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  1. #46
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    And yes, Canal Park is now open.


    ^ Oh nice... I have to go see it!

    Now whats that I see... Oh man! Child's Graffiti already!

  2. #47
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    The Real Deal

    City to start building second biggest park

    August 22, 3:11 pm
    The city has taken its first step toward building the city's second largest park, The Real Deal has learned. Plans for a $6 million, 28-acre park, dubbed Owl Hollow Fields, were announced Monday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They mark the initial step toward developing a 2,200-acre, $100 million park over the former Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island. Fresh Kills Park will be second only to the Bronx's Pelham Bay Park in area, and nearly two and a half times the size of Central Park. Construction on the Owl Hollow Fields site will begin in the spring of 2006 and be completed in the fall of 2007.

  3. #48
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    New York City paaaaarks,
    New York City paaaaarks,
    New York City paaaaarks....They ain't to briiiight.


  4. #49

    Default Canal Park

    New York Times
    October 21, 2005

    An Oasis Beckons in a Spot Once Used by Trash Trucks

    By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS


    (Gothamist)


    (Gothamist)

    The idea of seeking solace in the middle of the usual traffic mess outside the Holland Tunnel may seem perverse, but an arrow-shaped sliver of land on the Manhattan side, once used as a parking lot for garbage trucks, will be dedicated today as the city's newest park.

    The park, at the corner of Canal and West Streets in TriBeCa, has actually been a public space of some sort since King James II of England ceded the parcel to the city in 1686, one year after his coronation. After many incarnations - public square, public market, a viewing garden - the space was designated a park in 1870 and redesigned in 1888 by Calvert Vaux, a designer of Central Park, and Samuel Parsons Jr.

    The latest version of the park, called Canal Park, borrows elements from the 19th century design, which shunned straight lines. These features include Mr. Vaux's S-curved central walkway, an ornate black wrought-iron fence and lush green plantings.

    "This is great because it is one of the city's oldest parks, and it had disappeared for virtually a century," said Adrian Benepe, the city parks commissioner. "You don't often get a chance to get back a park."

    The dedication of the park, which has been open to the public for about two months, includes a concert tonight featuring Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.

    The revival of one of the city's oldest parks is the story of ghosts, a fight over widening Canal Street and a group of neighbors who by virtue of thousands of hours of research pushed the city and state governments to relent to their demands.

    The leaders of the effort to re-establish the lost park, Carole De Saram, Richard Barrett and Jana Haimsohn, were members of local community organizations who met while opposing the Canal Street plan and bonded over the idea of restoring Canal Park.

    All the while during their efforts, they wondered about the strange little asphalt triangle where garbage trucks parked for as long as they could remember.

    Ms. De Saram said the group came to believe that a ghost was trying to get their attention. "Every time I walked by, there was always a presence there, something you knew that was there," she said.

    Eventually, Mr. Barrett found several old maps showing that the triangle had once been a park. But when he and his two allies brought their discovery to the city, they were told that without a deed they had no legal proof that the plot had been a park.

    So Ms. Haimsohn scoured numerous libraries for evidence, sorting through reams of city government microfilm. One day, while she was trying to operate a stubborn microfilm reading machine at the Science, Industry and Business Library of the New York Public Library, microfilm started wildly spewing out. Then the machine suddenly stopped.

    When Ms. Haimsohn looked at the screen, it showed exactly what she had been searching for: the 1870 dedication of Canal Park, when it was called St. John's Square.

    The group swears it was the ghost that led them to their discovery.

    In 1921, the city lent the triangle to the agency that was building the Holland Tunnel. The parcel was to be returned to the Parks Department after four years. It never was. Instead, it was turned over to Julius Miller, then the Manhattan borough president. Eventually, the Sanitation Department began storing trucks there.

    After several fruitless meetings with state and city agencies, Ms. De Saram, Mr. Barrett and Ms. Haimsohn sued the federal, state and city governments, contending that removal of the park had been illegal because no one had obtained the State Legislature's approval, which is required for converting parkland to other uses.

    The opposing sides reached a settlement in which the state agreed to pay the $2.7 million cost of restoring the park to its past glory. The park's size has also been doubled to about two-thirds of an acre.

