Monday, March 14, 2011

Terrible News for Red Hook's Coffey Park

We just got this letter from our neighborhood advocate:
Please let's not let this happen without a fight or our voices being heard!

I have terrible news: We may be losing the dedicated gardener position in Coffey Park.

Currently, John Clarke is the gardener. Many of you know and love him. He's been integral to rebuilding Coffey Park.

Here's a beautiful piece the New York Times wrote about him last spring.

As part of the city-wide cutbacks, the Parks Department is planning to assign one park per district. They are selling this as an expansion, as a promotion for the gardeners. 

And while we will be devastated to lose John, this is about more than losing a beloved member of our community. It means losing yet another resource.

No dedicated gardener means nobody on site to keep the park clean -- and forcing people to pick up after themselves.

No dedicated gardener means nobody on site to know the residents and the kids and talk to them and build bridges.

No dedicated gardener on site means nobody caring for all the plants he -- and so many volunteers -- lovingly planted over the years.

No dedicated gardener on site means nobody keeping an watchful eye and making sure that Coffey Park remains a neighborhood gem.

Just look at what's happened with Valentino Pier over the past two years. The maintenance has been reduced and most of the plantings have died off.

So what can you do?

Call Thomas Ching, Deputy Chief of Operations, Parks Department, (718) 965-8971Call City Councilwoman Sarah Gonzalez 718-439-9012 
Call Community Board 6 director Craig Hammerman 718-643-3027

1 comment:

  1. 3/22/11 update: John was reassigned. He wil no longer be in Coffey Park or anywhere in Red Hook. The Parks Dept is trying to keep this quiet, but we should not let them. Stay tuned for more info about how to make our voices heard.