatic Therapy, and Playgrounds for All Children, said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. It is one of the Parks Departments highest priorities to help ALL New Yorkers discover how New York Citys 29,000 acres of parkland can enrich their lives.

The Parks Departments goal is to provide access and opportunity. Visit our website at www.nyc.gov for more information on accessibility at Parks, including playgrounds, centers with programming and field trips, free Aquatic Therapy Instruction, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Ballroom Dancing, and Quad Rugby.

Parks has partnered with United Spinal Association, a national membership organization enhancing the lives of people with spinal cord injuries and disorders. The Association sponsors a wide variety of wheelchair recreational and adaptive sports programs guided by the belief that the benefits of participating in sports are no different for athletes with disabilities than for able-bodied athletes. Membership is free and open to all individuals with disabilities of the spinal cord. More information at www.unitedspinal.org or (800) 404-2898.

United Spinal Association is grateful to be working alongside the New York City Parks Department to provide wheelchair athletes with accessible practice and playing fields in the New York metropolitan area, said United Spinal Association Sports and Recreation Director Bill Hannigan. Adaptive sports are an important part of our commitment to enabling people with spinal cord injuries and disorders to fulfill their potential as active members of their communities. The dedication of facilities such as the wheelchair football field at Victory Field, which gives people with disabilities a chance to participate in the sports they love, is a truly rewarding experience.


- 30 -

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<![CDATA[Pop Goes The Herring?]]> dailyplant19965 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19965 From August through September, Parks & Recreations Natural Resources Group (NRG) staff, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) personnel and volunteers from Lehman College, Rocking the Boat and the community have kept their eyes peeled for popping on the Bronx River. Popping refers to the feeding behavior of juvenile alewife, which involves a leap out of the water to capture insects as they emerge. The characteristic flash of silver and small splash differentiates popping by these fish from other disturbances on the river.

Alewife, a species of river herring, were reintroduced to the Bronx River, at the Bronx Zoo, on March 21, 2006 from a stream in Connecticut, through a combined effort from NRG, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protections Inland Fisheries Division, Lehman College, the Bronx River Alliance, WCS, and other community partners. After being released into the Bronx River, the transplanted alewife laid low, in deep portions of the river, biding their time until the waters warmed and they could begin spawning. This spawning began in April 2006, resulting in the first generation of Bronx River born alewife since the first dam was built on the river, more than 350 years ago. The adult fish then abandoned their thousands of fertilized eggs and migrated back to the Atlantic Ocean. The embryos eventually hatched into larvae and the larvae grew to become juveniles. At approximately 2 in length, the juveniles begin popping during feeding. The juvenile alewife use a variety of cues, including water temperature and day length, to recognize when they ought to follow in their parents fin-steps and return to the sea.

To determine whether the spawning was successful, and the juvenile alewives survived, popping surveys were conducted. Employees from NRG, WCS and volunteers counted the number of pops they observed at two locations in the Bronx River during one hour before dusk, three evenings a week from July 18 through the end of September. The evening of August 15 marked the first observed popping on the Bronx River. Observers measured the most activity on August 17, September 7 and September 20, and continued to witness popping until the conclusion of the survey on September 28. These observations confirmed the initial success of the alewife reintroduction project. If all goes as planned the young fish seen this year will return by 2011 as adults to spawn and continue the cycle.

Popping surveys have the advantage of not requiring physical contact that can stress and harm young fish - an obvious advantage over other monitoring techniques. In order to compare alewife activity over multiple seasons, popping surveys will continue for at least the duration of the reintroduction project. Reintroduction efforts will continue for at least the next four years, perhaps longer depending on its success and funding. The goal of the project is to produce a sustainable alewife population in the Bronx River.

If you are interesting in volunteering your time for next years popping season please contact Jesse Moore at (212) 360-1466 or Marit Larson at (212) 360-1415.

Written by Jesse Moore


FOREST PARK COMMUNITY DAY DRAWS NEW VISITORS

On September 30, Forest Park held its first Community Day at Jackson Pond, an area of Forest Park bordering Richmond Hill, Queens. This first-time event was part of the J.M. Kaplan Immigrant Outreach project and aimed to engage the Indo-Caribbean community in Richmond Hill.

