NYC Parks News for Willowbrook Park copyright © 2016 NYC Department of Parks and Recreation NYC Department of Parks & Recreation en-us Sat, 28 May 2016 22:37:01 GMT NYC Parks News 25 25 <![CDATA[Staten Island’s Beauty Is Captured By Student Photographers]]> dailyplant20017 Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce the opening of Greenbelt Naturally, a photography exhibition featuring images that New York City students have taken of Staten Islands Greenbelt. The exhibition consists of 60 color and black-and-white images taken by students who have found inspiration in the wonders of the Greenbelts natural environment. A reception, open to the public, is being held tonight, January 10, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Arsenal Gallery.

"Staten Islands Greenbelt is a jewel of the park system, offering deep woodlands, undulating trails, lakes, ponds, and streams, and the wildlife that inhabit themtruly a piece of the countryside in the big city," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "The student photographs featured in Greenbelt Naturally capture moments of the beauty and essence of the Greenbelt as true works of art."

One of New York Citys largest and loveliest parks, the Greenbelt is a 2,800-acre string of natural areas, forests, parks, and trails in the heart of Staten Island. The exhibition is a retrospective collection of photographs that New York City middle school, high school, and college students have taken throughout the years for the annual "Greenbelt Naturally" photo contest. All of the photos depict a scene or location within the Greenbelt and received an award during the contests history.

The late Kevin Sheehy, an educator and community activist, started the "Greenbelt Naturally" photo contest approximately 15 years ago. The Greenbelt Conservancy staff has continued the tradition and expanded the program to include a written component. Excerpts written by the students accompany some of the photos on display.

The Greenbelt Naturally exhibition is supported by Mr. and Mrs. Robert OBrien, Time Warner Cable and the Greenbelt Conservancy. The exhibition will be on display from January 3 24, 2007; closed January 15, 2007. The Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, wildlife, New York City parks and park history. It is located on the third floor of the Parks Department Headquarters, in Central Park, on Fifth Avenue at 64th Street. Gallery hours are Monday Friday, 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Admission is free.


"I may not have gone where I intended to go,

but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."

Douglas Adams

(1952 2001)

<![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[Take A Tour Indoors and Out]]> dailyplant19773 This weekend, take your pick of indoor wonders or outdoor delights when you choose from a variety of free citywide events. Visit for more ideas.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Robert Louis Stevenson


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Written by Dorothy Reilly


"Do not leave my hand without light."

Marc Chagall



"My family adopted a beautiful ‘Tuxedo’ cat with great black and white patterns and a magical spirit," said Commissioner Benepe. "We are so happy to have Kicia (Polish for ‘kitten’) and I want to encourage all Parks employees who are looking for a pet to adopt from the CACC. You will save a life and enrich yours. Thanks to the efforts of the Urban Park Rangers, we will be offering pet adoption events in each borough."

Director of the Urban Park Rangers, Sara Hobel, has also been known to welcome a stray animal or two into her own home. To date, Director Hobel and her family are the proud caretakers of a large Flemish Giant rabbit, five cats, a lizard, two horses, and a frog – all of which were adopted. "I’m not sure who will benefit more from this new initiative, the Parkie or the pet," said Director Hobel.

Commissioner Benepe will kick-off Pet Adoption Day at the Arsenal Gallery on Tuesday, February 25 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The CACC, in partnership with the Urban Park Rangers, will have over a dozen cats and dogs "on lease" that are ready for adoption. If an on-site animal doesn't capture your heart, the CACC will also have catalogs you can search through to find the perfect pet.

From the infamous "Damon the Caiman" to pythons to less ferocious kittens, pups and bunnies with floppy ears, the Urban Park Rangers rescue over 400 animals each year that have been abandoned in City parks. The Rangers offer the following information if you see a stray or abandoned animal.

  • If you spot a possible stray animal in the park call Central at 1-800-201-7275.
  • Provide the responding officer with the animal's description and exact location.
  • For your safety and the animal's well being, do not handle the animal in any way.
  • If deemed necessary, Central will dispatch a Ranger to the site for a capture/rescue.
  • Dogs and cats are transported to a nearby CACC facility, while injured wildlife are taken to a wildlife rehabilitator.

The Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) is a not-for-profit organization that rescues, cares for and finds homes for homeless and abandoned animals in New York City. The CACC has a facility located in each borough and annually accepts more than 56,000 stray, abandoned and unwanted animals. For more information about CACC, call 1-888-SPAY-NYC or visit

An adoption day has been scheduled in the Bronx on Wednesday, March 12 at Hunts Point Recreation Center, and one in Staten Island at Willowbrook Park on Wednesday, April 23. Pet Adoption events will also soon be held in Brooklyn and Queens. At all venues, CACC cats and dogs will be on site for immediate cuddling and adoption. For more information about pet adoption in each borough, Parkies can contact the Urban Park Rangers at 212-360-2774.

