Some great CONFIRMED news coming up for all of us at Marcus Garvey Park & there is more good stuff brewing.
FUNDING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
1. $12 million designated by Mayor Adams for stone repair and rat abatement / awaiting information on timeline as this was recently announced.
2. $1.7 million allocated by City Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan for “Green 2 Greener Initiative”/ sustainable energy solutions (we are working with her office & capital & planning offices at Parks now to finalize this plan)
3. $1.6 million committed by State Sen. Cordell Cleare for NW small playground / awaiting information on timeline as state funding moves more slowly than city funding
4. State of Good Repair Grant for repaving of the entire NW and SW sections of the park which will add new curbing, paver stones and (5) ADA entrances and fix the drainage issues inside the 123rd & MMPW entrance where the “lake” forms (expected to begin in early November 2023)
NEW HARLEM HORT HQ
— $50,000+ pledged by New York Junior League to finish needed work and open this to the public in June 2023
You may have noticed (2) greenhouses set up at the east end of the pool. Mike, Erick & I have been building out our plan to create a horticultural headquarters (HQ) that will do the following:
1. enable us to cultivate our own plants for Marcus Garvey & for the other (3) historic Harlem parks
2. enable us to offer free public horticulture programming (workshops, demonstrations, author talks, arts horticulture events, etc) by our Parks horticulture experts and with interested partners including GreenThumb, Partnerships for Parks, Harlem Grown, City Gardens Club, Horticultural Society & others
3. offer a meetup spot for the uptown gardening/hort community such as GreenThumb gardeners who have never had a central meet up site
4. create a hort volunteering meet up place where schedules can be posted, signup and pickup of tools, gloves, etc, can happen
5. offer a beautiful positive space for the community that can be used for events, meditation, etc.
$1.3 MILLION GRANT FROM MELLON FOUNDATION TO HARLEM GROWN
Harlem Grown submitted a grant to Mellon Foundation to provide support to Marcus Garvey as a cultural heritage site. This grant will provide the following:
1. support / fund new & existing community programming
2. support more public art in the park
3. support the mobile Harlem Grown teaching food kitchen in the park
4. support community engagement for the park
NEW COMMUNITY ROOM BY BALLFIELD TO BE AVAILABLE TO COMMUNITY PARTNERS / HARLEM LITTLE LEAGUE
The new comfort station between the ballfield and amphitheater has a community room inside of it that I can begin scheduling now for use by community partners such as Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, MMPCIA, Harlem Little League and others. Please contact me if your group wants to schedule time in the room for a meeting, community engagement forum, a membership recruitment event, etc. We are very excited to officially open this room with our great park partner — Harlem Little League in April as they kick off another season !
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
State NY Parks office has taken the lead working with me and our 2 parks groups to submit nomination paperwork for Marcus Garvey Park to be named to the National Register of Historic Places. We have moved forward to the next nomination round. If selected, this would provide more opportunities for needed funding such as for the acropolis.
ON POINT PARTNERSHIP REDUCES NEEDLES & MORE IN THE PARK
Our partnership with On Point, a drug treatment center on E. 126th, has helped us reduce the following:
1. # of needles in the park
2. the # of drug-addicted people choosing the park to inject/use
3. the # of people our PEP unit (Parks Enforcement Patrol) saves the lives of via NARCAN, which enables PEP to focus on its primary job of public safety
HARLEM EAT UP COMING TO THE PARK IN SEPTEMBER / OTHER KEY PROGRAMMING
I have been working with Harlem Eat Up to move their great food event from Morningside Park to Marcus Garvey Park, which is confirmed. Red Rooster’s own local & global celebrity Marcus Samuelsson created this local focus on great Harlem restaurants. The official event will take place September 9-10. We are finalizing logisitics and working with our Parks special events team. I will keep you informed on this great news.
Other key programming of our April – November schedule includes events being planned / confirmed per below:
MARCH – Bethel Gospel Social Justice & Community Volunteer Event
APRIL – Earth Day Community Volunteer Event
MAY – Mother’s Day Gardening Day
JUNE – Harlem HQ Opening Weekend and later in the month the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Festival
JULY – Classical Theatre of Harlem with annual free Shakespeare in the park & Jazzmobile Fridays
AUGUST – Jazzmobile Fridays continue & Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
SEPTEMBER – 3rd Annual Opening Night of MET Opera
OCTOBER – 2nd Annual Halloween Fright Night
TRAIL BOARDS FOR THE PARK
I have submitted for budgeting approval for (2-3) trail boards — bulletin boards – to be installed in the park to share news from Parks / city agencies and our (2) park groups, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance & MMPCIA with the public.
Please consider volunteering for the park as we always need interested people from the park community, partner park groups, schools, churches, etc, to help our small staff with the following:
– trash cleanup
– gardening volunteering (weeding, raking, planting, etc)
– painting (benches, fences, etc)
– programming in the park
– weekly walks of the park
– marketing of events & information in the park
Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions and if you want to schedule the community room, volunteer, etc & feel free to share!
Jana La Sorte
Administrator of Historic Harlem Parks
Shelter on Wards Island Closes
Gothamist and WNYC are reporting on the quiet closing of a disfunctional, dangerous, and troubled shelter on Wards Island.
The shelter which took up a few floors of the NYS psychiatric center (pictured above) was part of former Governor Cuomo’s family legacy – with his sister taking the helm most recently.