NYC Parks News for Clove Lakes Park copyright © 2016 NYC Department of Parks and Recreation NYC Department of Parks & Recreation en-us Tue, 31 May 2016 06:14:25 GMT NYC Parks News 25 25 <![CDATA[Winner Announced For #Gopark Photo Contest]]> pressrelease21194
"The impressive response to the #GoPark contest -- both in the quality and quantity of photos submitted -- proves just how beloved our city's public parks are," said Commissioner White. "Sean Sweeney's photo of Clove Lakes Park epitomizes the Go Park message of exploration, adventure, and fun. On behalf of all of the judges, I would like to thank everyone who shared their love of Parks with us."
"Staten Island is my home and my camera shows me it in a new way almost every day," said contest winner Sean Sweeney. "We have endless shorelines and open spaces. I make great use of it all while shooting photos and sharing them."
Submissions were judged by a panel of four experts on parks and design: First Deputy Mayor Patti Harris; NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White; Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York Rachel Haot; and Founder and CEO of Infinia Group LLC Ron Cappello. Although we received many great photos, the finalists were judged on subject matter, photo quality, and diversity of activities and locations that New York has to offer.

In addition to Sweeney's overall winning submission, borough finalists are: Baby vs. City by Kendra Canty, taken on the High Line (Manhattan); Songs for the Open Body by Ral Hott, taken at Pratt Playground (Brooklyn); Bronx River by Claudia Amaya (Bronx); and Row New York at Practice by Susan Landau, taken on Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens). The winning photo and each of our finalist entries is featured on the NYC Parks website. The winning photo will also be featured on an NYC Parks merchandise item to be sold online and at the New York CityStore, available for purchase soon.

The #GoPark photo contest began on October 19. Participants submitted photos celebrating NYC Parks through social media, by posting them with the tag #GoPark on Instagram or Twitter, or sharing with the #GoPark Photo Contest application found on the NYC Parks Facebook Page. The contest ran through 5:00 on Tuesday, November 12, 2013.
#GoPark is a campaign encouraging all New Yorkers to discover something new in the more than 29,000 acres of parks and open spaces across the city. Whether you like to Go Dig at our volunteer events, Go Wild at our nature centers, or Go Explore our 700 miles of trails this fall theres something for everyone at New York Citys Parks.
Sean Sweeney has enjoyed photography as a hobby for over 30 years, starting with film and eventually moving on to digital format. Sweeney spends many early mornings walking through city parks close to his North Shore Staten Island home. Much of his work is shared on social media, but he has a piece displayed in the current Museum of the City of New York's Rising Waters exhibit, and also a gallery show at Staten Island's CPG gallery. Sweeney is the proud father of 2 children, 17 year old Sean Jr. and 11 year old Olivia Mae.
A protected Forever Wild site because of its valuable ecological assets, Clove Lakes Park has a rich natural history and a few remnants of the past that remain and continue to thrill visitors. Chief among them are the park's lakes and ponds, outcroppings of serpentine rocks, and Staten Island's largest living things, a three hundred year-old tulip tree. Besides strolling down trails and paddling on its bodies of water to appreciate its beauty, visitors can also experience the park as a more modern recreation zone. Several baseball diamonds, a soccer field, basketball court, playgrounds, and football field dot the park's landscape.
For more information on ways that you can share your love of NYC Parks, visit

<![CDATA[Snow Day! Parks Hosts Fun, Free Winter Snow Activities For Youth]]> pressrelease20968 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[Snow Day! Parks Hosts Fun, Free Winter Snow Activities For Youth]]> pressrelease20965 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[The Air Is Crisp and It's Time to Skate!]]> dailyplant22304 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[Autumnal Equinox: Parks Foliage Guide]]> dailyplant22264 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[New York City's Children Take to the Parks to Celebrate a Snow Day!]]> pressrelease20900 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[New York City's Children Take to the Parks to Celebrate a Snow Day!]]> pressrelease20896 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[Enjoy a Staycation on Staten Island]]> dailyplant21930 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![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[Say Goodbye To Dwindling Days Of Winter At City Ice Rinks]]> pressrelease19757 Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today reminded New Yorkers that the final day to ice skate at a rink in New York Citys parks is Sunday, April 2, 2006.

"The Citys ice rinks provide a safe, seasonal place to enjoy the ice, and we are delighted to have had such a successful skating season," said Commissioner Benepe. "Although hanging up those skates for the season is bitter-sweet, it gives New Yorkers all the more reason to look forward to those cold winter months that come around without fail each year."

With this seasons grand opening of The Pond in Bryant Park, New York City parks are now home to a total of seven ice skating rinks. Others include Kate Wollman Rink in Prospect Park, Abe Stark Rink at Coney Island, Worlds Fair Ice Skating Rink in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Staten Island War Memorial Ice Skating Rink in Clove Lakes Park, and Lasker Rink and Wollman Rink in Central Park. All ice rinks will officially close on April 2, with the exception of Prospect Parks Wollman Rink, which will close on March 12, and Bryant Parks the Pond, which has been closed since January 16.

Parks & Recreation commends skaters citywide for practicing safety on the ice all season long. Each year, Parks encourages New Yorkers to stay away from the ice on the lakes and ponds unless the agency announces that it is safe to do so in designated areas, as water that may appear frozen is not often safe enough to skate on.


<![CDATA[Love Blooms In New York City’s Parks]]> dailyplant19787 Though New York City is filled with extraordinary dining and extravagant gifts, our natural settings still reign supreme as romantic spots for Valentine’s Day. In any given park throughout the city, you will often find New Yorkers, dressed in their best, hand-in-hand (or, sometimes, lip-to-lip) with their spouses. Read on for some of New York City’s most romantic spots.


Van Cortlandt Park – Take a leisurely walk around the lake or hike the John Muir Nature Trail in this woodsy paradise.
Wave Hill – Watch the sun set over the Palisades or visit one of the most impressive arboretums in New York City.
Orchard Beach – A romantic walk on the rocky shoreline of Hunter Island will transport you to the coast of Old New England.
Bronx Park – Watch the spectacular waterfall on New York City’s only freshwater river, Bronx River.

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Watch the sun set over Manhattan as the East River glistens before you.
Lullwater Bridge, Prospect Park – The waterfall and boathouse make the perfect setting for romance.
Fulton Park – Stroll through the great trees in this treasured neighborhood park.
Sunset Park – Eagle-eye views of Manhattan, Staten Island, New Jersey, and the Statue of Liberty over the East River and New York Bay will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.

Heather Garden, Fort Tryon Park – This picturesque garden offers spectacular views of the Palisades in all seasons.
The Battery – Take in unparalleled views as seagulls fly, the waves lap, and the sun sets over Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Madison Square Park – Enjoy world-class outdoor art in this historic park right in the heart of Manhattan.
Carl Schurz Park – Cuddle up on the benches behind the grand, Federal-style Gracie Mansion.

Fort Totten Park – Peer across the Long Island Sound through stately Civil War-era structures.
Astoria Park – Stroll the East River waterfront overlooking Roosevelt Island and the awesome Manhattan skyline.
Baisley Pond Park – Sit and relax under the gazebo and gaze out at the fabled gigantic lily pads resting on the pond.
Kissena Park – Weeping willows set the mood around the beautiful lake.

Staten Island:
Alice Austen House – This Victorian garden will transport you to 19th-century romance.
Willowbrook Park – Ride the carousel with your sweetheart and feel like a kid again.
Clove Lakes Park – Row a boat ride on the lake while enjoying the beautiful park.

St. Valentine is considered the patron saint of love and lovers. According to legend, he married lovers in secret when Emperor Claudius outlawed marriage, fearing it made men poor soldiers. While imprisoned for these actions, he sent the first "valentine," a note to his beloved that he signed "from your Valentine."


"If you keep at it, one day something which at first appeared impossible will become merely something very difficult indeed."

Danny Paradise
(born 1943)

<![CDATA[OVER 4,000 VOLUNTEERS NEW YORKERS CELEBRATE "IT’S MY PARK!" DAY]]> dailyplant18328 Going into our parks and helping improve them isn’t something that New Yorkers are required to do—but it’s certainly rewarding work that makes a difference. Twice a year, New Yorkers celebrate "It’s My Park!" Day, an all-day event organized by Partnerships for Parks, a joint program of Parks & Recreation and City Parks Foundation, to encourage volunteerism and promote stewardship in parks. On the 18th of October, 4,496 volunteers gathered in parks around the city to plant, clean, build and celebrate the City’s parks. More than 184 volunteer projects and 20 special events took place at 160 sites across all five boroughs.

"Every year on ‘It’s My Park!’ Day we see the spirit of New Yorkers come alive through volunteerism," said City Parks Foundation Executive Director David Rivel. "Ultimately, ‘It’s My Park!’ Day is about celebrating our shared spaces."

In addition to cleaning and caring for parks, "It’s My Park!" Day encourages New Yorkers to celebrate their parks. As a break from the day’s hard work, Parks & Recreation offered free and fun activities including flag football, Urban Park Ranger tours, and historic games in many parks, and City Parks Foundation hosted a teacher-training workshop to help encourage educators to use parks as outdoor classrooms.

At Red Hook Park, Added Value, in cooperation with Parks & Recreation, private and public partners, and dozens of volunteers continued a project to convert an underused cement recreation field into an urban farm. On this day, the group of volunteers raised a greenhouse that will extend the farm’s growing season into December and allow it to begin as early as February.

"This was another exciting step in an already great project," said Jeffrey Sandgrund, Brooklyn Outreach Coordinator for Partnerships for Parks. "They’ve taken great leaps at the farm and are moving more quickly on the path they laid out than anyone expected."

Elsewhere, other events also brought many different groups together to volunteer in parks. In the Bronx, for example, neighborhood children, parents and the Fordham Housing Complex Group re-seeded the lawn at Poe Park. At Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island, the Friends of Clove Lakes Park led volunteers in park cleaning, trail restoration, planting, and pond skimming. In Manhattan’s Christopher Park, volunteers revitalized the park’s gardens and planted daffodil bulbs.

In Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 94 hard-working volunteers performed a shoreline clean-up of Meadow Lake and planted 5,000 daffodil bulbs at the new cherry grove. Continuing volunteering efforts into the next day, Brownies, Girl Scouts, parents and troop leaders turned out in the park to plant daffodil bulbs and to maintain and beautify a grove of trees planted by the group 18 years ago.