Forest Park partnered with the Rajkumari Cultural Center, a fixture of Richmond Hill, to put on Community Day. The Rajkumari Cultural Center used this opportunity to perform its 9th annual Kitcherie event, a pageant of a traditional East Indian village weddings with time-honored styles of drumming, singing, dancing, costumes, and decoration. These traditions are still practiced by Indo-Caribbean people of Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, and Jamaica living in New York neighborhoods. In real life, bamboo weddings are five days long but park visitors had a chance to share the excitement at Forest Park Community Day.

In years past, Kitcherie has been held indoors with an admission fee. Collaborating with Forest Park allowed Rajkumari to hold their event outside and free to the public. Approximately 500 people attended Community Day not only to enjoy this performance of Kitcherie, but also to get to know Forest Park by playing games provided by Recreation and making fall crafts. Additionally, the New York Immigration Coalition offered multi-lingual voter registration, South Asian Youth in Action! offered youth development programs, and SAMAR conducted a bone marrow drive. Jamaica Hospital provided free health screenings and the Natural History Mobile Museum presented families with a fun and informative space to enjoy. Kaichore, a popular restaurant in Richmond Hill sold great Indo-Caribbean food. Another highlight was the three talented Tassa, or Trinidadian, drummers who wandered through the park to drum up excitement and draw visitors to the performance area. Two of the most popular areas of Community Day were the sari-tying and henna painting areas, where people lined up to learn to tie a sari and have intricate decorations applied to their hands.

This first-time collaborative event is a part of the J.M. Kaplan Immigrant Outreach Initiative at Forest and Highland Parks, which will continue there until next summer. For more information about the project or about Community Day, please call Neerja Vasishta, Immigrant Outreach Coordinator, at (718) 235-4462; e-mail her at neerja.vasishta@parks.nyc.gov, or visit her at Oak Ridge in Forest Park, Queens.

Written by Neerja K. Vasishta


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.

Ernest L. Thayer
(1863-1940)

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<![CDATA[Sports Clinics Are In Session]]> dailyplant19914 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19914 The 2006 Forest Park Sports Clinics began on July 10, bringing in a new class of basketball, skateboarding and karate students. In addition to these clinics that are sponsored by City Council Member Joseph Addabbo Jr., Bike NY is offering a free bicycle clinic. All of the clinics will be held twice a week until August 16 and focuses on teaching children ages 7-14 about these fun, exciting and healthy activities.

The Forest Park Sports Clinics began in 2005 with only skateboarding and basketball. The idea behind the clinics, which still holds true today, was to provide free programming for children, letting them explore new ways of having fun and staying active. The response in 2005 was phenomenal. In fact, since the 2005 clinics were such a success, we added karate and biking to this years line-up.

Basketball is being coached by Karolis Maciulskis, who is teaching children how to dribble, shoot lay-ups and pass. Later in the clinics, the children will work on more advanced skills such as positioning, jump-shots and defense. The skateboard clinic, led by Peter Giang and Michael Stewart, is also getting kids moving by showing them the proper way to stand on the board, balance and, very importantly, how to stop. Impressively, the children in the skateboard clinic have already started using the three-foot ramps. Karate, one of the new additions to the clinics, is being taught by Myron M. Lubitsch. The children in the karate clinics not only learn technique and form, they have also been learning Dojo etiquette, obedience and discipline. Rich Conroy, from BIKE NY, is teaching the bike class, the second addition to this years clinics. The bike clinic teaches kids how to properly ride a bike, street safety and the mechanics of a bike, such as changing a flat tire and the brakes.

In total, we have over 115 kids participating in the Forest Park Sport Clinics. We are elated by this seasons continued success and look forward to continuing the clinics in the future. We would especially like to thank Council Member Joseph Addabbo Jr. and BIKE NY for making the clinics possible.

