- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf It's My Park Day | Bronx News Networkbronx

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's My Park Day

Volunteers spread wood chips at the Quarry Ball Fields Park, on E. 181st Street between Hughes Avenue and Quarry Road, as part of a citywide parks cleanup.

Park-lovers across the city got their hands dirty on Saturday to commemorate It's My Park Day, an annual service day sponsored by Partnerships for Parks, where volunteers across the five boroughs pitch in to clean up and beautify their local green spaces.

At the Quarry Road Ball Fields in East Tremont, volunteers and a group of students from PS/MS 3 painted the park's rusty bleachers a vibrant green and planted a flower garden alongside one of the fields.

The students are members of SoBro's Community Justice Project, and have been working since last fall to adopt and renovate the 5-acre ball fields. The group won a $2,500 grant this month from the children's television channel Nickelodeon as part of the station's Big Green Grant Program.

The SoBro students began their efforts last year after petitioning for signatures (even scoring Bronx BP Ruben Diaz, Jr.'s)  and presenting their plans to Community Board 6 to elicit their support.

This month, the kids were invited to meet with Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte, where they presented their research--they took soil samples at the park to see what plants and grass would grow best there--and to ask for the Parks Department's help in making their plans happen.

"We were all nervous, because he's such an important person," said 6th-grader Natalie Mendez.

The meeting went well, according to Community Justice Project director Eva Lopez.

"I think now what we have is some real buzz with the Parks Department," she said.

"He was honest with us, which we really appreciated," Mendez said, saying the commissioner gave them realistic answers to their questions, like what could be done quickly--planting flowers and repainting the bleachers--and what would take a long time, like their eventual goal of having all the fields planted with new grass.

"We haven't really been in the park because of the dirt and the rocks," said student Sterling Stuckey, who remembers the fields once being a lush, grassier green--back when her school, PS/MS 3, which is just down the road, used the park for field day. Now, students have field day in the school's playground, which Stuckey says is too small and "boring."

The work they started on It's My Park Day is just the beginning, the students said. They hope to use some of the Nickelodeon money to buy more paint supplies for a mural and to plant some trees in the park.

"Right now, I think it looks a lot better," Mendez said. "But we still have a lot of work to do."


Post a Comment

Bronx News Network reserves the right to remove comments that include personal attacks, name calling, foul language, commercial advertisements, spam, or any language that might be considered threatening, libelous or inciting hate.

User comments are reviewed by BxNN staff and may be included or excluded at our discretion.

If what you have to say is unrelated to this particular post, please visit our readers' forum.