"Tom Panzone, our northern Queens Outreach Coordinator, reported that the new and growing Friends of MacNeil Park were encouraged by all the Park staff on ‘It's My Park!’ Day," said Jenny Hoffner, Director of Partnerships for Parks. "Commissioner Benepe and Commissioner Murphy hauled out flotsam and jetsam alongside the dedicated volunteers. Everyone was pitching in to make the park and waterfront even better."

Each year, the number of park sites—as well as the diversity of projects—has continued to expand. "It’s My Park!" Day’s success can be attributed, in part, to a growing interest in volunteerism, to the many divisions of Parks & Recreation that provided opportunities to get involved, and also to more effective community outreach that has tapped into established volunteer groups and reached beyond to individuals. Across the City, people of all ages demonstrated their love of parks.

Volunteerism is at the heart of what makes New York such a great city. Thank you to all the Parks & Recreation and City Parks Foundation staff who helped organize "It’s My Park!" Day, as well as the thousands of volunteers who came out to celebrate and care for our shared spaces.

This fall’s "It’s My Park!" Day was sponsored by Snapple Beverage Group


"I am the greatest."

Muhammad Ali

(b. 1942)

<![CDATA[NEW YORKERS GIVE INPUT THROUGH PARKS SURVEY]]> dailyplant17829 Along with the online survey, we continue to host Meet the Manager Days and administer Parks surveys in person at locations throughout the city to keep informed of public opinion.

In May, Parks & Recreation held its second annual Meet the Manager program, with Park managers hosting patrons in 130 parks citywide. Through these meet and greet sessions, we have reached out to thousands of New Yorkers, with 1,110 doing short surveys in the last two years. Though too young for the surveys, hundreds of children also received Parks & Recreation frisbees, balls, and rulers - adding more fun to their park experience.

On June 25, a group of summer interns launched a two-month survey initiative that will reach each of the five boroughs. First up was Union Square Park, where over 70 surveys were completed. Parks & Recreation set up a table with surveys, Special Events calendars, and free giveaways to members of the public who stopped by to give us their feedback. The day was a great success as both visitors and residents expressed satisfaction at the newly renovated Union Square Park. Even the sun gave us approving ninety-degree weather for the day.

Since then we have surveyed in four boroughs. On July 8, 5-Boro Operations staff and interns went to Madison Square Park and St. Catherine's Park where over 130 customers participated. The following week, intern volunteers from many divisions of Parks & Recreation went to Brooklyn's Prospect, Sunset, and Red Hook Parks. Despite the rain and clouds, over 200 surveys were collected. Operations interns and staff tackled Staten Island’s Clove Lakes Park and the Bronx’s St. Mary’s Park during the week of July 28. The St. Mary’s team broke the all time record by coming home with 102 surveys collected in one park. So far, over 1,538 park surveys have been tabulated, and the program is growing.

Park & Recreation Surveys are opening up a new way for the public to communicate about parks and to express their priorities and concerns. Thanks to Susan Friedman, Lofton Johnson, and interns Miriam Petersen and Ian Shin, and all our interns for their help, to Sherry Lee who is coordinating this initiative, and to Leslie Nusblatt, Parks & Recreation’s Intern Coordinator.


"Life is the game that must be played."

Edwin Arlington Robinson

<![CDATA[SPRING FLOWERS HINT AT SUNNIER DAYS TO COME]]> dailyplant16397 Don't let the skies fool you-spring is here and to prove it, there are dozens of determined flowers blooming all over the city. This year, Parks & Recreation is marking this annual spring phenomenon with an on-line "blooming guide," called "Parks in Bloom 2003." The guide provides New Yorkers with a list of locations of blooming flowers, shrubs, and trees in every borough. Nature-lovers can consult this resource to plan the most horticulturally interesting walks possible, while nature novices can use it to impress their friends with their sudden ability to distinguish between flowering dogwood and cherry trees.

The new blooming guide underscores Parks & Recreation Commissioner Benepe's horticultural goals for the agency. Benepe aims to make New York, "flower city" and with continuing help from numerous corporations, non-profit organizations, community groups, and citizen volunteers, it looks like New York will secure the title any day. Already, more flowers will bloom in New York's parks and gardens than ever before. And, as a quick read of the on-line guide confirms, New Yorkers can stroll through any park this time of year and encounter a huge variety of spring blooms.

In Brooklyn, for example, azalea and forsythia bushes, red buds and tulips decorate the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Horticultural enthusiasts can also head to the Narrows Botanical Gardens, and take in daffodils, forsythia and tulips. And at Borough Hall, the cherry blossoms are just starting to come out in full force. In the Bronx, some of the best blooms are found in Van Cortlandt Park. The 1,146 acre park is crowded with flowers this time of year, including marigolds, daffodils, cherry, dogwood, and Red maple tree blossoms. There are also a variety of flowering trees at the entrance to Pelham Parkway (Boston Road to Stillwell Avenue), while Crotona Park is home to fields of daffodils and white flowering pear trees. Daffodils can be seen all over Manhattan-throughout Central Park, Saint Nicholas Park at 135th Street and East River Park on the Lower East Side. Of course, the Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park is the premier Manhattan destination to take in breathtaking blooms. Daffodils, tulips, columbine, Jacob's ladder, Lily of Valley, hyacinths, pansies, and ipheion, an unusual blue flower from South America, are just are few of the flowers that are blossoming in the Heather Garden's lavish garden beds. Queens' Flushing Meadows Corona Park is known for its pink cherry blossoms. The cherry trees also compete with the white flowering pear trees, and gold forsythia bushes. Also in Queens, Cunningham Park is famous for its tulips and Forest Park for its forsythia. On Staten Island, Silver Lake Park and Clove Lakes Park are crowded with cherry blossoms, crabapples, daffodils, forsythia, and tulips. Silver Lake Park also boasts flowering pear trees, while Clove Lakes park is home to star magnolia trees.

In addition to the floral displays described above, there are also thousands and thousands of daffodils in every borough, planted almost entirely by volunteers, as part of the "Daffodil Project" in partnership with New Yorkers for Parks. Planted in the wake of September 11th, as a living memorial of hope, it's especially uplifting to see the daffodils in this dreary weather-they are a reminder that sunnier days are ahead.


Hope you enjoyed yesterday's Parks & Recreation mini quiz. Below are the answers with brief explanations.

1. (C) - According to Parks & Recreation's Planning Division, the agency has a total of 1,726 parcels or parks and playgrounds.
2. (C) - The Historic House Trust preserves and promotes 22 historic houses, however only 20 of these houses are open to the public.
3. (D) - Seward Park, the nation's first municipally built playground, opened on October 17, 1903. The city acquired the land for Seward Park by condemnation in 1897. In addition to the state-of-the-art playground, the 1903 plan featured a large track with an open play area and a farm garden for children.
4. (D) - Each summer, 1.4 million gallons of water are used to fill Astoria Pool in Astoria Park, Queens.
5. (C) - Starburst Jelly Beans is the lead sponsor of Central Park's 57th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 19. Newmark Real Estate was the main sponsor of the Great Halloween Party in the fall while Hormel Deli was the lead sponsor of Parks & Recreation's Winter Festival 2003.
6. (A) - Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse - "Little Red Lighthouse" is the only lighthouse under the jurisdiction of Parks & Recreation. "Little Red" became Parks property in 1951. The lighthouse was originally erected in Sandy Hook, NJ in 1880, and was moved to its present location in 1921. The lighthouse improved navigation on the Hudson until it was officially decommissioned in 1947. The Coast Guard intended to destroy the lighthouse until Parks & Recreation took over the historic structure.
7. (A) - The total acreage to date of City parkland is 28,634 acres.


"Flowers are lovely; love is flower-lie;
Friendship is a sheltering tree."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(1772-1834) ]]> 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[SURPRISE! SNOW!]]> dailyplant16384

New York City’s parks were swept back into the winter when an unusually late snowstorm blanketed the north east with three to six inches of snow yesterday. But while most stayed indoors, the daffodils stood their ground. From Staten Island’s Clove Lakes Park to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to Morningside Park, the daffodils were golden bits of spring in a winter-white landscape.


You may have heard about the new test to be a New York City tour guide. In keeping with this updated exam, Parks & Recreation thought we would offer our own mini Parks quiz, just for fun. Choose the best possible answers. Look for the answer key in tomorrow’s Daily Plant.

1.) What is the total number of parks and playgrounds under Parks & Recreation?

  1. 942
  2. 600
  3. 1,726
  4. 2,405
  5. 2.) How many houses within the Historic House Trust are currently open to the public?

    A) 16
    B) 41
    C) 20
    D) 9

    3.) When did Seward Park, the nation’s first municipally built playground, open?

    A) 1704
    B) 1861
    C) 1895
    D) 1903

    4.) How many gallons of water are used to fill Astoria Pool?

    1. 7 million
    2. 2.3 million
    3. 800,000
    4. 1.4 million

    5.) Who is the lead sponsor of the 57th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 19 in Central Park?

    A) Hormel Deli
    B) Newmark Real Estate
    C) Starburst Jelly Beans
    4) Egglands Best

    6.) What is the name of the only lighthouse under the jurisdiction of Parks & Recreation?

    A) Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse - "Little Red Lighthouse"
    B) Sam’s Anchor Lighthouse - "Little Red Lighthouse"
    C) Manhattan’s Oldest Lighthouse - "Little Red Lighthouse"
    D) Smith Hook Lighthouse - "Little Red Lighthouse"

    7.) What is the total acreage to date of City parkland?

    A) 28,634 acres
    B) 20,000 acres
    C) 14,000 acres
    D) 35,000 acres


    "Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum."

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


    ]]> 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[JUST SKATE! PARKS OFFERS SAFE-SKATING SPOTS FOR ALL TO ENJOY]]> dailyplant15679

    Cold weather permitting, each "safe-skating" site is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week. Signs have been clearly posted to show that these areas are safe for winter sports. Thanks to the recent frigid temperatures, Operations and Recreation staff members have been busy around the clock keeping the ice frozen and the kids warm. Ultimately, as many as 19 sites will be open to the public, but currently the following seven safe skating locations are fully operational.