Written by Jonathan Matt

NATURE NOTES

Parks Natural Resources Group (NRG) is pleased to share its inaugural issue of Nature Notes, a new electronic newsletter. Our Emerald Empire includes 12,000 acres of natural area. Each acre features a myriad of fascinating stories about birds, bugs, fish, frogs, plants, people, minerals, mammals, and more. All of these elements interact to form dynamic and diverse ecosystems. Most of us do not have the opportunity to witness this natural drama first-hand. In future issues of our e-newsletter, NRG staff will bring these stories back from the field and relate them to you season by season. Please navigate to Nature Notes on the NRG page at the Parks website at: http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_about/parks_divisions/nrg/nrg_stats.html

To armchair naturalists everywhere, enjoy!

Written by Bill Tai and Michael Feller

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

Most of the change we think we see in life
is due to truths being in and out of favor.

Robert Frost
(1874 1963)

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<![CDATA[Children’s Summer Series Sizzles At Highland Park]]> dailyplant19907 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19907

On July 16, Highland Parks first Childrens Summer Series sizzled in both entertainment and temperature.

The fun-filled day began with Bike New Yorks "Teach Your Child to Ride." Parents and kids were taught an easy hands-free, crash-free and low-stress way to ride a bike. Everyone was amazed at how quickly they learned to ride.

The children then rode their bikes to see a bilingual performance of "Little Red Riding Hood/La Caperucita Roja," performed by the Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. The performers endured the heat, donned colorful costumes and got into character as hundreds of anxious youngsters looked on. After the show, children had a chance to receive a free Highland Park t-shirt by answering questions about the performance. The howling conclusion featured "Atka," the ambassador wolf from the Wolf Conservation Center. Children learned about wolves and their relationship to the environment and humans.

Future scheduled performances include Hip Pickles and the Super Scientific Circus. These performances will take place on August 9 and August 16 at 7:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!

For those who are interested in learning how to ride a bike, Bike New York will be returning to Highland Park on August 9 and August 16 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Participating cyclists should bring a helmet, have training wheels removed and be able to comfortably place their feet flat on the ground while sitting on their bike.

Written by Margaret Carrillo-Rosas

FOREST PARK CONCERT SERIES

It is no secret that one of the best concert venues in the city is the George Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park. It features free performances every Monday and Thursday throughout the summer.

The 2006 Forest Park Concert Series continues the over 100-year-old tradition of having free concerts for the Queens community. The genres of music may have changed but the thousands of concert lovers continue to enjoy an evening under the stars with great entertainment.

From Broadway musicals to bilingual children's shows, there is always something for everyone to enjoy. Those who love to dance and have stowed away their platform shoes and flared pants, can disco to the world famous disco group "Musique" on Thursday, August 10. WKTU 103.5 will be on site to kick off the festivities and this show is being generously sponsored by Ridgewood Savings Bank.

On August 17, there will be a sing-a-long and film screening of "The Wizard of Oz." This enhanced version of the classic film displays the words to all the songs and has interactive scenes. Participation bags will be sold prior to the movie.

For a complete list of concerts and events, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks

Written by Barbara Amarantinis

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again."

L. Frank Baum

(1856 1919)

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<![CDATA[NY Cares Volunteers At Forest Park]]> dailyplant19897 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19897

NY Cares volunteers ventured out to Forest Park on June 23 to participate in an enormous painting project. Their goal was to scrape and paint as many of the 150-plus benches at the George Seuffert Bandshell as possible. Luckily, the weather also cooperated and it did not rain until later that night, allowing just enough time for the paint to set and dry.

NY Cares is a non-profit organization that matches and mobilizes New York volunteer groups with suitable projects and provides group leaders, supplies and on-site training. Approximately 80 volunteers, from McKinsey & Co., showed up for the Bandshell painting project. They were amassed at the Bandshell and given instructions on laying down drop cloths, scraping, and painting. The volunteers worked tirelessly stripping old paint from the benches with scrappers and wire brushes. Then, a new coat of forest green paint was applied.

After being bruised and battered with paint on their clothes, hands and faces, the volunteers finished the day by rolling up the drop cloths and packing up the remaining supplies. In total, the volunteers were able to get a hard-earned 39 benches scrapped and painted. We would like to thank NY Cares and the volunteers from McKinsey& Co.for coming out to Forest Park and working on the Bandshell. If there are any other volunteers, including all you Parkies, whod like to paint, we have 111 more benches waiting!

