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PARKS - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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PARKS

East River Park Gets a Touch-Up, and Ideas for a Facelift


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Paul Yanchyshyn and Diana Carulli give new color to a painted labyrinth in East River Park.Melvin Felix Paul Yanchyshyn and Diana Carulli give new color to a painted labyrinth in East River Park.

After five weekends of weeding, mulching and painting, the women of the New York Junior League will unveil upgrades at East River Park tomorrow. The Playground Improvement Project, a committee of the league, volunteered its time throughout the spring to beautify 57 acres of riverfront between East 12th Street and Montgomery Street.

Visitors will now find new benches, fresh coats of paint on playground equipment and fences, as well as a brand new flower garden near the tennis courts at Houston Street.

The improvements are likely to be folded into the Blueway project, a proposal to make the shore along the East River, from the Brooklyn Bridge north to East 38th Street, as accessible and pleasant as Hudson River Park to the west.

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, one of the promoters of the Blueway, said the improvements to the park were welcome during the project’s early planning stages. “I saw first hand how they’ve been working hard getting the park ready for the summer for residents to enjoy,” said Mr. Kavanagh. Read more…


Tompkins Parents Plot Advocacy


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Missing person

The Tompkins Square Park and Playgrounds Parents’ Association (the group behind last summer’s uproar over the rats in Tompkins Square Park) is deciding how to address concerns such as “reduction of pigeon/rat feeding, sand box cleanliness and increasing the number of garbage cans on the Avenue A side of the park,” according to a Facebook post. Meanwhile, a tipster spotted a flyer in the park for a missing 16-year-old who “likes parks and street musicians,” according to the notice.


Swimming Pools in the East River? Maybe. But First, Marshes


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UntitledKathryn Doyle A beach under the Brooklyn Bridge is
inundated with sewage waste and runoff
from South Street in rainy weather

Swimming pools in the East River? Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer floated the idea in a video introduction to the Blueway, a project that would revitalize a stretch of the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge to Midtown East. And it’s not as farfetched as you’d think: the historically polluted waterway is perfectly swimmable by Environmental Protection Agency standards. There’s just one problem: sewage overflows.

Dan Tainow, education director at the Lower East Side Ecology Center, explained the issue to local residents yesterday during a tour of the East River that doubled as a discussion of the Blueway project. Due to the age of New York City’s sewer system, he said, wastewater from household sinks, showers and toilets shares the same set of pipes as runoff from city streets.

Most of Lower Manhattan’s wastewater travels through this pipe system to the Newtown Creek plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where it is cleaned, filtered and released into the East River. But during the fifty to sixty rainy days per year when gushes of street water could overwhelm the pipe system and force sewage back up into homes, the sewage is diverted directly into the East River by Combined Sewage Outflows, or CSOs. Read more…


Adult Ball-Field Users Worry Reform Is Too Kid-Friendly


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IMG_0676Stephen Rex Brown A member of the Just For Kicks adult softball league (left) testifies at today’s hearing.

The proposed changes to the system governing ball fields in city parks drew around 140 people today, many of whom expressed concern that a new priority for youth leagues would end up pushing adult games out.

If the reforms by the Parks Department are approved, youth leagues will be given priority when considering new ball-field permit applications.

“It’s silly to think this can’t lead to adult leagues being pushed out entirely,” said David Nierenberg, who plays in the Mundys Softball League in Brooklyn. “I don’t think that’s fair.” Read more…


An Empty Lot Becomes A Park, Thanks to Mr. Peanut


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A grassy field that was once the site of a demolished building in the Lillian Wald housing complex has been transformed into a park. Planters Grove, which was funded by the Planters company, opened earlier today with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a day of planting, mulching and peanut munching. Representatives from Planters handed out black top hats, one of which Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh donned during a speech praising the “greening of the New York City Housing Authority.”

The park’s centerpiece is a trellis (shaped like a peanut, naturally) that in the spring will hold clematis and climbing roses. “I like that it is kind of subtle and you can’t really tell it is a peanut,” said Lisbeth Shepherd, the founder and executive director of Green City Force, one of the two non-profits that worked with Planters and the New York City Housing Authority on the park’s construction. (The other was the national Corps Network.) Read more…


On 2nd St., A Dispute Over a Garden


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Teri Hagan, Peach Tree community garden 3Chelsia Rose Marcius Teri Hagen says that she is being unfairly denied access to the Peach Tree Community Garden on East Second Street. Those who manage the memberships at the garden deny any wrongdoing.

At the entrance of the Peach Tree Community Garden on Second Street between Avenues B and C stands a small, decorative sign bearing a one-word message: “Welcome” — seven letters that most take as a friendly invitation to enter.

But some residents say they’ve been locked out of this urban green space for at least nine months, and after voicing multiple complaints to Green Thumb, Community Board 3 and City Council District 2, one says she’s fed up with feeling overlooked.

“We have a right to be here, this is a community and everyone has to have a say,” said Teri Hagan, 75, who lives on East Second Street just across the street from the garden.
Read more…