    Classic Playground, Riverside Park (74th St. and Riverside Drive, Manhattan)

    Conservatory Water, Central Park (74th St. between East Drive and Fifth Ave., Manhattan)

    Highbridge Park (173rd St. and Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan)

    Dry Harbor Playground (80th St. and Myrtle Avenue, Queens)

    Pomonok Playground (Kissena Blvd. and 65th Avenue, Queens)

    Martling’s Pond (Martling Ave. and Clove Road in Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island)

    Allison Pond (Brentwood Ave. and Prospect Ave and North Randall Ave, Staten Island)

    Call 1-800-201-PARK or visit for the latest information on "safe-skating" sites and for information on other fun winter activities for you and your family. Have a great time this winter, and remember to stay off the ice on ponds and lakes that do not have official signs saying the ice is safe for skating.

    Written by Jocelyn Aframe


    Preserve History and Clean your office at the same time!

    The Parks Library is expanding the program it began last year that sought to increase the catalog by asking members of the public and former Parkies to donate park-related materials. Realizing that many current Parkies have books and reports in their offices that are not used day to day, the Parks Library invites you clean up by contributing.

    Primary documents provide the foundation of good scholarly research. Raw information, reports, brochures, maps etc., could convey a great deal about how a park looked or functioned at a certain time. These documents, which might be written, submitted and overlooked today, could someday present a extensive record of what the Parks Department was doing at the beginning of the 21st Century. In short, you’re making history whether you like it or not. Please interoffice small items to John Mattera at the Parks Library in the Arsenal. If you have a lot of materials please call 212-360-8240 or e-mail to arrange for a pickup.


    "The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy."

    Von Clausewitz



    Learn to Luge

    Wednesday, January 15, 2003, 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

    Prospect Park, Brooklyn (enter at Wellhouse Drive)


    Thursday, January 16, 2003, 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

    Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx (Rockwood Drive, near the stables off Broadway)

    The U.S.A. Luge Association hosts a demonstration of luge for adults and children who want to learn the basics by taking a spin on a street-ready luge sled. The event is free and open to everyone.

    Ice Carving Demo

    Saturday, January 18, 2003, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

    Brooklyn Promenade, Cranberry Streets and Columbia Heights, Brooklyn Heights

    Watch as ice carvers from the Tri-State area compete for the title of "Best Ice Carver" by transforming an enormous block of ice into a glistening work of art with the help of Ice Fantasies. This event is free and open to everyone.

    Speed Skating Clinic

    Tuesday, January 21, 2003, 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.

    Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, Queens (World’s Fair Ice Rink)


    Wednesday, January 22, 2003, 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.

    Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island (ice rink, Victory Blvd West of Clove Road)

    Members of the U.S. Speed Skating Team, including Eric Flaim, will glide across the ice in a speed skating demonstration. After watching the experts, there will be an opportunity to learn about the origins of this Winter Olympic tradition. This event is free and open to everyone.

    Ice Dancing Performance

    Saturday, January 25, 2003, 3:00 – 7:45 p.m.

    Central Park, Manhattan (Lasker Rink, Central Park North at Lenox Avenue)


    Saturday, January 25, 2003, 11:45 a.m.

    Central Park, Manahattan (Wollman Rink, mid-park at 63rd Street

    Join the Ice Theatre of New York to see how professionals transform ice skating into dancing. This event is free and open to everyone.

    Learn about the Sport of Curling

    Saturday, February 1, 2003, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

    Prospect Park, Brooklyn (Kate Wollman Rink, East Drive between Lincoln Road and Parkside Avenue)

    Learn about one of the most unique sports of the Olympic Winter Games by watching a professional curling demonstration in Prospect Park. After watching the athletes in action, on-lookers will be invited to try curling. This event is free and open to everyone.

    Storytelling and Ecocrafts

    Saturday, February 1, 2003, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

    Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx (bldg. 9 Community Room, Amalgamated Housing)

    Children of all ages are invited to this fun-filled afternoon of nature stories and craft-making related to the park’s own ecosystems. This event is free and open to everyone.


    "The only people who say worse things

    about politicians than reporters do are other politicians."

    Andy Rooney

    (b. January 15, 1919)


    Roy K. Davison is Citywide Services’ Employee of the Month for October. Roy joined Parks on May 11, 1987. He worked for many years as a CPW at the Arsenal until transferring to 5-Boro Operations in 1998. Currently Roy is an APSW working with the signs program. Roy helps make and distribute thousands of signs and nametags citywide. In the last two months especially, he has been pushed to the limit, preparing hundreds of plaques and awards for the retirees and the Best of Parks (BOP) awards. Due to a rainout, hundreds of BOP engravings had to be redone in a short time. Roy also helped design the very creative shapes for these new awards. He has helped recognize others and bring them joy, so we say thanks to Roy. He was nominated by Deputy Chief Dan Froehlich.

    Nicole M. Clare is Management’s Employee of the Month for October.

    A Brown graduate, Nicole joined Parks on July 6, 1999. She worked at Capital with Design where she served as a liaison to Operations, other agencies and the Art Commission. Nicole brought this experience to Revenue in February 2002 as a project manager. Nicole spearheads contracts in many areas including converting comfort stations to food services in Keltch Park, developing a new marina at Locust Point, and building a new concert venue on Randall’s Island and an amusement park on Shore Parkway. She uses her strong writing and organizational skills to push through new and imaginative revenue programs, and monitor our current vendors. For peg-ging away at her work. Nicole was nominated by AC Joanne Imohiosen and Director Ron Lieberman.

    Lloyd Witter is Manhattan’s Employee of the Month for October.

    Lloyd joined Parks on June 1, 1997 and currently works as a CPW in District 5 which includes Herald Square, Grand Army Plaza, Union Square Park and the Park Avenue Malls. Keeping parkland clean and green is no mean task in bustling mid-town, but Lloyd and his team have achieved 100% cleanliness and overall ratings so far in 2002. Lloyd takes good care of his parks and also of his equipment. He received a Safe Driver award at our recent Best of Parks ceremony, and was also Employee of the Month in January 1999. For five grand years, Lloyd was nominated by SPMO Monica Banis.

    Wayne Clark is Queens’ Employee of the Month for October.

    Wayne joined Parks on June 22, 1981 and currently works as a Climber and Pruner. A certified Arborist, Wayne helps inspect the work of forestry contractors, dispatches work crews, and maintains forestry’s equipment. Wayne has been active in efforts to control the spread of the Asian Long Horned Beetle, and he and his crew were very busy in last month’s wind storm, removing trees from homes and parkland. Wayne has made a tree-mendous contribution to Queens effort to maintain that borough’s street trees. He was nominated by PRM Joe Bonkowski.

    Frederic C. Asbrock is Staten Island’s Employee of the Month for October. Frederic began with Parks on January 3, 1984 and is a sheet metal worker with Staten Island trades. Metal is everywhere and so is Frederic. He makes a wide variety of repairs including fixing leaking roofs and HVAC equipment, repairing fencing, and tackling ratings related issues. Frederic is also helping resolve shops backlogs in Manhattan and Brooklyn as well, and he has performed extensive bubbler repairs to ensure that all our drinking fountains are now working. For his skill, contribution and mettle, Frederic was nominated by SOM Steven Yanolatos.


    Staten Island Parkies celebrated Halloween in style last Thursday, dressing up in a variety of clever, and sometimes scary, costumes. Borough Commissioner Paulo dressed as a vampire, complete with bloody lips and fangs good for biting. Cromwell Recreation Center Manager Tony Arcomone and Outreach Coordinator Frank Filatro dressed as women, wearing wigs and carrying accessories. Other costumes included the headless horseman, Abraham Lincoln, and a werewolf. This Halloween, Staten Islanders proved that they know how to have fun.


    (Monday, November 13, 1989)


    Beast of prey prowled nearby as a battery of Parkies treked through new and strange terrain.

    The group had come to explore a jungle-theme miniature golf course at La Tourette Park- one of three concessions to grace Staten Island parks. The other concessions include a boathouse-café in Clove Lakes Park, and Toto’s South Shore Country Club, an elegant Continental restaurant fronting South Shore Golf Course.


    "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers

    (November 4, 1879–1935)

    <![CDATA[CONGRATULATIONS EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH]]> dailyplant13742 The Daily Plant congratulates them on a job well done.

    Felix B. LoIacono is Manhattan’s Employee of the Month for March. Felix graduated from Michigan State and joined Parks in 2000. He works as a Gardener for Riverside Park and Riverside South. Felix has assisted in special projects such as the 5x5 Clean-up along the Henry Hudson Parkway. Felix attended the New York State Turf-Grass Association Conference this fall and is working to revitalize District 14 fields, including the 72nd Street Ballfield. Last winter, Felix also passed the DEC Pesticide exam. A gardener who never shies from picking up litter and cleaning the areas he works, Felix is a hard working and valuable addition to Parks. He was nominated by Riverside Park Administrator KC Sahl and SPMO Jeff Speich.

    Joan Herrera is Queens’ Employee of the Month for March. Joan joined Parks in 1999 as a Summer City Seasonal Aide, and then spent a winter with Teens at Parks. In January of 2001, she became a Playground Associate at the ARROW Community Center in Queens. Joan was instrumental in coordinating last November’s transition of the facility from a center run by a community based organization to in-house run Parks recreation center. One of two on-site Parks staff, Joan worked with Telecommunications, Shops, MIS, and Recreation to maintain high levels of center service during the move. Joan takes on varied responsibilities at the center including outreach, administrative duties, maintenance and programming. Married to a Parkie - Bronx PACT Coordinator Rene Herrera – Joan has made a substantial contribution to Queens recreation. She was nominated by Chief of Recreation Laura Gili.

    Michael Schmiedel is Staten Island’s Employee of the Month for March. Mike joined Parks in 1981 and currently works as a SPMO in District 1 which includes Clove Lakes Park and Silver Lake Park. Under Michael’s supervision, District 1 has become the most improved district in the borough, with exceptional ratings of 98.4% overall condition and 99.2% cleanliness. Mike helped develop Staten Island’s "Park in the Spotlight" program in which borough forces focus on improving and transforming specified park sites. Michael works well with Parkies of all levels, holding himself and his staff to high expectations of professionalism and performance. A reliable and conscientious leader, Mike was nominated by PRM Gary Zerilli.