    Mr. Barrett said he is confident that Canal Park will be well used, even though it is so close to the Holland Tunnel. "It's a funny area, and there is definitely rush-hour congestion," he said.

    Mr. Benepe said: "But people will come. You'd be surprised how a piece of greenery can be a sort of psychic oasis despite traffic rushing around you."

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  5. #50

    Default Parks- pets allowed?

    Are pets allowed at all parks in the city or are there restrictions?

  6. #51

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    Brooklyn’s Salt Marsh Center Is January’s ‘Park of the Month’

    MARINE PARK — Brooklyn’s Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park hosts some of the Parks Department’s most innovative community outreach programs. For the unparalleled beauty of its surroundings in Marine Park and for its work with high school interns and after-school programming, the Salt Marsh Nature Center has been chosen as January’s Park of the Month.

    “The Salt Marsh Nature Center has taken great steps to introduce Brooklynites to the nearly 800 acres of precious marshland in Marine Park,” said Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Julius Spiegel. “From the Ranger Conservation Corps to its new Afterschool program, it has become an important center for youth environmental education in Brooklyn.”

    The Ranger Conservation Corps, an urban environmental internship for high school students, was started in 2001. Since then, scores of students have participated, many of them returning year after to year. Participants get school credit for their involvement and often find mentors in the Urban Park Rangers who run the center. The Rangers Corps takes part in wildlife management, creates interpretive displays, performs trail maintenance, and gets preference when applying for Parks Conservation Corps, a paid summer internship opportunity.

    This past fall, the Corps created a Community Composting site at the Salt Marsh Nature Center. The Corps’ goal was to encourage community members to bring organic material to the nature center to be made into rich compost. So far, the Corps has collected nearly 300 pounds of leaves, food scraps, and grass cuttings from the community. The spring project for this group is an ongoing pollinator survey, which involves the planting of native wildflowers and incorporates the nature center’s indoor and outdoor beehives.

    This fall, Parks also began its first after-school program based in a nature center. The Salt Marsh Nature Center Afterschool program is unique in its focus on an environmental curriculum. Geared towards students of middle school age, it accommodates 20 children and is held three days a week. Weather permitting, the group takes walks on the nature trail and will be doing trail restoration work in the spring. Given appropriate funding, this program will be expanded to all of the City’s nature centers. And, as with all after-school programs, it’s free.

    The Salt Marsh Nature Center is located near the intersection of East 33rd Street and Avenue U in Brooklyn and is open daily, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the winter (closed on Wednesday).

    © Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2006
    Main Office 718 422 7400

  7. #52

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    otham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article...060425/14/1830

    Parks Budget For 2007

    by Anne Schwartz
    25 Apr 2006

    In recent years, the city’s parks have become greener and cleaner as a result of a substantial increase in capital spending for park renovation, as well as the growth of park groups that raise private funding for maintenance and provide volunteer labor. Many new parks, large and small, are in the works, including the High Line, Fresh Kills, and a new six-acre park on the Keyspan site in Queens.

    At the same time, however, city allocations to maintain the parks and provide recreational programs, cut repeatedly over the last two decades, have not been restored. The parks department has made effective use of the resources it has, including temporary workers in various welfare-to-work programs funded by the Human Resources Agency. Its internal inspection ratings of park conditions are at an all-time high, according to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. But a comparison of the beautifully maintained plantings and trees, lush lawns, and green ball fields in privately funded Central Park with the scraggly grass, dirt fields, and trees in need of pruning in, say, Queensbridge Park, illustrates how more horticultural attention could improve many parks.

    The city’s annual budget process works against any significant increase in funding to care for the parks. Typically, the mayor proposes a baseline that is lower than the previous year’s adopted budget, and the City Council adds back in most or all of the items that were cut. This keeps the focus on restoring programs instead of adding funding.

    This year, the mayor’s preliminary budget eliminates $14 million for 600 seasonal park employees, the entire street tree pruning effort, and an after-school program at the recreation centers. It also cuts the one major new budget item from last year, the 50 new Park Enforcement Patrol officers added amid concern about crime in the parks, which had increased the force to 110. In early April, three of the newly hired PEP officers stopped an attempted rape in Forest Park in Queens.