Written by Jonathan Matt

WELCOME TO THE NEW

DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

Commissioner Adrian Benepe and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Schnall as the Director of Government Relations.

Michael joins us after four years with the New York City Council. He worked as an analyst in the finance division at the Council before becoming Director of Legislative Affairs for Council Member Yvette Clarke. In this role Michael helped to set the Council Members legislative priorities and to address the concerns of the residents of the 40th Council District in Brooklyn. Michaels knowledge of the Council and citywide issues will be a tremendous asset to the agency.

Michael has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy, Politics & Law from Binghamton University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Pace University in Manhattan. He lives in Staten Island with his wife Lee.

Please contact Michael (michael.schnall@parks.nyc.gov or (212) 360-1386) with any questions or issues that pertain to government relations. We appreciate your full cooperation and support as Michael assumes his new role.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"The last time I heard booing like that was when I was doing my act."

Red Buttons

(1919 2006)

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<![CDATA[Interns Help Jackson Pond Garden Get A Face Lift]]> dailyplant19894 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19894

Last summer, Victoria Ip, a Parks Intern and Cornell University Landscape Architect student, assisted with the re-design of the Jackson Pond Garden at Forest Park in Queens.

This garden, which was created in 1999 during a reconstruction project, was in need of a face-lift. Working with the Forest Park staff, Victoria examined the original planting plan, noted plants that were gone or damaged, and observed how the space was being used. With this information, she created an updated planting plan that complemented the existing plans utilizing Parks CAD facilities. Her project was studied by the Queens Greenhouse Staff and Olmsteds Queens Design Team. In the fall of 2005, the Richmond Hill Block Association gave a donation for Phase I of the project and part of Victorias plan was implemented.

We completed the project this spring, with the help of Interns Yolanda Chow (Queens College), Gabrielle Marcigliano (Pennsylvania State University), and the Queens POP/PACT Horticulture Crew. The Horticulture Crew, supervised by APSW Eroll Ford, planted three shrubs and 550 perennials. New additions to the garden include Red Hot Pokers, Spurges, and Silver Mounds. The garden now feels more cohesive and balanced.

This format worked so well that this year Gabrielle, our summer Landscape Architect Intern, will be creating a landscape improvement plan for Oak Ridge, Headquarters for the Forest Park Administration.

Submitted by Josephine Scalia

PLEASE BE ADVISED

On Monday, July 10, Jennifer Panicali, a 22-year-old seasonal employee in the Parks Department New Media Unit, was injured in the explosion on East 62nd Street while walking to work in Central Park.

Jennifer, a recent graduate of the CUNY Honors College at Hunter College, has been working with the Parks Department since June 12. A Staten Island resident, Jennifer has displayed remarkable intelligence and diligence during her short time at the Parks Department.

Jennifer underwent surgery Monday evening at New York Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is resting comfortably and is in stable condition.

The Parks Department wishes Jennifer a speedy and successful recovery and our prayers are with her and her family.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"If you want the rainbow, youve got to put up with the rain."

Dolly Parton

(1946 - )

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<![CDATA[Parks Honors Its Employees Of The Month : Part Two]]> dailyplant19879 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19879

Jaime Dahlke is Managements Employee of the Month for May.

Jaime is the Assistant Director of Policy & Analysis for the Parks Opportunity Program (POP) and has been with Parks since May 3, 2004. Jaime joined Parks as a POP Employment Services Analyst after graduating from Syracuse University with a Masters in Public Administration. Within 18 months Jaime was promoted to her current position where she works to create, maintain and analyze tracking systems as well as other aspects of the POP program. She also works alongside the job development, counseling and training divisions bringing new ideas and opportunities. She recently worked around the clock preparing Parks response to a report by Community Voice Heard about POP. For her hard work and dedication, Jaime was nominated by Director of Education and Policy Annika Holder, Chief of POP Jill Weber and Deputy Commissioner Robert Garafola.

Deborah Zingale is the Public Programs Employee of the Month for April.