    Jill B. Weber is the Commissioner’s Employee of the Month for March. Jill joined Parks in 1980 as an analyst with the Deputy Commissioner for Operations. Shortly thereafter, Jill joined the Horticultural Intern Program at the newly formed Central Park Conservancy (CPC). She would go on to serve in many roles including CPC’s Assistant Director of Horticulture and Volunteers, Horticulturist and Director of Volunteers for Riverside Park, Supervisor of the Bronx Greenhouse, and then PRM. In 1993, Jill helped start the innovative Parks Career Training Program (PACT) and she serves as its director. PACT has placed nearly 2,000 Public Assistance participants in permanent jobs, most in the private sector. A committed, skilled and capable Parkie who is leading one of our most important initiatives, Jill was nominated by Deputy Commissioner Robert Garafola.


    (Tuesday, April 18, 1989)


    Deputy Commissioner for Management Robert L. Garafola recently announced the following promotion:

    Alexander Brash has been appointed Director of Management Planning & Analysis (MPA). Brash joined Parks in 1987 as supervisor of the Policy and Planning Unit and has served as Deputy Director of MPA sine August 1988. MPA reviews the management and performance of other divisions in the agency, serves as an in-house management consultant, and helps plan the allocation of Parks resources.

    Before joining Parks, Brash served as an executive assistant at the World Wildlife Fund. He received a B.A. in Zoology from Connecticut College in 1981 and a M.F.S. in Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale University in 1985. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. in Ecology at Rutgers University.


    "A frenzied passion for art is a canker that devours everything else."

    Charles Baudelaire

    (April 9, 1821–1867),





    <![CDATA[OMP TAKES LARGE STEPS ON THE INTRANET]]> dailyplant13371 At Parks there is one division that sits separate from the rest of the agency. Operations, Management and Planning (OMP) is Parks’ non-biased performance measurement division and they annually conduct approximately 4900 inspections of Parks property. These inspections are designed to hold field supervisors responsible for their property’s wellbeing and to safeguard against future neglect. The Parks Inspection Program (PIP) has played a central role in the dramatic improvement in park conditions since the early 1990s and has served as a model for park inspection programs nationwide.

    Recently, OMP has brought many of the statistics from the PIP to the Intranet for all Parkies to utilize. Multiple new features will allow supervisors to keep track of their property ratings over the last 6 inspections periods. In cooperation with Parklands, and through the use of a modified parkland search, Parkies can access OMP’s inspections records, including overall cleanliness ratings and a list of unacceptable features.

    In addition to keeping a report card of inspections over the past few years, OMP has also provided Parks with a three year photo archive of their inspection sites. These photographs are taken onsite by the inspectors to highlight the positive features, and in some cases, the negative features, giving clear examples of what needs to be improved.

    In the course of the next year, OMP (with the help of Kevin Terhune at MIS) hopes to provide links from inspection reports to the photographs taken at that inspection site. There are also plans to augment the search engine with a record of recent capital spending at each property. By utilizing the advancing technology, Parks and OMP will be able to keep up the great improvements that have occurred over the last decade, and make even larger strides forward in the future. With all of these great changes, OMP’s section of the Parks Intranet is certainly worth some exploration.

    By Jeffrey Sandgrund


    On Friday, March 8, Commissioner Benepe joined the Board of Education and Take the Field, a not-for-profit organization that creates ball fields, to announce the transformation of P.S. 161's asphalt field into a $2 million state-of-the-art athletic complex, complete with a lush artificial turf field and running track. This new field, located at 134th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, will give the children of P.S. 161 and members of the community a new opportunity to sharpen their soccer, track & field, baseball, and softball skills, without scrapping elbows or knees. Congressman Rangel contributed $500,000 and Borough President Fields allocated $450,000 for the project. The revitalization of this field is part of Parks' "Green Acres" program, an initiative to install artificial turf across the city. Artificial turf is a great grass alternative because it is more durable and it does not need to be watered.


    (Tuesday, March 21, 1989)


    At 10:28 A.M. on Monday, March 20, the sun crossed the celestial equator from south to north; eggs stood on end; and dozens of Staten Island preschoolers paraded behind the "Sun King" in a celebration of the vernal equinox, better known as the coming of spring.

    Draped in a flowing green robe and carrying a "Louis XIV" sun staff. Commissioner Stern led a parade led a parade of spring in front of the Staten Island Parks headquarters in Clove Lakes Park (newly renamed Stonehenge), followed by children, community residents, and the Susan Wagner High School marching band, which played Vivaldi’s "Spring" from The Four Seasons.


    "I hope it is true that a man can die
    and yet not only live in others but give them life,
    and not only life but that great consciousness of life."

    Jack Kerouac

    (March 12, 1922-1969)

    <![CDATA[STAR EMPLOYEES OF DECEMBER 2001]]> dailyplant11779

    John S. (Johann) Bachman is Bronx’s Employee of the Month for December. Johann joined Parks on May 11, 1981 and currently works as the Bronx Deputy Chief of Operations. Johann oversees Shops, Borough Crews, Night Security, Storehouses, Purchasing, and is the Dean of Discipline. Johann has focused on improving the Bronx Shops and ensuring that work orders are quickly filled. Currently, the Bronx has no incomplete work orders older than 30 days, and the shop is meeting other goals for their work orders as well. Johann has helped the Bronx achieve substantial improvements in overall condition ratings in the last 8 years. A long time contributor to the Bronx, Johann is organized and dedicated. He was nominated by Zorro.

    Michael H. (Satellite) Dockett is Brooklyn’s Employee of the Month for December. Satellite joined Parks on June 17, 1985 and is currently Brooklyn’s Chief of Recreation. Previously, Satellite served as Director of Rangers for the Bronx and Director of Central Communications. Satellite oversees Brooklyn’s 7 recreation centers, including Brownsville and Met Pool, which serve nearly 50,000 New Yorkers monthly. Under his leadership, programming has expanded and reporting systems have been implemented. Satellite has also led a restoration of Sunset Park and St. John’s recreation centers. A Davis Award winner in 1994, Satellite has risen through the ranks and is a senior and important contributor to Parks’ management team. He was nominated by Mirror.

    Bradley S. (Straight) Romaker is Capital Projects’ Employee of the Month for December. Straight joined Parks on December 8, 1999 and currently works as an Assistant Landscape Architect in Requirements Contracts at Capital. Straight is responsible for over half of Requirements’ nearly 250 Greenstreet projects. He works with contractors from start to finish, designing sites, choosing plant material, and assisting on site to ensure that projects are completed successfully. Straight also lent his talents to recent projects such as the Great Kills Veteran’s Memorial in Staten Island, which had its ribbon cutting December 2, and the Avenue T Greentstreet in Brooklyn, which had its ribbon cutting December 4. For greening our Emerald Empire, Straight was nominated by Atlanta.

    Ron (Supervisor) Weber is Citywide Services’ Employee of the Month for December. Ron joined Parks on October 14, 1986 and currently works as the Supervisor of Vehicle Acquisitions at 5-Boro. Supervisor has helped us expand equipment acquisitions program from $1.5 million in FY97 to $5.5 million today, enabling us to update equipment specifications for more than 40 types of vehicles and replace substantial portions of the fleet, including 60% of packers. Supervisor has also played a key role in our six-year effort to lower citywide out of service rates from 15% to 5%. Parks’ most technically proficient expert on equipment, Supervisor is a long time asset at 5-Boro. He was nominated by Kermit.

    Jeremy D. (Snowball) Peterson is Management’s Employee of the Month for December. Snowball began with Parks on June 21, 1999 as an analyst with OMP where he learned the Park Inspection Program (PIP), analyzed trends, and prepared first class reports. He moved to StarQuest’s office where he worked as an Assistant until he was promoted to Director of OMP in January, 2001. Snowball has played a lead role in establishing a performance reporting system for citywide trades, while continuing to expand our inspection program. Snowball has also helped launch the revamped ParkStat+ program. Hardworking and smart, Snowball has assumed, in a short time, one of Parks’ most critical positions. He was nominated by Iceman.

    Warrie (WhirlyBird) Price is Manhattan’s Employee of the Month for December. In 1994 WhirlyBird founded the Conservancy for Historic Battery Park and since then she has served as its President. She was appointed Administrator of Battery Park and Director of Harbor Park in 1995 by StarQuest. WhirlyBird is working to implement a $55 million plan to rebuild Manhattan’s historic Battery Park, including the grounds of the park and the Castle Clinton Monument. In Battery Park she is overseeing a $5.6 million capital project to restore the park’s waterfront and seawall, and in Harbor Park she is administering $4.6 million in New York State funds to build a visitor center at Pier A. WhirlyBird’s dedication to preserving and improving our historic downtown green spaces is more important now than ever. For her outstanding contributions, WhirlyBird was nominated by A-Train.

    Ernestine J. (Lizard) Ward is Queens’ Employee of the Month for December. Lizard joined Parks on August 17, 1998 and works as an outreach coordinator for Partnerships for Parks. In her role as such, Lizard educates and mobilizes neighborhood groups around their local parks, and organizes and facilitates community meetings. She recently helped the Friends of Rufus King Park gain a grant to run a community vision planning program. Lizard has also worked to form coalitions for Haggerty Park, the Hollis LIRR Station Greenstreet, and Brookville Park. For her hard work to promote and expand support of Queens Parks, Lizard was nominated by Donegal.

    Mark H. (Pythons) Schulz is Staten Island’s Employee of the Month for December. Pythons joined Parks on January 17, 1983 and currently works as a SPMO in District 1, which includes Clove Lakes Park and Westerleigh Park. Pythons oversee general maintenance and ratable features for the district which has achieved 98.3% Cleanliness and 96.6% Overall Condition ratings in 2001. He takes the time to make sure jobs are completed correctly, and is hardworking and flexible. For his contributions to Staten Island, Pythons was nominated by Gary (Meteor) Zerilli.

    David L. (StarkEast) Stark is the Commissioner’s Employee of the Month for December. StarkEast began with Parks on March 24, 1986 in the Permit Office. He is now Parks Comptroller, overseeing a wide variety of critical functions including Budget, Labor Relations, Personnel, MIS, Training, Engineering Audit, Purchasing, and more. StarkEast has played a critical role in Parks’ major initiatives including workfare, managed competition, broad-banding of titles, and personnel re-organization. Whether fighting for our budget, answering audits, calming tensions, or weaving through the bureaucratic process, StarkEast’s is one of the most ubiquitous, successful, and well-liked Parkies

    Read more about the Parks Employee Awards Program.