Remember a rabbit or dog or cat may look cute, but owning a pet is an important responsibility. Make sure that you research what type of animal will best fit into your life before making the decision to adopt.

Written by Jocelyn Aframe. Luke Gebhard, Sarah Kay, Yvonne McDermott & Rich Simon

contributed to this article.



Please make an appointment to participate in the annual Parks Blood Drive on Thursday, February 27 and Friday, February 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. For an appointment, contact:

Arsenal Hedi Piel (212) 360-3442

Arsenal North Luke Gebhard (212) 360-2776

Arsenal West Tarice Harris (212) 830-7814

Manhattan Borough Veronica Llanos (212) 408-0221

Central Park Conservancy Nadiege Jean (212) 310-6635

Volunteers are needed for sign-in and canteen duty, so if you can’t donate blood, you can volunteer your time. For more information call (212) 360-3442.


Hamlet: "The cat will mew, and dog will have his day."

William Shakespeare



Sherry Lee is the Citywide Services Employee of the Month

Sherry graduated from Cornell and began with Parks on June 30, 2001 as an Analyst with Operations. As Operation’s lead analyst, Sherry spearheads a number of complex technical projects including administration of the Maintenance Control Management System (MCMS) that is used to monitor vehicle repair, and oversight over the Storehouse Management System (SMS) that tracks Parks $4.5 million in inventory. Sherry took a lead role in our two year effort to revamp storehouse operations including developing new analytical reports and inspections, and helping to start "PACT Delivers". This fall, Sherry also played a lead role in our initial efforts to conduct user surveys throughout the park system. For bringing her skill and commitment to a number of challenging projects, Sherry was nominated by Chief of Operations Keith T. Kerman.

Maura A. Hegarty is the Management Employee of the Month

Maura began with Parks on April 2, 2001 with OMP. She served as an analyst helping with our inspection program until moving up to Government Relations in spring 2002. Working with Allison Wenger, Maura helps spearhead a number of inter-governmental efforts including preparing for city council hearings and meetings with individual council members. Maintaining and expanding our partnerships with all branches of government is vital to Parks efforts to continue improving services. Friendly, reasonable and smart, Maura is building bridges throughout government that help support Parks. She was co-nominated by Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey and Director of Government Relations Allison Wenger.

Dejon Williams is the Manhattan Employee of the Month

Dejon is a Playground Associate and has been with Parks since July 8, 1999. He started as a seasonal with Summer Fun at Morningside Park. After two successful summers there, he earned a full-time position at J. Hood Wright Recreation Center. Dejon works closely with children and teens at the center, helping them stay fit and mentoring them. Dejon coaches baseball, basketball, and Manhattan’s championship flag football team that went to the Citywide Finals two years in a row. He also helped develop the PAL, HealthPlus 2002 Summer Baseball League and the Youth Environmental & Science Society Program. For his strong interest in youth and support of Manhattan Recreation, Dejon was nominated by Chief of Manhattan Recreation Chris Clouden.

Alfred M. Holden is the Queens Employee of the Month

Alfred is an APSW and has been with Parks since September 16, 1999. Alfred serves as the Horticultural Crew Chief for Forest Park. He supervises and trains up to 8 crew members consisting of PACT, POPs and seasonal staff. He teaches his staff proper planting and pruning techniques, landscape bed design, plant identification, and power tool usage. Together, they then set out to transform and beautify the park. His many projects include renovation of Sgt. Shaeffer Oval, turf repair at the Picnic Area, installation of the 9/11 Memorial Garden at the Bandshell, and the Daffodil Project. This year Alfred also oversaw the Garden Stewards Program, that involved 12 volunteer groups and 218 volunteers. Flexible and devoted, Alfred was nominated by Landscape Manager Josephine Scalia and PRM David Bentham.

Jeffrey R. Tolwinski is the Staten Island Employee of the Month

Jeffrey is a CPW and has been with Parks since January 12, 1987. He works in District 2, Willowbrook Park, where his duties include operating a mini-packer and grass tractors, and working with the boro-wide herbicide spray crews. Jeff always keeps an eye out for PIP issues and reports them to supervisors immediately. He helped District 2 achieve an overall condition rating of 92.2% in 2002. Jeff always goes above and beyond to get the job done. For effective contribution to Staten Island, Jeff was nominated by SPMO Jerome Candrilli.