Deb is the Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Public Programs and has been with Parks since March 15, 1993. She began her career at St. Johns Recreation Center as a Receptionist before being promoted to Assistant to the Chief of Brooklyn Recreation. She also served as Borough Mobile Unit Coordinator and Afterschool Coordinator. Since joining the Public Programs office in 2002, Deb has undertaken the task of program performance reporting for Recreation, PEP, Rangers and Partnerships. She serves as the divisions liaison working with sponsors, partners and other City agencies. She also serves as correspondence liaison, where she exemplifies outstanding customer service through her writing and direct contact with constituents. Patient and compassionate, Deb was nominated by Deputy Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey.

Joseph Sanchez is the Public Programs Employee of the Month for May.

Joe is a Catalyst Coordinator at Highbridge Recreation Center and has been with Parks since April 19, 2004. Joe came to Partnerships from the Police Athletic League in the Bronx, where he ran Afterschool and early intervention programs for at-risk youth. Since joining the Partnerships team, he has worked with communities on both sides of the Highbridge to launch a cross-borough campaign to support efforts to restore the Highbridge. In the Bronx, Joe worked closely with Samaritan Village and other local organizations to establish the "Take Care of Highbridge Health Fair." In Manhattan, Joe has led over 400 children from six local schools on trail and bike hikes along the Park. He has also worked with the Department of Environmental Protection on a water safety program. Joe is currently working with community leaders on a campaign called "Bridging the Gap." This campaign will include summer youth street teams, a youth poster contest, and other community events. For his dedication to this important initiative, Joe was nominated by Catalyst Program Director Tamara Greenfield, Director of Partnerships Jason Schwartz and Deputy Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey.

Submitted by Kenya Lewis

TRAIL COUNCIL PARTNERS WITH PARKS

On Sunday, June 11, Forest Park staffers and volunteers from the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference lent their expertise to tackle some of the "heartier" trail maintenance projects in the Park.

The volunteers were led by Joe Gindoff, the NY/NJ Metro Trail Crew Supervisor, who guided them in making improvements to the entrance of the Blue Trail. Volunteers unearthed hidden stairs, dug trenches and strategically placed boulders to slow down the erosion and block off foot traffic. Other projects included maintenance of the rustic fence that cradles the trail.

The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference is a nonprofit organization established in 1920 for the building, maintenance and preservation of hiking trails. The Metro Trails Crew is comprised of conference members who volunteer for trail maintenance projects in the five boroughs.

The Trail Conference has partnered with The Forest Park Trust, Inc. for the last two years. They have assisted in establishing a Trail Maintainers Crew, making improvements to the trail design and published the trail in the New York Walk Book. This year, the Council will help the Trust in recruiting volunteers for these special Crew Days.

Submittedby Josephine Scalia

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"If at first you dont succeed, find out if the loser gets anything."

Bill Lyon

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<![CDATA[Scouts In The Park Day]]> dailyplant19866 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19866

On May 20, 2006, Forest Park had over 50 Boy Scouts volunteer for Scouts in the Park Day. Their efforts focused on invasive plant removal, wood-chipping trails and native plant plantings around Forest Parks Strack Pond.

In 1966, the site now known as Strack Pond was converted from a glacial kettle depression pond into softball fields. However, constant spring flooding made the fields virtually unusable. This led to the sites restoration back to a pond through a $550,000 grant from the New York State Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. Today, Strack Pond provides a unique habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals and is an interesting geological site.

However, Strack Pond is under constant siege from invasive plants, vandalism and general wear and tear due to its natural location and foot traffic. In order to help maintain Strack Pond and continue to keep the area safe, beautiful and healthy, the Strack Pond Stewardship Program was made possible through a $10,000 grant from the New York City Environmental Fund. The goal of the program is to maintain the ponds natural areas through stewardship projects, utilizing volunteers, the Ranger Conservation Corps, the Green Apple Corps and a Summer Youth Crew.

Over 50 Boy Scouts of all ages volunteered to lend a hand and their time through the Strack Pond Stewardship Program. The Scouts broke up into their Packs and were given assignments throughout the area. One of the Scout Packs wood-chipped a trail leading from West Main Drive down to Strack Ponds waters edge. Another Pack planted marsh marigolds along the water and even more Scouts planted Virginia Creepers for erosion control along Strack Ponds western hillside. The Packs also went into areas to remove invasive plants including garlic mustard, mugwort and porcelain berry. The final task of the day was to spread wildflower seeds in the Strack Pond Meadow that will eventually grow into a beautiful bed full of color.