    By Keith T. (Kermit) Kerman and Sarah (Cria) Coleman

    (Wednesday, December 21, 1988)


    Nineteen eighty-eight proved another busy year for Operations. The "5x5" and "1x1" projects gave facelifts to hundreds of parks and playgrounds. Steps were taken to fight illegal dumpers, more American flags were hoisted on parkland, ballfields were restored, and a new style of play equipment was introduced for children.


    Buoyantly we go

    Like the wind,

    Tasting water.




    <![CDATA[CLOVE LAKES PARK: A BABY AT EIGHTY]]> dailyplant11630 In 80 years, Clove Lakes Park has acquired a skating rink and ballfields, and assumed the position of headquarters for the Staten Island Parks Department. At 80 years and 198 acres, Clove Lakes is an accomplished park.

    But 80 is youthful compared to 300, the age of the park’s old tulip tree. And even that tree, the oldest on Staten Island, is young next to the local geography formed 20,000 years ago when a glacier deepened Clove Valley. 500 million years ago, heat and pressure altered rocks rich in magnesium and iron, and the serpentine rocks that are the spine of the island were formed. A birthday party on Sunday, December 2 celebrated the relatively youthful Clove Lakes Park and the ancient land on which it stands.

    Clove Lakes Park might have been formed in 1897 when Frederick Law Olmsted, a co-designer of Central Park, advocated for the creation of public parkland there. But his recommendation was not heeded until 1921 when the City acquired the area. Since then, Clove Lakes Park has served its community as a meeting place, a slice of nature, and a sports arena, and it has served Parks as an administrative headquarters for the borough.

    Young people at the birthday party, the next generation of park stewards and advocates, performed a variety of birthday songs and released ten doves, symbols of peace, into the air.

    Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Thomas (Richmond) Paulo, Staten Island Borough Commissioner; and George (Watchdog) Caputo, Chair of Community Board 1, offered birthday greetings to the park.

    Read the original press release here.

    Read the historical sign for Clove Lakes Park.


    Another Parks birthday was celebrated Thursday, November 29. On that day, Parks’ first and only public library turned two. Commissioner Stern greeted guests at a birthday bash and called the library "an accomplished toddler."

    Since its creation in October 1999, the library has acquired and catalogued 2,142 items and its collection continues to grow. The stacks hold internal documents—annual reports that date back to 1901, the rules of Central Park from as early as 1890, and the minutes of Parks meetings since 1884. The shelves are crowded with books and videos about New York history and architecture, urban studies, and biology, as well as the private collection of Robert F. Wagner, Jr..

    Sara (Cedar Hill) Cedar Miller, Historian and Photographer for the Central Park Conservancy, offered a free lecture about Manhattan’s flagship park to Parkies and members of the public. Commissioner Stern noted, "As the library is above all a place for learning, I am pleased to mark its anniversary with a history lesson."

    The library is also the base of operations for the historical signs program, Parks’ initiative to write the natural and social history of parks and park features. Within the library’s walls, more than 2,000 signs have been drafted under the leadership of Kate (Chama) Clark, Librarian and Historical Signs Coordinator.

    Learn more about the Parks Library.


    Over the next six months, the 245 participants in Parks’ indoor swim program will hone their skills for the borough cup in May. On Sunday, December 2, they swam in their first meet of the year, at St. John’s Recreation Center in Brooklyn. It was the center’s first time hosting a meet in their 25-yard pool. John (Neptunis) Hutchins, Director of Citywide Aquatics organized the event and St. John’s Manager Karen Gripper hosted it. The meet was the first of three High Point meets to be held this year.


    (Thursday, December 15, 1988)


    An opening reception sponsored by Parks and The Toy Center was held Tuesday night for the seventh annual Arsenal Gallery exhibition, "The Wreath: Interpretations." The exhibit explores the traditional holiday decoration as a ceremonial symbol, object of beauty and abstract form of art.


    "Sweet is every sound,
    Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;
    myriads of rivulets hurrying through the lawn,
    The moan of doves in immemorial elms
    And murmuring of innumerable bees."

    Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

    <![CDATA[A GREENSTREET BLOOMS IN MIDDLE VILLAGE, QUEENS]]> dailyplant11051 In 1994, Parks pioneered a new way of looking at the streetscape. Concrete medians, once eyesores, took on new meaning. The way Michelangelo discerned form in a lump of a marble, Parks’ foresters saw gardens hidden in traffic triangles. In every borough, they mapped and planted greenstreets. Today more than 1,700 miniature gardens bloom. Collaboration enables the Greenstreets program to exist. The Department of Transportation allows Parks to plant on their properties, and park supporters make good on their advocacy by committing to care for greenstreets on a daily basis. This season, the Juniper Park Civic Association adopted a greenstreet at the corner of 58th Avenue and 82nd Street in Queens. They are one of more than 200 community organizations that have adopted greenstreets throughout the city. Parks, in turn, maintains sites weekly.

    Designer Brad (Straight) Romaker enlivened the site’s 700 square feet with plants that accent neighborhood gardens. He added day lilies and flowering shrubs as well as a weeping cherry tree, blue hydrangea, sedum, and juniper. The design was celebrated at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, October 12, 2001 at which Richard (Ricardo) Murphy, Queens Borough Commissioner; Robert Holden, President of the Juniper Valley Park Civic Association & Vice Chair of Community Board 5; and Bram (Dogwood) Gunther, Deputy Director of Central Forestry addressed guests. One featured audience member was neighborhood resident, Carl Berner. Berner, three weeks shy of 100 years old, was a founding member of the Juniper Park Civic Association and a legendary neighbor, who even now, can be found on his friends’, adding shingles and plugging leaks.

    One hundred years ago, goat herders brought their animals to the site that is now a greenstreet. Accordingly, the land was assigned the nickname, Nanny Goat Hill. In time, the Goat Hill was paved and became a busy intersection in Middle Village. Greenstreets has restored plantlife to the goat hill. If any animals pass through today, they’ll be pleasantly surprised.


    Some people sleep in late. They visit the beach. They eat out. For her summer vacation, Anna (Glen Ridge) Carey walked 500 miles from France to Spain along a route paved by 11th century Catholics. She then co-managed a shelter for other travelers along the Camino, or the Way of St. James. The Camino originated as a Catholic pilgrimage to the holy site of Santiago de Compostella in Spain. Carey became interested in the pilgrimage while studying abroad in Spain during college. In the summer of 2000, she walked the first 500 miles of the Way of St. James. This summer, she completed the journey, walking every day for one month from Le Puy, France to Roncesvalles, Spain. Along the paths are hundreds of shelters. This summer, Carey ran an 88-bed shelter with a partner. An avid walker (she circumnavigated Manhattan island last spring), and becoming more so all the time, Carey plans to walk another 500-mile route next summer.


    For Parkies who wish to make changes to their health benefits plan, now is the time. Until November 15, employees may transfer into any health plan for which they are eligible, or add or drop the Optional Rider coverage, or add or drop dependents in their present plan. For information, consult the 2001 Summary Program Description Booklet or visit Please send completed forms to the Benefits Office on the Eighth Floor of Arsenal West. In the Arsenal, Hedi (Headlight) Piel has information and additional booklets. She can be reached at (212) 360-3442.



    (Monday, October 17, 1988)



    Good things came in twos on Staten Island last Friday, as community residents enjoyed a day of double Parks doings the ground breaking for the $1.5 million reconstruction of Silver Lake Tennis House at Silver Lake Park, and the dedication of new maintenance equipment at Clove Lakes Park.

    Commissioner Henry J. Stern joined Staten Island Borough President Ralph J. Lamberti and Staten Island Parks Commissioner Joseph M. Curran, parkies and members of the local, 75-piece I.S. 61 band, which played tunes from "The Star Spangled Banner" to "The Second Connecticut March" to Whitney Houston’s "How Will I Know."


    "I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease,

    but the doctrine of the strenuous life."

    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

    <![CDATA[KIDS HOLD THEIR HEADS HIGH IN WILLETS POINT PLAYGROUND]]> dailyplant10444 New York City's tallest security guards are two giraffes that flank the entrance to the reconstructed Willets Point Park in Whitestone, Queens. Having welcomed guests at a ribbon cutting there Tuesday, July 24 "on behalf of the giraffes and Mayor Giuliani", Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern described the recent changes made to the playground. These include the addition of play equipment, safety surfacing, swings, an overhead spray shower, and painted games. The wall of the handball court has been reconstructed and the basketball court resurfaced with color seal coating. A drinking fountain and benches have also been added. The paving and fencing are rehabilitated and new asphalt is laid down on the multi-use yard.

    There are several people to thank for the improvements to Willets Point Park: Council Member Michael J. (Wild Turkey) Abel provided $1 million for the work. That enabled Project Manager Bob Cook and Miceli, Kulik, and Williams and Associates to create a design. Vicki Lombardi worked with Quigg Construction as they turned the design into real steel and concrete. Eric (Clouseau) Goetz will oversee the cleanliness and safety of the park on a daily basis.

    Often, a physical change to a park spurs neighborhood residents to take even better care of it. The ribbon cutting was held to celebrate improvements already made in Willets Point Playground and to herald a new era of respect for the park. The event included remarks by Council Member Abel; Commissioner Stern; Eugene Kelty, Chair of Community Board 7; Richard (Ricardo) Murphy, Queens Borough Commissioner; and Marilyn (Allergy) Bitterman, District Manager for Community Board 7, and the unveiling of an historical sign.


    On Thursday, July 12, Governor George E. (Hudson) Pataki announced $477,000 for projects that promote community participation and educate about New York's natural resources. Van Cortlandt Park's northeast forest is one of six natural areas that will benefit from the funds. Congratulations to everyone at the Van Cortlandt Park Administrator's office who helped leverage these funds, and good luck to all those who will implement them.

    By Brenna (Tuscany) Sevano


    Last month, Staten Island Electrician Fred Renschler saved a palm-sized turtle from an aerator in Clove Lakes Park. Yesterday, he saved a 12-inch snapper. Driving down Martlin Avenue, Renschler caught sight of a short, squat turtle dodging traffic. Reportedly without hesitation, he stopped his vehicle, donned gloves, and brought the turtle from the roadbed to Martlin Pond in Clove Lakes Park. He recommended that all readers of The Daily Plant "be kind to turtles. It might seem like a small thing, but someone's got to save them." And Renschler, for one, has found his calling.