    “Saving lives shouldn’t be part of a budget dance,” said Christian DiPalermo, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks, the citywide parks advocacy group. “I think that we should all just agree these are necessary programs and they should be funded. More energy should be put by the Council and the Mayor to improving park service with additional funds, particularly when there is a surplus.”

    Park advocates are lobbying for the council to add $9 million to the parks budget to almost double the PEP force to 200 officers and to increase the frequency of tree pruning from the current ten-year cycle to the generally accepted standard of pruning each tree every seven years.

    The additional funding would also include $3 million for expanding the Neighborhood Parks Initiative, a partnership of the parks department, the City Parks Foundation, and the Central Parks Conservancy inaugurated in 30 parks last year. The program assigns a full-time gardener and playground associate to outer-borough parks in need of better maintenance. The Central Park Conservancy helped train the new gardeners, the first to be hired by the parks department in years. One of the goals is to disseminate the practices that have improved Central Park so dramatically, including the zone management system that gives gardeners personal responsibility for a specific section of the park.

    Drawing Revenue from the Parks

    The parks department also raises about $60 million a year through concessions and various fees. The money goes into the general fund, not directly to parks, but it helps buffer the department from budget cuts.

    For the next fiscal year, the city is proposing to bring in additional revenue by charging membership fees at the six recreation centers receiving federal Community Development Block Grant funding. These recreation centers had remained free in 2003 when the city began charging visitors to most centers. The fee is $50, or $75 for centers with pools. (Children up to age 18 can still use the centers for free, and there is a reduced senior fee.)

    The new fees are projected to bring in $2 million. But that revenue goal may be unrealistic, according to the Independent Budget Office. Its recent analysis of center use and revenue after the fees were instituted found that attendance dropped at the centers charging the higher amount, while it increased at the free and less expensive centers.

    The analysis suggests that once fees are imposed at the formerly free centers, fewer people -- especially from the lower income populations that are at higher risk of obesity and diabetes -- will use them. If charging for using park facilities ends up discouraging people from using them, it undermines the mission of the parks department as well as the larger public policy goal of improving the health of residents.

    Commissioner Benepe takes issue with that conclusion, however. “What we have found is that when it’s free, lots of people join, but very few people actually come,” he said. “When people pay, they tend to use it more.” He noted that the fees were a fraction of a typical health club membership. He also said there was no difference in the socioeconomic status of people using the community development-funded centers and the others, so that it was more equitable to charge a fee at all centers.

    The Independent Budget Office also looked at what happened when the parks department raised the price of a season’s tennis court pass from $50 to $100. Doubling the price led to a 40 percent drop in the number of passes sold, resulting in only a 16 percent increase in income, part of which came from higher sales of one-time use passes. The budget office found that tennis court usage “appeared to have dropped off significantly,” and concluded that a smaller price increase might have resulted in both greater total revenues and court use.

    Anne Schwartz, in charge of the parks topic page since its inception in 1999, is a journalist who specializes in environmental issues.

  8. #53
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Two small parks in my neighborhood have recently been ripped up and are presumably undergoing complete makeovers.

    Father Demo Square - 6th Avenue @ Bleecker/Carmine:




    Vesuvio or Thompson playground (?) - on Thompson and Sullivan Streets, between Prince and Spring Streets.


  9. #54
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Father Demo Square was in long need of renovation. although the pigeons never seemed to mind.

    Vesuvio Playground is the now-official name -- but no one seems to know what exctly is planned here. Again, this place was in dire need of work. But it looks like they didn't rip out that little 30s-era swimming pool or the restrooms.

  10. #55
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    It looks like they're ripping out the pool, it is now exposed at the base. I hope they replace it or at least install something that sprays water for the hot days. This little park is the only refuge in Soho.

  11. #56
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A mountain of upgrades coming at Vesuvio Playground

    DOWNTOWN EXPRESS
    Volume 18 • Issue 51 | May 5 - 11, 2006

    Ground was broken last Thursday for the long-awaited renovation of Vesuvio Park in Soho. Council Speaker Christine Quinn is funding the $2.8 million project, the first renovation of the playground in more than 25 years. Work is expected to be complete by September 2007, according to the Parks Department.