It was a long and exhausting day for the Scouts who diligently accomplished all their tasks. Their work can be seen throughout Strack Pond and will leave a lasting impression on this unique and wonderful environment for all visitors to see and enjoy. We would like to thank Cub Scout Packs 309, 119, 233, 37 and Troop 96 for all their hard work and hope to see them back in Forest Park having fun.

Written by Jonathan Matt

IN MEMORY OF VITO LOCASCIO

Vito Locascio, a retired Parks PPS, passed away on May 4, 2006 after a long battle with cancer.

Born to Italian immigrant parents on October 28, 1935, Vito and his two brothers, Tony and Sal, were raised with strong family values. Vito earned good grades in school and graduated from high school with honors. Shortly after graduation, Vito was drafted by the United States military where he was sent to fight in the Korean War. He served with the Artillery Unit for four years and was promoted to master sergeant until he was wounded in battle. Vito received an honorable discharge from the military and returned to New York City.

In need of a job, he took the civil service exam for gardeners. As a gardener at the Queens Greenhouse, Vito always looked to improve himself. When he heard there was an exam to become a laborer, he took the test and was promoted to the Parkway Division. After passing the Park Supervisor Exam, Vito was assigned to Coney Island Beach for 12 years, and after passing the Principal Park Supervisor Exam, was assigned to Brooklyns District 2. During this time he trained numerous supervisors of their daily duties in the field. He also spent time as an instructor in the Olmsted Centers training academy.

Vito had other interests as well. He loved the New York Yankees, Cadillac luxury cars, and good Italian food. Vito was also involved with DC 37, Local 1508, where he was elected President and served for 12 years. One of the many benefits he won for his members included weekend premiums for supervisors. Vito loved his Italian background and joined Parks Columbian Association where he also served as President for 12 years. He was instrumental in renaming a Queens playground for the late Deputy Chief of Operations Lenny Ingravello.

Although Vito was a very busy man, he always found time for his family. He is survived by his lovely wife Maria , and his four children, John, Andrew, Vito, and Joseph.

Vito truly made his mark at Parks and is missed deeply.

Written by Supervisor John Locascio

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about,

but the inner music that words make."

Truman Capote

(1924 1984)

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<![CDATA[Exercise Your Brain This Weekend]]> dailyplant19796 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19796 Whether you’re looking to learn about animal habitats or celebrate the last weekend of Black History Month, the answer lies in your local park. Read on for suggestions or visit www.nyc.gov/parks for more.

Bronx
Join the Rangers as they search for wintry animal life this Saturday, February 25 in Van Cortlandt Park. Learn the survival techniques these creatures use to survive the harshest season when you join this free event. Meet at the Van Cortlandt Nature Center at 10:00 a.m. to start exploring.

Brooklyn
Examine the lives of early African-American residents at Brooklyn’s Colonial farms: the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum and Weeksville’s Hunterfly Road Houses. Or, take part in a panel discussion on African-American history at the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. The lecture, a collaboration with the Weeksville Heritage Center, is part of a lecture series focusing on Brooklyn’s Afro-Caribbean and Irish diaspora. This educational event is free and takes place at 5816 Clarendon Road.

Manhattan
View the vibrant paintings and sculptures of Caribbean artists Carlton Murrell and Alfred Weekes this weekend at the "Caribbean Connections" exhibit at the Morris-Jumel Mansion. These artists evoke the warmth and color of the islands while suggesting connections between the Mansion’s history (Stephen Jumel was originally from Haiti) and the modern Washington Heights community. The exhibit will be on view through this weekend, during normal museum hours (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Morris-Jumel Mansion is located in Roger Morris Park at 65 Jumel Terrace.

Queens
How well do you know your city’s history? Put that knowledge to the test this Saturday when you take part in New York City Trivia in Forest Park. Find out how much you really know about New York City’s past, and get the chance to win prizes. This free event will take place at the Forest Park Visitors Center at Forest Park Drive and Woodhaven Boulevard at 12:00 p.m.

