Tuesday, October 28: The Pelham Bay Bridge Centennial Celebration was a nice place to meet and greet people who we mainly talk with on the phone. The presence of this bridge from1908 to 2008 was celebrated by Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr. and the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission at the Le’ Refuge on City Island. Although the parade during the day was cancelled due to a storm, the gathering at the Le’Refuge was a great evening. More on our website www.ferrypointpark.org
Thursday November 6: The groundbreaking of the Balcom Avenue Ferry Point Community Park has finally come to be. Many met to celebrate with a band, children singing along with NYC Commissioner of Parks Adrien Benepe and speakers such as Councilman James Vacca, Community Board 10 district manager Ken Kearns, Bronx Commissioner of Parks Hector Aponte and others.
We grabbed a gold shovel and threw some dirt, indicating the beginning of the construction of a fabulous park that all ages can enjoy. $15 million will be spent to create this lively oasis on Balcom Avenue. The children of this community will welcome the ball fields, basketball courts, sprinkler play area, comfort station, pathways, etc. More on our website wwww.ferrypointpark.org.
Well…. we did it…Saturday, November 8, closes the volunteer work at the park for the season.
Exactly a year ago in November of 2007 Friends of Ferry Point, along with Ferry Point Community Advocates, placed flyers in the firehouses, the Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and 45th Precinct as a invitation to commemorate the loss of a family member or friends by joining us in the planting of the 3000 sapling trees donated by the Prince of Monaco as a gift to NYC to create a living 9/11 memorial forest. One tree for each life lost on this tragic day. This Memorial Forest is doing well. Over 300 of the 700 volunteers (collected, fed and managed by the Friends Group) have spent 4hours each donated to weeding, nourishing and enhancing the forest this year. Most of the other hours have been spent cleaning up Hindu ceremonial debris on the waterfront.
Saturday, November 8, was a drizzly day exactly like the day that John “Jack” Lynch and family, joined us to plant a sapling in his son’s memory back in November 2007. Jack had come up with a great idea! Why not allow each family plant one sapling in memory of each of the 15 victims listed on the Throggs Neck Granite Memorial located on E. Tremont Avenue?
We thought this was a great, considerate idea that Jack had come up with and were glad to have his family involved in the 9/11 forest planting. Well as most of you may know there was a series of ongoing vandalism and to put it politely, some very weird events that followed pertaining to the group of 15 trees.
Finally after much ado, added work, hours of letter writing and phone calls, the Parks Department came up with larger trees to create a nice triangle of more mature trees to commemorate this TN Memorial. They had also discussed the addition of a garden to enhance these trees. We never saw the garden.
Some of Monsignor Scanlan High School volunteers, who helped replant the saplings the next spring, and then helped plant the larger trees, now helped for fill a promise we made to enhance the triangle of 15 trees dedicated to the Throggs Neck victims.
This Saturday, in the rain, Friends of Ferry Point arranged for the Monsignor Scanlan High School volunteers to plant 1000 daffodils within this triangle. There are various amounts circling each tree. In the spring we look forward to the welcoming yellow blossoms to show that we did not forget.
In the spring when the daffodils bloom, we will dedicate this grove to the Victims of Throggs Neck. Thank you John Lynch who is the father of Michael (30 years old) who was a firefighter who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, and thought of this planting. We are proud to know you and your family and hope to arrange this dedication around your presence. We will have a plaque to present to you in honor of your dedication to the memory of the victims in general and the Throggs Neck victims specifically.
Members of Friends of Ferry Point Park, who now serve on the committee of the (FP Park West Coalition), were involved from day one with the planning, designing, and planting of the 3000 trees.
We thank all who have made this possible, our generous members, Pepsi for some of the water and to the few who have helped us financially to feed the volunteers and buy some gloves and tools.
We look forward to some help from our elected officials, some funding from Parks Dept. and continued volunteer work from the surrounding schools throughout NYC to enhance this park as best we can (with no comfort station or water fountain yet).