    (Thursday, July 28, 1988)


    New York City is preparing to create a residential community along a two-mile stretch of beachfront property in the Rockaways in Queens, and Parks is working closely with the Department of Housing Preservation & Development and the Department of City Planning to create parks as part of the development.

    The initiative to develop what is known as the Arverne Urban Renewal Area (AURA), extending from Beach 32nd to Beach 73rd Streets, is being carried out in two stages. The first stage of the project, a Request for Expressions of Interest asked developers to submit preliminary conceptual designs, and has just been completed. Nine developers responded with proposals.


    "The giraffe, in their queer, inimitable,
    vegetative gracefulness, as if it were not a herd of animals
    but a family of rare, long-stemmed speckled
    gigantic flowers slowly advancing."

    Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen] (1885-1962)

    <![CDATA[NINE PARKIES NAMED EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH]]> dailyplant10113 Bernard (Roundup) Murchison is Bronx's Employee of the Month for June. Roundup joined Parks on July 1, 1997, as a City Seasonal Aide, became a full time CPW on April 2, 2000 and currently works in District 1, which includes St. Mary's Park. Roundup's tasks range from mowing and weed-wacking to general repair and maintenance. His skill and willingness to tackle all projects, big and small, have earned him the respect of his supervisors and co-workers, and helped the District achieve ratings of 87% overall and 91% for cleanliness so far in 2001. Enthusiastic and dedicated, Roundup was nominated by Rico.

    Kathleen M. (Rugosa) Rosa is Brooklyn's Employee of the Month for June. Rugosa joined Parks on July 1, 1981 as a PSW and then moved up to CPW. After receiving seasonal promotions to Gardener from 1988-1999, Rugosa became a full time Gardener in 1999. Rugosa cares for over 25 decorative annual and perennial beds throughout Brooklyn. She is also currently responsible for the planting beds at the Brooklyn Promenade and Brooklyn Borough Hall. In addition, Rugosa participates in the citywide Horticulture Training Program, and plays an active role in coordinating the Partnerships "Green-Up Day". For her hard work and green thumb, Rugosa was nominated by Liberty.

    Jeremiah (Aggie) Young is Capital Projects' Employee of the Month for June. Aggie joined Parks on April 11, 1994 as a Construction Project Manager for Manhattan, and currently works in Landscape Construction. Aggie has distinguished himself as an individual with superior knowledge of all facets of the construction process, from administrative to operational. His recent projects include overseeing the landscaping at the Battery Park Promenade in Manhattan, Powell's Cove in Queens and Paddy's Field in the Bronx. Aggie meets each challenge with enthusiasm and diligence. For his contribution to Capital, Aggie was nominated by Verdante.

    George F. (Poolman) Taylor is Citywide Services' Employee of the Month for June. Poolman joined Parks on January 22, 1974 as a plumber's helper, and is now a plumber at 5-Boro Technical Services. Poolman plays a critical role in the upkeep and maintenance of all eight pools in Staten Island, including one Olympic, three intermediate and four mini pools, and four additional pools in South Brooklyn. This past week, Poolman was cool under pressure, addressing last minute problems at West Brighton, Lyons, and Red Hook pools. When not working on pools, Poolman often takes on tough challenges including recent emergency work to the City Hall Park fountain. Thorough and hard working, Poolman is a longtime contributor to 5-Boro, and was nominated by Tigress.

    Anthony D. (Macaroni) Macari is Management's Employee of the Month for June. Macaroni joined Parks on May 22, 2000 and works in a new role for Parks, Architect at Revenue. Macaroni reviews designs, and coordinates and monitors capital work for new or renewed Parks concessions. Macaroni is involved with projects totaling more than $100 million in improvements to the City's parks. He is involved in capital efforts at various high profile Parks sites such as Tavern on the Green, Boathouse Restaurant, Ferry Point Golf Course, Prospect Park Tennis Clubhouse, Van Cortlandt stables and Pier 36 Recreation Center. A skilled and effective new employee at Revenue, Macaroni was nominated by Greenback and Lifeguard.

    Marechal (Meadowsweet) Brown is Manhattan's Employee of the Month for June. Meadowsweet joined Parks on March 15, 1999 and currently works as a Gardener in Morningside Park. Meadowsweet cares for Morningside's 30 acres and undertakes major horticulture projects such as the restoration of the Kiehl Arboretum. Meadowsweet has worked to attain additional resources for the Park. She organizes various volunteer initiatives, and has pursued outside funding through grant preparation. For her enthusiasm and success at Morningside, Meadowsweet was nominated by Borokeete.

    Fernando M. (Fall Guy) Argo is Queens' Employee of the Month for June. Fall Guy began at Parks on June 7, 1977 and currently works as a Climber and Pruner in Queens Forestry. Fall Guy inspects and maintains trees throughout Queens, responds to constituent requests, and helps with other projects including recent aerial repairs to the Flushing Meadow Unisphere. Fall Guy is also helping to monitor Queens' annual $1.1 million street tree pruning contract for over 15,000 trees every year. Fall Guy is a friend to our trees and an asset to Queens. For many years of service, Fall Guy was nominated by Timber Wolf.

    Dominick S. (Whitetail) Trimarco is Staten Island's Employee of the Month for June. Whitetail joined Parks on April 17, 1989 and is currently a maintenance worker in District 1, which includes Clove Lakes Park and Silver Lake Park. Whitetail works on general repairs that range from masonry to plumbing, and focuses on ratings related matter such as trip hazards, and signs. His hard work and skill have helped District 1 achieve 95.2% overall condition ratings so far in 2001. Hard working and conscientious, Whitetail was also Employee of the Month in September of 1996 as a City Park Worker. He was nominated by Meteor.

    Sara B. (Whisperer) Hobel is Commissioner's Employee of the Month for June. Whisperer began with Parks on June 1, 1999 and is the Director of the Urban Park Rangers. Whisperer first came to Parks as a volunteer with the Mounted Auxiliary unit. In 1999, she was hired to replace Dogwood and direct the Rangers. Since then, she has overseen the Rangers' initiative to become more active in patrolling parkland and enforcing park rules. In addition, Whisperer has initiated a relationship with National Geographic, which has donated over $200,000 in grants to the Rangers to date. She has also helped to formalize the Rangers' role in environmental education with the Board of Education and has successfully organized Parks events, including the recent Biodiversity Day and Mongolian Festival. Smart and committed, Whisperer is a great asset to Parks. She was nominated by Kirkwood.

    Prepared by Keith T. (Kermit) Kerman and Sarah (Cria) Coleman

    (Tuesday, July 5, 1988)


    Parks opened seven new sites where New Yorkers can launch canoes and kayaks around the city on Sunday. And to celebrate the occasion, a dozen amateur boat builders constructed "homemade" crafts of their own for a race on the chilly waters of the Hudson River. The crafts were built during the second annual "Instant Boar Contest" Saturday at the 79th Street Boat Basin in Riverside Park held by the Boat Owners Association to Survive (BOATS) to inaugurate Parks' first-ever boat launches.


    On success: "Biting off more than you can chew and then chewing it."

    J. G. Pollard

    <![CDATA[FIFTEEN MINUTES (AT LEAST) OF FAME FOR "DAMON THE CAIMAN"]]> dailyplant10043 It was the talk of the town: a big toothed, scaly skinned alligator on the loose in Central Park. For one week, a gator-crazed city watched anxiously to see what would happen to the reptile in the park. The mayhem began Saturday, June 16, when an off duty police officer and his two children spotted the displaced creature in the Harlem Meer.

    One week after the initial sighting, Mike and Tina Bailey, "alligator wrestlers" from Florida, traveled to New York to rescue the reptile. On the night of Thursday, June 21 at 9:20 p.m., the couple began their search. Reporters, cameramen, and Parkies held their breaths. Within the hour, Mike Bailey had spotted the speckled caiman offshore. Effortlessly, Tina lifted the two-foot creature out of the water and handed him to Mike, who properly identified it as a caiman, a species of crocodile unheard of in Central Park, but common to Central and South American wetlands. Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern did his part, naming the animal formerly known as an alligator, "Damon the Caiman".

    The caiman was transported to the Central Park Zoo where it was evaluated and taken into custody by the Wildlife Conservation Society. After Damon's day in the spotlight, he will enjoy peace and quiet away from an inquisitive pubic.

    The Urban Park Rangers, the Central Park Conservancy, and the Wildlife Conservation Society were helpful-at all hours of the day and night-in finding a safe home for Damon.

    By Brenna (Tuscany) Sevano


    Just as a baby gator was skimming the surface of the Harlem Meer, a small turtle, the size of a grown man's hand, was trapped between two pipes in Clove Lake in Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island. Three Parkies, James McMahon, Stanley (Chainlink) Rapp, and Fred Renschler, spotted its shell first Friday, June 15. The turtle was drifting through the lake's aerator, which they had come to fix. When the turtle saw the Parkies, it disappeared from view. The next Monday, Fred Reschler opened the lid to the aerator's vault and the turtle was belly up, stuck.

    Stanley Rappy reports that his colleague immediately stepped three feet into the aerator. He supported himself on a pipe and reached toward the turtle. The vault, which screens debris and mud, was slick with algae and smelled "like a dead fish market." It had yet to be cleaned with a "mud sucker pump," but Fred paid the odor no mind. He took the turtle in his palm, climbed out of the vault, and led the animal toward the water. Stanley describes the scene: "as he was getting closer to the lake, you could almost see the turtle duck its head down toward the water." Fred opened his hand, and watched the turtle shell disappear under the surface. Stanley commented, "I'm sure there are turtles that die everyday, but for us, this was something great." Congratulations, Fred, and thank-you for your heroics. Just goes to show-New Yorkers can save reptiles too.

    (Tuesday, June 28, 1988)


    Sights and sounds from the Far East filled the Concert Grove in Prospect Park, Brooklyn a week ago Saturday, when a Festival of the Orient was held to celebrate the $1.3 million capital restoration of the Oriental Pavilion and the $1.6 million restoration of the nearby Lullwater Bridge.

    The pavilion, built in 1874 and destroyed by fire a century later, was perfectly dressed for the occasion. Colorful Oriental banners and Japanese carp decorations hung from the filigreed steel roof, which is supported by eight olive, blue, pink and orange castiron posts modeled aftere medieval Hindu columns.