Staten Island
See breathtaking images of the natural world when you stop by the Blue Heron Nature Center this Sunday to see the latest Focus On Nature exhibit. This exhibit features the stunning work of photographer Sandra Mechanic, whose nature stills capture a variety of life forms, including butterflies, honeybees, birds, and flowers. This free exhibit is located at the Blue Heron Nature Center at 222 Poillon Avenue.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors."

Naomi Shihab Nye
(born 1952)

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<![CDATA[Forest and Highland Parks Salute Top Volunteers]]> dailyplant19788 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19788 More than 100 Parkies, volunteers, and friends of Queens parks gathered at Oak Ridge in Forest Park on Friday, February 3rd to bask in the glow of good deeds. The Annual Volunteer Thank You for Forest and Highland Parks included games, balloon creations by Nick the Balloonatick, food, and root beer floats. First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski hosted and presented the awards to the parks’ outstanding helpers.

Ron Niles, president of K-9 Korral, Forest Park’s dog run association, was one of the evening’s honored guests. Ron has been committed to the success of the dog run since its inception in 2002, organizing more than 300 members who assist with maintenance and programming. He put together such events as the dog Halloween costume contests, photos with Santa, training sessions, and flower box contests. Whether he’s organizing a doggie Easter bonnet contest, geting local businesses to donate prizes, or rescuing stray and abandoned dogs, Ron has been a wonderful asset to Forest Park and the canine community.

Dennis and Nancy Moore were the ceremony’s other honored guests. In 1990, the Moores assisted in the initial revitalization of the 101 year-old Highland Park Children’s Garden by working with the NYC Board of Education, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and college students. In the mid-1990’s, volunteers had virtually disappeared, and the Moores decided to tackle the task as the garden’s Volunteer Coordinators.

Slowly, they began to recruit others, reaching out to local daycare centers and schools who were interested in using the garden as a learning center. Today, local schools and residents maintain 16 garden plots. Last year, Dennis and Nancy spearheaded the Garden’s 100th Anniversary Celebration, and were honored at the Queens Coalition for Parks & Green Spaces with the Emerald Award for their 29 years of combined community service.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Edmund Burke
(1729 –1797)

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2016-05-27T04:27:39-04:00
<![CDATA[Take A Tour Indoors and Out]]> dailyplant19773 http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=19773 This weekend, take your pick of indoor wonders or outdoor delights when you choose from a variety of free citywide events. Visit www.nyc.gov/parks for more ideas.

Bronx
Catch a glimpse of the impressive but elusive raptors of Pelham Bay Park during Night Owling this Saturday, January 21. Chief Naturalist Michael Feller will lead a walk at dusk in search of a pair of long-eared owls roosting in the evergreens. January and February are great months for spotting these owls. Meet at the Orchard Beach parking lot at 4:00 p.m.

Brooklyn
Take a guided tour through Prospect Park’s new nature trails during Introduction to Birdwatching this Saturday, January 21. With more than 200 species of birds, it’s no wonder the National Audubon Society has designated Prospect Park an Important Bird Area. Meet at Wollman Rink at 12:00 p.m. to take part in this free event.

Manhattan
View the Merchant House as it was seen by House and Garden magazine readers back in 1944 with the new exhibit, "Through the Lens of Samuel H. Gottscho," open now through February 27. The Merchant’s House Museum is located at 29 East 4th Street.

Queens
Join the Urban Park Rangers for a heart-pumping hike along Forest Park’s scenic Orange Trail this Sunday, January 22. Hikers will meets at 10:00 a.m. at the Forest Park Visitor Center at Woodhaven Boulevard and Forest Park Drive. This event is free and open to the public. Don’t forget to dress for the weather and bring plenty of water.

Staten Island
Join educators from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for a day of fun when you participate in Wet & Wild for the Day on Sunday, January 22. Educators will lead these exciting, free activities from 1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. at the Greenbelt Nature Center at Rockland and Brielle Avenues.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that
it behooves all of us not to talk about the rest of us."

Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)

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