By Hannah Gersen

Today, some observations of park life from Jerry Seinfeld’s book, Seinlanguage, published in 1993:

"On my block, a lot of people walk their dogs and I always see them walking along with their little poop bags…If aliens are watching this through their telescopes, they’re going to think that dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making the poop, the other one’s carrying it for them, who would you assume is in charge?"


"You say that you are my judge; I do not know if you are;

but take good heed not to judge me ill, because you would put yourself

in great peril."

Joan Of Arc



I recently learned there was more than one skating rink in Central Park. My discovery got me thinking: how many other rinks are there in the city? Which one was the first rink? I know ice skating existed before ice skating rinks, but how long has the sport been around?


Miss I.C. Waters

Dear Miss Waters:

Thank you for you question. It’s been awhile since I’ve thought about ice skating (I misplaced my skates more than a decade ago and have been off the ice ever since).

Ice skating, you can be sure, has been around for a long time. Thousands of years before Central Park, New York, or even the first European discovery of America, people ice skated. Evidence of this has been found at the bottom of a lake in Switzerland, where a pair of ice skates were discovered that date back to 3,000 B.C. The skates were made from the leg bones of large animals with holes in them that were attached to the feet with leather straps. Back then, of course, ice skating only occurred on lakes—something which is much less common today. In New York City, for example, people used to skate on the frozen waters of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Central Park in Manhattan, Willowbrook Park in Staten Island, and at other smaller ponds and lakes around the city. In fact, in Olmsted and Vaux’s original Greensward plan, the Lake in Central Park was labeled a "skating pond."

The first artificial ice rink (mechanically refrigerated), the Glaciarium, was built in 1876 at Chelsea, London. The first one in New York City did not arrive until three-quarters of a century later. Central Park’s Wollman Rink opened in 1950, thanks to a generous donation from Kate Wollman. Over 300,000 people skated there in the first year alone. Lasker Rink, a rink at the northern end of Central Park, was built in the 1960s. During the summer, Parks & Recreation converts the rink into a public pool.

The rink in the New York City Building at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has quite a varied history. Built in 1938 for the 1939-40 World’s Fair, it was used for ice shows. After the fair, it became a full-fledged public ice and roller skating rink. In 1946, a $2.2 million renovation converted the building into a temporary site for the newly-formed United Nations. In 1952, ice and roller skating returned to the building. Since then, it has gone under several renovations and currently operates from mid-October through April.

If you’re in Brooklyn, you can point your skates in the direction of Prospect Park, where the Kate Wollman Rink is located. Built in 1961, the rink was constructed on a site formerly known as Music Island where music concerts were held during the 19th Century. If you get bored of the boardwalk at Coney Island, Abe Stark Rink Staten Island is rich in history and a fun place to skate, to boot. It was formerly the site of the Ravenhall Baths, a privately-owned facility offering swimming pools, locker rooms and a sundeck to beach goers. Finally, if you’re on Staten Island, visit the Staten Island War Memorial Ice Skating Rink in Cloves Lake Park which opened Thanksgiving Day in 1970.

All this talk is starting to wake up the old bug I used to get every winter (when my head had more leaves). Great Scott! I just remembered where I left my skates. If my memory serves me well, they are in my secret locker in the triple-sub basement of the Arsenal. No time to waste, I must be on my way. See you on the ice.

Sincerely yours,

Professor Ginkgo


"It is not your aptitude, but your attitude, that determines your altitude."

Zig Ziglar

<![CDATA[BARBECUING AND LABOR DAY—A PERFECT MATCH]]> dailyplant14934 Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And its also a day of backyard barbecues and town parades. New York City parks offer plenty of spots to do just that:

Barbecue Areas


Crotona Park- Crotona Park East and Charlotte St.
Orchard Beach- North and South Lawn
Pelham Bay Park- Bruckner Blvd. and Wilkinson Ave.
Van Cortlandt Park- Allen Shandler Recreation Area, Jerome Ave., south of East 233rd St.
Manhattan Beach- Northeast of Promenade, Oriental Blvd and Hastings St.
Prospect Park
Surrounding picnic house (Park West and 5th St., east side of Park Dr.)
South of Bandshell, off 9th St.
Nethermead Area, South Lawn at Wollman Rink

East River Park- East 10th St. and FDR Dr.
Highbridge Park- 177th and Amsterdam Ave.
Inwood Hill Park- Dyckman Field at Hudson River and Dyckman St.
Riverside Park- West 145th St. and Riverside Dr.
St. Nicholas Park- St. Nicholas Terrace at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 128th Street
Wards Island- East River and Hell Gate

Alley Athletic Field- Union Turnpike and Winchester Blvd.
Alley Pond Park- Winchester Blvd. and Grand Central Pkwy.
Brookville Park- Brookville Blvd. and South Conduit Ave.
Cunningham Park- Union Turnpike and Francis Lewis Blvd.
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park- off Lake West and off Lake
East Forest Park- Woodhaven Blvd. and Forest Park Dr.
Springfield Playground- 147th Ave. and Springfield Blvd.