    "Leave a log in the water as long as you like: it will never be a crocodile."

    Guinean proverb

    "How doth the little crocodile
    Improve his shining tail,
    And pour the waters of the Nile
    On every golden scale!

    How cheerfully he seems to grin,
    How neatly spreads his claws,
    And welcomes little fishes in
    With gently smiling jaws!"

    Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

    <![CDATA[PLAYGROUND FOR ALL CHILDREN RENEWED]]> dailyplant9208 In 1974, the City of New York set aside $100,000 from its first Federal Community Development Block Grant to design a playground for disabled children. It was to be the first playground in the nation designed for use by both disabled and able-bodied children. Parks and the Department of City Planning sponsored a design competition to search the ranks of architects for an inventive solution to the unique design problems posed by a "playground for all children."

    Architects Hisham Nasrat Ashkouri and James Charnisky won the competition for a playground to be located in the southwest of Flushing Meadows Corona Park at 111th Street and Corona Avenue in Queens. Construction on their design began in 1980. This year, Queens Borough President, Claire (Queens Bee) Shulman committed $2.9 million for the reconstruction of that playground to comply with updated safety and accessibility standards. Capital just named the design for that reconstruction Project of the Week.

    The scope of the reconstruction includes a seven foot ramped play unit, activity stations, slides, climbers, swings, exercise equipment at wheelchair height, a newly designed water play area with in-ground water sprays and a water curtain. The ground will be designed with decorative pavers, and three murals will brighten up the walls. A play village, with structures large enough for wheelchairs, will invite children to create imaginative simulations in its playhouse, firehouse, and school, its school buses and fire trucks. The playground will also feature a musical walkway engraved with a musical staff and notes. When children tap the musical play pieces they'll produce music. The tables there will be drums, the walls will chime, and a xylophone will run along the ground. The musical features of the park will be particularly helpful in orienting blind children to their surroundings. Swings with back supports will accommodate those children who cannot sit up, and a glider swing will accommodate wheelchairs.

    Project Manager Claire Dudley designed the reconstruction. Susan Coker completed the specifications and estimates, and Oliver (Twist) Corwin created the artwork. Chris (Snowcat) Crowley, Bill (Osprey) Gotthelf, and Bernadette Grullon assisted with the contract drawings. Construction of the redesign is expected to begin at the end of this summer.

    For more information check out the Capital Project of the month


    Staten Islanders celebrated Easter in Clove Lakes Park on April 7, 2001. Parks, the 123rd Precinct, and the Staten Island Savings Bank entertained over 1,000 guests at a festival that included egg hunts and a competitive egg roll, a live DJ, and special appearances by the Easter Bunny, Rugrats, and a few live animals. Parkies pitched in, passing out chocolate eggs, whipping up cotton candy, and shooting family photos. Volunteers from the 123rd precinct distributed hot dogs and painted the faces of park visitors. Thanks to the generous donations of local merchants, every youngster left the park with a souvenir in hand.

    (Monday, April 25, 1988)


    A gala dinner dance was held last Tuesday night at the Grand Ballroom of the Pierre Hotel for the 1988 recipients of the Parks Council Award, Mary Lasker and Lawrence Wein, who were honored for their outstanding philanthropic contributions.

    Established in 1926, the Parks Council is an association of New Yorkers dedicated to the protection, development, and enhancement of New York City's parks, open spaces and waterfront for the use and enjoyment of the public.


    "And the jocund rebecks sound
    To many a youth and many a maid,
    Dancing in the checkered shade.
    And young and old come forth to play
    On a sunshine holiday."

    John Milton (1608-1674)

    <![CDATA[CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NINE NEW EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH!]]> dailyplant8936 Brian (Oakman) Aucoin is Bronx's Employee of the Month for March. Oakman started at Parks on March 8, 1999. He currently works as a Bronx River Conservation Specialist, helping to restore the river and its banks to their natural splendor. The Bronx River Project is a 10-year, $60 million effort, and Oakman plays a key role out on the river everyday, reporting on its condition and identifying trouble spots. He coordinates restoration projects, river blockage removals, and public workshops, and supervises a crew of 5 Americorps volunteers. Oakman recently caught a perpetrator dumping debris on parkland. A dedicated new employee, Oakman was nominated by AquaTerra.

    Ethan (Grassroots) Weiss is Brooklyn's Employee of the Month for March. Grassroots, began with Parks on November 29, 1999, is a City Park Worker with the borough Greenstreets crew. Grassroots cleans and waters Greenstreet sites, and has also obtained a license for pre-emergent herbicide spraying. Grassroots is working with the pre-emergent spray program this spring, and participates in various borough 5x5s. Grassroots has a strong knowledge of horticulture and helps train co-workers in gardening issues. Enthusiastic and always striving to improve himself, Grassroots was nominated by Liberty.

    Ramesh (Minuteman) Singh is Capital Projects' Employee of the Month for March. Minuteman started with Parks on November 16, 1987 and is a surveyor. In this role, Minuteman has been instrumental in Parks' implementation and use of "Total Link", a state of the art surveying system that is linked to the Auto CAD drawing system. Total Link allows for efficient and quick transfer of survey information into maps that are used by Design. These maps help Capital design park fixtures so they do not interfere with pre-existing trees or natural conditions. Minuteman is also Capital's resident expert on waterfront surveying, and he recently completed surveys for the Harlem River Park extension and the Midland Beach Pier. Dependent and skillful, Minuteman was nominated by Polecat.

    Eileen (Clover) Egan is Citywide Services' Employee of the Month for March. Clover began at Parks on July 1, 1992 and currently works as an Energy Officer at 5-Boro. She developed a database to track Parks' gas and electricity meters. She works closely with Con Edison to ensure that all meters are read correctly, and that Parks does not overpay on energy costs. Clover has also worked on Technical Services' budget and personnel issues. In the last year, she has closely monitored Technical Services' overtime budget, helping to reduce and re-allocate expenditures in that area. Thorough and attentive, Clover was nominated by Tigress.

    Tarice (Mystique) Harris is Management's Employee of the Month for March. Mystique began at Parks on October 5, 1998 and currently works as Parks Benefits Coordinator. Mystique ensures that current employees and retirees understand and participate in all of their health and pension options. This winter, Mystique helped process over 100 applications for changes to health benefits, and coordinated the Early Retirement Incentive Program. Mystique also works with Headlight on Parks Blood Drives and the Combined Municipal Campaign. For her hard work and support of agency staff, Mystique was nominated by Scarlett.

    Allen (Dr. Playground) Hodge is Manhattan's Employee of the Month for March. Dr. Playground started with Parks on February 8, 1999 and is currently a Maintenance Worker in District 9 which includes Alexander Hamilton Square, Morningside Park and Convent Garden. Dr. Playground performs repairs to park fixtures and helps with clean-up efforts in these challenging and heavily used sites. Dr. Playground has the helped the district make a small improvement in overall ratings from 66% acceptable in 1999 to 69% overall in 2000. For his consistent effort and contribution to Manhattan, Dr. Playground was nominated by Sunflower.

    Angela (Pumpkin) Porter is Queens' Employee of the Month for March. Pumpkin started with Parks on February 18, 1996 and works as a clerical associate with Borough Personnel. Pumpkin coordinates pre-employment drug tests and also works closely with our Legal and Advocates offices to follow-up on claims against Parks. She has recently resolved a backlog of information requests, and has helped the office maintain smooth functioning despite staff changes. Flexible and reliable, Pumpkin was nominated by Ricardo.

    Mary Ellen (Squirrel) Burtner is Staten Island's Employee of the Month for March. Squirrel began with Parks on July 6, 1981, and is currently the SPMO for District 1 in Staten Island where she oversees the maintenance of 25 properties including Silver Lake Park and Clove Lakes Park. The overall ratings in 2000 for the district were 88% overall and 91% cleanliness. Squirrel has taken a leading role in the Greenstreets initiative, supervising maintenance and horticultural efforts, and working with volunteers. Disciplined and efficient, Squirrel was nominated for her efforts in Staten Island by Richmond.

    Neil (Camperdown) Calvanese is Commissioner's Employee of the Month for March. Camperdown began with Parks on June 15, 1981 as a seasonal Climber & Pruner, and is currently Chief of Operations for Central Park. Camperdown is one of the first employees to work with the Central Park Conservancy (CPC). Camperdown supervises 200 staff, 150 CPC staff and 50 Parks staff, and is the horticulture and tree expert for the park. He plans the gardening and lawn projects that beautify Central Park and help make it a model park. Camperdown coordinates major Central Park special events, and shows off his good work by conducting tours for visitors to Central Park. For his outstanding skill, performance and contribution, Camperdown was recommended by Brigadier.

    By Keith (Kermit) Kerman, Chief of Operations

    (Tuesday, April 12 1988)


    The Prospect Park Administrator will reopen the magnificent Memorial Arch to the public beginning on Saturday, April 16 from 11:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. The exhibition, "Remember My Face" will fill the dramatic interior of the Arch with portrait scultpures by Alison Saar, Norma Weeks, Gabriel Koren, Linda Peer, Richard Lewitz and R.D. Rice from April 16 to June 19, 1988. The Arch is staffed by Urban Park Rangers and Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) Officers, and is open free to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.


    "Ideas move rapidly when their time comes."

    Carolyn Heilbrun ]]> 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF PARKS ANNUAL AWARDS!]]> dailyplant8555 Christopher P. (Boswell Croswell) Osgood, Rookie of the Year: BC became a Parkie on July 15, 1999, and started as an assistant in StarQuest's office. BC brought calm and good cheer to the busy and hectic Octagonal Office. He attended and helped coordinate meetings and special events, and followed up on a myriad of citywide issues, large and small. He was also Keeper of the Nom. In December, 2000 BC was promoted to Chief of Staff, joining a distinguished group of NorthStar, Igor, Wellspring and Maverick. Currently, BC is a leader in our plans to install 2,001 Historical Signs citywide. He also helps plan major special events and monitor critical planning projects. Most importantly, BC is a liaison to all divisions at Parks, from legal to marketing, to operations and the Urban Park Service. BC is also Parks liaison to Cobra's office. He is always there to explain Parks needs, push initiatives, solve problems and develop staff. Hardworking, sharp and fun, BC is a great addition to the Parks family. BC lives in Manhattan.

