Along with Kate
BY ANNE SAXON-HERSH
PRESIDENT, FRIENDS OF DAG
On a cold but civil February day, I met my friend Millie Margiotta
in Hammarskjold park to take delivery on five engraved stepping
stones destined for the Katharine Hepburn Garden. The stones bear
quotations of Katharine Hepburn, and Millie had them made as samples.
Although the likes of William Shakespeare are more apt to be quoted
than our beloved Kate, the actress did come out with some original
pronouncements, such as "Enemies are so stimulating" -
thoughts that remind us of her independent nature and impetuous
spirit. Then there are her memorable movies that garnered 12 Oscar
nominations of which Hepburn won four. The titles of great film
classics like African Queen, Adam's Rib, and The Lion in Winter
can also be rendered with images onto stone.
To fund this project, we will invite individuals and groups to
sponsor an engraved stepping stone. The minimum contribution would
cover our cost of engraving and installing the stone, plus a donation
for the garden's upkeep. A plaque will be installed on the wall,
near the garden's entrance, bearing the names of all contributors
and listed according to level of contribution.
The engraved samples can be viewed by following the garden path
through the garden. There are five in all. Enter through the gate
at the Holocaust Memorial Wall.
This spring, we will undertake a major replanting of the Katharine
Hepburn Garden, which includes all the nonpaved area of Hammarskjold
park. Last year, we were able to install an irrigation system thanks
to support from the Greenacre Foundation. Now we want to replant
shrubs that were lost during droughts and create a lush oasis with
the addition of perennial groundcovers and flowers. The garden will
retain its naturalistic design while being enhanced with a variety
of texture and color. We are fortunate to have Tom Ching, Manhattan
Parks Manager and Director of Horticulture, working closely with
us, and park architect George Vellonakis can be counted upon to
keep us on track.
Our fundraising target for the planting is $20,000, which includes
a gardener working at least eight hours a week during the growing
season to direct the volunteers and perform horticultural maintenance.
Even the beleaguered beds in front of the iron fence will get a
face lift with seasonal plantings of colorful annuals and groundcover.
Plastic netting will be installed to keep the pigeons and dogs at
Crusade for Parks
Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is an nonprofit organization,
and while we work closely with the Turtle Bay Association and other
neighborhood groups, we are separate and autonomous, and we need
your support. Were it not for our dedicated volunteers and your
generous contributions, Dag Hammarksjold Plaza would quickly revert
to an eyesore, even with its magnificent new design. For example,
the fountains alone cost us $7,000 to maintain from May to October.
You may well ask, "Shouldn't the city do that?" The answer
is, yes, it should. But ten years of budget cuts have decimated
park staffing. The city's annual budget allocates less than 0.5
percent to park maintenance and operations, leaving community groups
or Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) to fill the gap. Don't
be misled by headlines trumpeting the city's ambitious program of
park restorations and acquisition of new parkland - that's Capital
Funding, replete with the political fanfare of ribbon cuttings,
ground-breakings and photo ops. Meanwhile, day-to-day park management
and maintenance continues to fall by the wayside. While we commend
the city's "Partnership for Parks" program that lends
guidance and support to groups like ours, we believe that city government
is on a precarious course, abdicating a fundamental responsibility
to adequately care for a park system that encompasses some 28,000
acres, of which Dag Hammarskjold Plaza comprises 1.5 acres.
This year, community groups throughout the five boroughs are banding
together in a Crusade for Parks to make the condition of our public
parks an election-year issue. Stay tuned for updates. In the meantime,
join us in making Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and its Katharine Hepburn
Garden the pride of Turtle Bay.
Special Acknowledgement. We wish to thank Sage Realty Corporation
for sponsoring the lighted trees in the fountains. The twinkling
trees illuminated the park during the dark days of winter, creating
such a lovely sight that we left them up until the end of February.
In particular, we commend Jane Bernard for working with Friends
of DHP to make the signage and fountain art an elegant decorative
Home | About
Us | Announcements | History
| Map | Places of Interest
Help Line | Membership
| Links | Yellow Pages
| Advertising | Contact
Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
Fax (212) 751-4941