    The playground was renamed in the late 1990s for Anthony Dapolito, who died in 2003 and owned the nearby Vesuvio Bakery. The longtime Parks Committee chairperson of Community Board 2, Dapolito, known as “Mr. Parks” and “Mr. Playgrounds,” led the way in acquiring property to create open spaces in the Village and Soho. The former Parks Department recreation center at Clarkson St. and Seventh Ave. S. is named in his honor.

    “Vesuvio Playground has been for most of its life a classic, gritty urban play space, but recently it has started to show its age,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Now this park, named for the venerable Italian bakery owned by the late neighborhood advocate Tony Dapolito, will be fully renovated to meet the recreational needs of the 21st century, while celebrating the vibrant but vanishing heritage of the Italian Greenwich Village.”

    Parks will replace the 40-year old swimming pool with a brand-new in-ground swimming pool and install new play equipment and a spray shower.

    The project also includes a chess and checkers table with benches, as well as landscaping with new plantings and greenery. The handball courts will also receive a facelift.

    Dapolito’s former bakery on Prince St. is named for Mount Vesuvius, which in 79 A.D. erupted and destroyed the city of Pompeii. The renovation project was designed in the theme of Pompeii, with Parks designers incorporating research of the historic city into the patterns of the flooring and other elements of the playground.

    The playground was acquired in three parcels over the course of 28 years. In 1929 and 1930 Parks purchased two parcels midblock on Thompson St. In 1957, Parks expanded the property south to Spring St. and west to Sullivan St.

    Downtown Express is published by Community Media LLC.

  12. #57
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Park on Canal Street Gets Going at Last

    By Barry Owens
    MAY 2, 2006
    TRIBECA TRIB

    For all the city's talk of plans to create a park on the triangular lot at Canal, Varick and Laight Streets, the site for years has been nothing more than dusty dead space, marked off by orange construction barrels and wind-whipped police tape. But last month there was finally a sign of life in this tiny corner of Tribeca—"Please keep off the newly sodded lawn," the sign read. It was posted on a new fence and signed by the city's Parks Department.



    Organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival footed the bill to lay sod on the triangle (Tribeca Cinemas is located across the Street from the site), and seemingly overnight it was transformed from an embarrassing neighborhood eyesore to an inviting green space, though off-limits for now.

    The Parks Department says there is more to come. A fresh design plan is in place and it's riding the fast track through city channels.

    "It is a very simple plan," said Gail Wittwer-Laird, a landscape architect who has designed a new look for the park that will include trees, benches, a lawn and an ever-rushing fountain in the form of a canal. "I think everyone is anxious to move this forward.

    Wittwer-Laird presented the plan for the unnamed park to Community Board 1 last month and said that the design had already passed muster with the city's Arts Commission, which must approve changes to city-owned property that are visible from the street. Getting the commission's approval is no small hurdle. A previous plan for the park, created in 2002 by a landscaping contractors association from outside the city as a gift to the neighborhood following the Sept. 11 attacks, failed three times to win acceptance from the commission. The group finally walked away in frustration last year, leaving the city to plan anew.

    "It is loosely derived from the plan of several years ago," Wittwer-Laird told the board, referencing the original city plans for the park that were drawn up in 2001, but set aside following the terrorist attack. "It has been a long time coming, but I think it is going to be great when it is finally built."






    The board voted to approve the plan with little hesitation. "I remember approving this before 9/11," said member Albert Capsouto.

    The design presented last month calls for a fenced-in park with three gated entrances, lined with a perimeter of trees and cut through with a winding path of granite stones. In the center will be a small lawn under the shade of a large tree.

    Along the north side, artist Elyn Zimmerman hopes to create a canal—120 feet long, 12 feet wide and eight inches deep—where recycled water would flow from high to low ground.

    The installation is inspired by the former channel through Lower Manhattan that gave Canal Street its name. But Zimmerman, who designed the memorial for the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (which was destroyed on Sept. 11), said the water feature would more closely resemble a mini-Panama Canal with its series of locks and dams.

    "Call it poetic license, but this will make it more interesting," she said.

    The park is one of six public spaces for which the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation in February allocated $19.5 million, which the Parks Department will receive in June. Construction is expected to last 18 months.