    Fernando (Repoman) Garcia, Employee of the Year: Repoman began with Parks on May 1, 1975 at the age of 18. His first job was at Thomas Jefferson Park where he performed maintenance and light painting. Repoman later joined a technical services crew and got his Filter Plant Operator's (FPO) certificate. He took the APSW civil service test in 1983 and was promoted from the list in 1985 when he began his career at 5-Boro. Repoman began as a driver for the garage during which he earned his class A CDL license, tow truck endorsement, and burner's permit. Repoman was moved to the Vehicle Compound where he has inspected hundreds of new vehicles for compliance with specifications, and prepared and transported our veteran vehicles for their final journeys - to DCAS salvage at Brooklyn Navy Yard. In the compound, Repoman became an expert on operating all parts of our fleet from packers to container trucks to light towers and tow trucks. He has also not been in an accident in 5 years. In 2000, Repoman helped train hundreds of other drivers citywide as part of our equipment training initiative. He has recently moved to the 5-Boro Shop Floor as Supervisor of Garage Operations, where he has accepted the challenge of improving responsiveness, shop conditions, and vehicle out of service for our largest repair facility. No-nonsense and hard-working, Repoman is a career Parkie who has risen up the ranks, learning new skills, and helping to fuel the engine of Parks operations. He is a role model and terrific asset.

    Lee T. (General) Henry, Manager of the Year: General began with Parks on June 27, 1983 as a summer seasonal at Lost Battalion Hall, Queens. He started his full time Parks career as a Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officer at North Meadow in Central Park. After a tour writing summons and enforcing Park rules, General was promoted to Sergeant. He joined Parks Special Events in the Arsenal where he helped coordinate the NYC Marathon, Easter Eggstravaganza and the Pope's visit to Central Park. In February 1996, General was promoted again to Manhattan operations where he is the Parks Manager for Districts 9 and 10. These include Morningside, St. Nicholas, and Jackie Robinson Parks, as well as the Broadway Malls from 110th to 155th Streets and the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Malls from 110th to 152nd Streets. Under General's leadership, overall condition ratings for these sites have improved 60%, from the mid 40s to the high 70s. General has also expanded our Partnerships efforts. He organized with volunteers the Historic Harlem Concert Series in summer 1998, and has worked with the Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) to restore Jackie Robinson Park. He also works closely with Friends of Morningside Park. General is playing a lead role in expanding horticulture and landscape restoration in Manhattan. General also runs Manhattan's floodlight program, borough night security, and this summer will manage the pools. Well-respected inside and outside Parks, General is a capable, strong and cheerful Parks manager and leader.

    Kim (Gazelle) McNeal, Davis Award Winner: Gazelle began with Parks as a seasonal CPW in 1976 at Orchard Beach and Van Cortlandt Park. On April 18, 1983 she became a full time Urban Park Ranger. Gazelle left Parks on maternity leave in 1989 when she had her son Rashaad. Gazelle returned to us in 1991 joining Central Communications where she was promoted to supervisor. For four years, Gazelle helped keep us in touch, answering public inquiries and responding to Parks emergencies. In 1995, Gazelle changed paths and joined Bronx Recreation, helping to coordinate borough special events. She soon moved to St. Mary's Recreation Center, one of Parks largest centers, as a program director and was promoted to Deputy Center Manager. At St. Mary's, Gazelle established a new playschool program serving over 50 children, and expanded aerobics classes. She also revitalized the senior programming there, which is now serving over 40 new members daily, and helped St. Mary's achieve high scores on OMP's Recreation Scorecard. In June 2000, Gazelle took on a new challenge as Center Manager at St. James Center which has 800 active members. Gazelle supervises more than 13 staff and directs all aspects of recreation programming, maintenance and center development. Gazelle has distinguished herself as a strong and creative administrator. She began a partnership with Fordham students to expand services, and and has improved senior programs at St. James. Professional and friendly, Gazelle is a friend to young and old, and we are proud she is a Parkie.

    Karen (Atlanta) Mauney-Brodek, Commissioner's Award Winner: On June 8, 1998 Atlanta began as an Assistant to Wildcat, replacing Tigress who had moved to 5-Boro. She helped improve our construction project tracking systems and assisted with special projects. In August 1999, Atlanta assumed responsibility for our critical $18 million per year M&O requirements contracts program. Through requirements contracts, Parks performs needed repairs to park sites that we could not achieve with in-house forces. These repairs include thousands of benches, fences, sidewalks, and play equipment pieces. Requirements contracts are a major reason that overall park ratings have improved from the mid 30% range in 1994 to the high 80% range today. Atlanta has brought new organization, energy, communication, and innovation to this program started by Northside. Atlanta manages over 25 staff including construction supervisors and designers, and has helped complete over 300 projects citywide. She is playing a critical role in our goal of completing 2,001 Greenstreets by 2001, and is working to better incorporate maintenance concerns into technical capital designs. Most importantly, she is also ensuring that capital projects are completed on time. Talented, hardworking and smart, Atlanta has quickly assumed one of the key positions at Capital. Atlanta lives in Brooklyn.

    By Keith (Kermit) Kerman

    (Monday, February 22, 1988)


    Two Brooklyn men accused of shooting ducks with a slingshot were arrested in Clove Lakes Park on Wednesday, February 17, thanks to the valiant efforts of Staten Island Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) Officers Anthony Rios and Paul Schumann, and Park Supervisor (PS) Robert Reeves.


    "The greatest analgesic, soporific, stimulant, tranquilizer, narcotic, and to some extent even antibiotic-in short the closest thing to a genuine panacea-known to medical science is work."

    Thomas Szasz (b. 1920) ]]> 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00 <![CDATA[LAST DAY OF Y2K’s A SNOW DAY]]> dailyplant8302 The snow began to fall Saturday morning, December 30, and when Parkies from Recreation awoke Sunday December 31, it was to a city full of snow and a phone call asking them to staff a snow day in their local park. In all five boroughs, teams assembled to offer families a program of winter fun in some of the best places to spend a snowy afternoon. Crotona Park, Prospect Park, Central Park, Forest Park and Clove Lakes Park hosted parents and kids from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. As partygoers around the city geared up to celebrate the final night of 2000, families enjoyed the last day of the New Year sweeping down snowy slopes and sipping hot chocolate to a background of wintertime tunes. Thanks to the Parkies who rallied in the eleventh hour, and welcomed families to the parks. Chiefs report a total of 1,000 visitors.

    Snow days have been a Recreation tradition since at least 1996. Parks organizes sledding and snowman-making contests, distributes prize ribbons, Parks visors, hot chocolate, and music. Occasionally PEP officers attend, introducing themselves and their horses to the kids.

    This year, Bronx Parkies shot free Polaroids of visiting kids and their families. Chief of Bronx Operations Dorothy (Polka) Lewandowski tested the safety of Crotona's slopes the fun way: by sledding down it. Brooklyn Recreation measured attendance at the snow day in cups of hot chocolate. In all, they served 800.

    Thanks to the Parkies who provided a memorable way for families to spend their last day of the year: Chief of Bronx Recreation Iris (Almond Joy) Rodriguez-Rosa, St. James Center Manager Kim (Gazelle) McNiel, Recreation Facilities Manager for the Bronx Gustan (Goose) O'Neal, Playground Supervisor Fernando (Pepsi) Rosa, Borough Recreation Director Joseph (Deuce) Smalls, Playground Associate Duane Weston, St. James Recreation Center Supervisor Dennis King, Deputy Director of Brooklyn Recreation Eddie Vargas, Center Manager of the Fort Hamilton Senior Center Donna Remmen, Larry McCrory, Harold Sanchez, Ralph Millard, Chief of Manhattan Recreation Chris (Horizon) Clouden, Deputy Chief of Manhattan Recreation Chris (Robin Hood) Caropolo, Peter Andrew, Carlin (Shade Tree) Dawson, Robert James, Ivan (Clutch) Zuniga, Clavin Slayton, Danny Chavis, Shirley Jaquet, Queens Chief of Recreation Laura (Devil Dog) Gili, Queens Chief of Operations Geraldine (Lawless) Lawless, TAP Coordinator for Queens and Manhattan Valerie (Rec Diva) Edwards, Recreation Supervisor Lisa (Loon) Kooney, Community Associate Christine Bilardi, Recreation Specialist Mark Besterman, Recreation Specialist Kevin Hall, Recreation Specialist Marquette Elliot, Director of Recreation Katie (Catalan) Langhammer, Deputy Director of Recreation Emily (Little Rhody) Brennan, and Commissioner Stern's Chief of Staff Chris (Boswell Croswell) Osgood.


    Blood is urgently needed and so is our help. Parkies are asked to participate in the first Blood Drive of the New Year on Wednesday, January 24 and Thursday, January 25 from 8:30 A.M. to 2: 00 P.M. in the Arsenal Gallery. For those who prefer not to donate blood but would be willing to contribute their time, volunteers are needed at the sign-in and sign-out tables as well as to distribute food. To ask questions or express interest, please contact Jennifer Akapabla at the Central Park Conservancy (212) 310-6635, Tarice Harris at Arsenal West (212) 830-7814, Sydney (James Joyce) Goldstein at Arsenal North (212) 360-2774, Maureen (Chimp) Benson in Manhattan (212) 408-0222, or Hedi (Headlight) Piel in the Arsenal (212) 360-3442.

    (Wednesday, January 10, 2001)


    SummerStage, Central Park's two-year-old, free summer-long concert series, was recently chosen as a recipient of a Mullen Arts & Humanities Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Recreation & Parks Association. The category in which SummerStage competed, arts programs serving more than 200,000 people, is one of the most competitive in the nation.

    Originally established in 1985 to revitalize the Central Park Bandshell, SummerStage is co-sponsored by the Central Park Conservancy and the Parks Department with additional funding from other public, private, and nonprofit sources. In 1987, SummerStage, under the direction of Joseph Killian, attracted approximately 150,000 spectators to 41 Jazz, Opera, World Music, New Music and Dance performances.


    "God makes sech nights, all white an' still,
    Fur'z you can look or listen,
    Moonshine an' snow on field an' hill,
    All silence an' all glisten."

    James Russel Lowell (1819-1891)]]> 2016-05-31T02:14:25-04:00