Staten Island
Cloves Lake Park- Clove Rd. and Victory Blvd.
Willowbrook Park- Richmond Ave. and Eaton Place.
Wolfe's Pond Park- Cornelia Ave. and Luten Ave.
Midland Beach- Midland Ave. and Lincoln Ave.


Ever wonder what the largest park in New York City is? Think its Central Park? Guess again. Below is the list of the 10 largest parks in New York City.

1. Pelham Bay Park, Bronx 2,765 acres
2. Greenbelt, Staten Island 1,778 acres
3. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens 1,255 acres
4. Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx 1,146 acres
5. Central Park, Manhattan 843 acres
6. Freshkills Park, Staten Island 813 acres
7. Marine Park, Brooklyn 798 acres
8. Bronx Park, Bronx 718 acres
9. Alley Pond Park, Queens 655 acres
10. Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk, Staten Island 638 acres


(Thursday, September 7, 1989)


The summer of 36 was so hot that Parks built 10 new public swimming pools before it was over.. A half century later, the City has begun to rebuild one of the biggest, the 100-by-246-foot Thomas Jefferson Pool in East Harlem.

Parks broke ground for the $9 million reconstruction of the facility, located at 113th Street and First Avenue, on Thursday, August 31. Originally dedicated on June 25, 1936 by Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia and Park Commissioner Robert Moses, Thomas Jefferson Pool was the second of the new swimming pools constructed by the Parks Department that summer with Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds.


"Let us then suppose the Mind to be, as we say, white Paper,
void of all Characters, without any Ideas; How comes it to be furnished...?
To this I answer, in one word, From Experience:
In that, all our Knowledge
is founded; and from that it ultimately derives it self."

John Locke
(August 29, 16321704)

<![CDATA[CAPITAL PROJECT OF THE MONTH: EMERGENCY WELLS]]> dailyplant14528 The Capital Project of the Month for June is the construction of emergency city-wide wells. A total of four wells will be drilled on Parks property in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island where groundwater was determined to be located. The water yielded will be a drought-friendly source of non-potable water, water that cannot be consumed, that will be used to water plants and flowers in parks.

The parks in the project are Inwood Hill Park in upper Manhattan, Van Cortlandt Crotona Parks in the Bronx, and Willowbrook Park in Staten Island. The wells will be as deep as 320 feet, in Inwood Hill Park, to as shallow as just 47 feet, in Van Cortlandt Park. Interestingly, the wells at Inwood Hill Park and Crotona Park will be drilled into bedrock, a dolomite rock that can have fractures and channels able to transport water.

The project is funded by Mayor Bloomberg and will take only 60 days to complete. New York City is currently in a Stage 1 Drought Emergency. As of July 14, the reservoirs that serve New York City were 84.6 percent full and at this time of year the normal percentage is 93.6. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) suggests that New Yorkers install water-savings fixtures on toilets and showerheads, take shorter showers, and report all leaks directly to the DEP.

Read more about the June Capital Project of the Month.


The Historic House Trust has recently acquired two new houses. They are Hendrick I. Lott House in Marine Park, Brooklyn and the Brougham-Mallien Cottage in Blue Heron Park on Staten Island.

The Lott House, a Dutch farmhouse dating from 1800, is in dire need of physical restoration. Funds secured from the state through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and the city through the Parks Capital Division will allow the Trust to restore the exterior of the Lott House while Artie Rollins and Parks Requirements restore the roof. The Historic House Trust is also working to create a preliminary interpretive plan for exhibitions and educational programming at the Lott House. This plan will focus on the 300 years of Lott family history - which so nearly parallels the history of Brooklyn – and has been generously funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Brougham-Mallien Cottage is a vernacular 19th century house filled with antiques collected by Walter Mallien, the Cottage’s last private owner, during his sixty years as a Staten Island resident. Parks Requirements, under the supervision of the Historic House Trust, is replacing the Brougham Cottage roof and repainting the Cottage exterior to ensure that the structure will be preserved for generations to come. An Historic House Trust interpretive plan is also in the works and will be announced at a later date.

Written by Francesca Romano


(Tuesday, July 25, 1989)


Risking life and limb, a Parkie tried to save the life of a youngster who was hit by a train and later died in a Queens hospital.