    Until work begins, the sod will remain. So too will the old concrete curbs that Wittwer-Laird and Zimmerman, in a moment of inspiration, rescued from the rubble when new sidewalks were installed around the park site. The curbs were placed in the center of the lawn to serve as benches.

    "Totally temporary," said Zimmerman.

  13. #58
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    ... parks in my neighborhood have recently been ripped up and are presumably undergoing complete makeovers.

    Father Demo Square - 6th Avenue @ Bleecker/Carmine:
    Doing Demo’s plaza proud


    Images courtesy NYC Parks and Recreation

    Designs showing the renovation plans for Father Demo Square,
    which will include a new fountain and 3-foot-high perimeter fence.
    The photo of the fence section, at left, is from a small “vest-pocket”
    park on Sixth Ave. across the street from Father Demo Square.
    The photos of the fountain, at right, are from Brooklyn Borough Hall.

    THE_VILLAGER

    The long-awaited renovation of Father Demo Square on Sixth Ave. at Bleecker St. recently got underway, as a construction fence was put up around the triangular plaza about two weeks ago. Depending on the severity of the winter weather, the renovation is expected to last up to nine months.

    Budgeted at $1.3 million, the project will include installation of a new fountain, as well as a 3-foot-high fence similar to those ringing the nearby Sixth Ave. small “vest-pocket” parks. The uneven plaza will be leveled, the irrigation system redone, trees replanted and new lights embedded in the ground. Although until now the park has been used throughout the night, it’s expected there will be a curfew once it reopens.

    David Gruber, president of the Carmine Street Block Association, said the community favors a 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. curfew and that the low fence will help police convince people that the park is closed. “The community wanted to have it secured overnight and safe and quiet,” Gruber said. “A lot of people live around there. We need to have some crowd control.” It’s not clear, however, if any pigeon-control plan is in the works for the plaza, which is usually festooned with pigeon droppings.

  14. #59
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 / Villager

    Doing Demo’s plaza proud



    ... Although until now the park has been used throughout the night, it’s expected there will be a curfew once it reopens.


    David Gruber, president of the Carmine Street Block Association, said the community favors a 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. curfew ... “The community wanted to have it secured overnight and safe and quiet,” Gruber said. “A lot of people live around there. We need to have some crowd control.”



    Not so much a problem of "crowd' control methinks, but rather a plan to reclaim the space from the few homeless folks who had claimed Demo's for overnight sleep-overs.



  15. #60

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    May 9, 2006
    City to Limit Car Traffic in Central Park and Prospect Park
    By DIANE CARDWELL

    Moving to further reduce traffic in city parks, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday that stretches of Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn would close to cars under a six-month pilot program to begin June 5.

    Under the plan, vehicles will no longer be able to use the East Drive of Central Park north of 72nd Street during weekday mornings or the West Drive in the afternoons. In Prospect Park, drivers will lose morning access to the West Drive, which runs roughly parallel to Prospect Park West.

    "For many years people coming to Prospect Park or Central Park for recreation during weekdays have had to share road space on the park drives with automobiles," Mr. Bloomberg said in Prospect Park as he announced the changes.

    "These new regulations will be especially welcome for the cyclists, joggers and in-line skaters who use the park drive and it should also make entering and leaving the parks safer for pedestrians."

    The changes come as public pressure to ban park traffic entirely has been increasing and as the City Council is considering a bill, introduced by Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer, that would mandate a trial of more comprehensive restrictions. But Mr. Bloomberg said that although he might personally like to see such a ban, it was unrealistic because of the congestion it would cause on surrounding streets.

    "It would be better if you didn't have cars in parks," he said, adding that it would create chaos to ban traffic completely during the morning and evening rushes.

    Officials estimated that 865 vehicles would be affected by the Central Park closings and 357 by those in Prospect Park. By contrast, Mr. Bloomberg said, on weekdays 70,000 people use Central Park and 15,000 use Prospect Park.

    In Central Park, the West Drive will be open to cars only between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., while the East Drive north of 72nd Street will be open only from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. From 72nd Street to 57th Street and the Avenue of the Americas, the East Drive will continue to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In Prospect Park, only the East Drive will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., while both the East and West Drives will be open between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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