Ranger Paul Moroz was riding the Number 7 train on Friday, June 23. As the train idled at the 40th Street Station in Queens, he heard the frantic calls of two young boys.

"They were yelling ‘We lost our friend, we lost our friend!" Moroz said. Without thinking, the Parkie jumped out of the subway car and ran to the front of the train. Underneath the tracks, Moroz found 15-year-old Damen Page, who was bleeding profusely from two head gashes. Moroz ripped his shirt off, and using basic first-aid techniques he had learned as a Ranger, tried to staunch the bleeding.


"When two people love each other, they don’t look at each other,
they look in the same direction."

Ginger Rogers

(July 16, 1911-1995)

<![CDATA[CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WEP PARTICIPANTS HONORED LAST WEEK]]> dailyplant10475 Two events last week celebrated the Work Experience Program (WEP) participants whose dedication and hard work have helped bring parks up to their current cleanliness rating of 89%.

The twelfth semi-annual WEP Appreciation Day ceremony honored those WEP participants who have done exemplary work for Parks since January of this year. The event, held in the Arsenal Gallery on Thursday, July 26, was organized by Director of WEP Samara (Samba) Epstein and Operations Analyst Sarah (Cria) Coleman. Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern addressed the crowd, and presented certificates to the honorees. First Deputy Commissioner Alan (Northside) Moss and Deputy Commissioner Robert (Iceman) Garafola also spoke at the ceremony, and all of the Borough Commissioners were present to recognize the winners.

The next day, Friday July 27, the annual Staten Island WEP Picnic, took place in Willowbrook Park. Staten Island WEP participants and their families gathered with WEP staff to enjoy a picnic lunch and some near-perfect weather, and to celebrate the hard work that they have done in the last year. The picnic had sun, food, music, and even an impromptu softball game. A number of local businesses helped Parks show appreciation for the Staten Island WEP participants by donating prizes, known as ZAP Awards, that were presented to the attendees. The minor league Staten Island Yankees generously provided every WEP participant at the picnic with tickets to an upcoming home game against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Alfonso's Pastry Shoppe on Victory Boulevard donated gift certificates good for two large pastries each, while the Dunkin' Donuts store at 1650 Richmond Avenue supplied dozens of donuts and coupons.

Staten Island PACT/WEP Coordinator Milady (My Lady) Jimenez organized this enjoyable event, with assistance from Anna Bonilla and Jacqueline Jimenez. Staten Island Borough Commissioner Thomas A. (Richmond) Paulo, Chief of Operations Gerry (Outlaw) Lawless, and Deputy Chief of Operations Larry (Inwood) Scoones were all in attendance.

By Jessica (Gamelan) Schwartz


When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux conceived of Central Park it was as a work of art. At the heart of Vaux's architectural scheme was Bethesda Terrace, which he hoped would mimic an "open-air reception hall... with the same position of relative importance that a mansion should occupy" in a private estate. The intricately carved terrace, luxurious as a mansion, crafted as a masterpiece, is a focal point in Central Park, and has served to inspire generations of detail-minded artists of whom the Dairy Gallery's latest featured photographer, Sheila Kane, is one.

In the 15 photographs exhibited at the Dairy, Ms. Kane shows the terrace early in the morning and after hours. She shoots its stonework dressed in snow and bathed in summer sunlight. In imaging the terrace around the clock and seasons, Kane gives body to one of the lost details of Vaux's plan; Vaux devised an elaborate program of sculpture to be mounted on the bollards and pedestals of Bethesda Terrace. He planned scenes of day and night and reliefs of animals and vegetation to be sculpted. His vision, never completed, finds complement in Kane's photographs. "Heart of the Park," will remain on exhibit until January.

(Thursday, August 4, 1988)


The Lone Star State is home not only to five-alarm chili but also to a hot and spicy conjunto style of music. Conjunto, a unique Texas blend of the musical styles of various Southwest immigrant cultures, combines Mexican mariachi melodies with German polkas and two-steps, all played on the accordion. Conjunto is part of a plethora of ethnic accordion music to be featured at New York City's first international Accordion Festival at the Central Park Bandshell on Tuesday, August 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Conjunto maestro Santiago Jimenez Jr., New York performance artist and composer William Schimmel, the 30-piece Duluth Accordionaires, Chinese classicist Fang Yuan and avant-gardist Guy Klucevsek will lead a host of accordion masters in the free, cross-cultural squeezebox celebration at the Bandshell, midpark at 72nd Street.


"If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it, he has gloriously succeeded, and won a satisfaction and a triumph few men ever know."

Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938)