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A Wonderful Season for the Parks of Turtle Bay
By Marie-Louise Handal
TBA Parks Committee Chair

The installation of benches and other finishing touches mark the long-awaited completion of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza's renovation. Thanks to volunteers, the Katharine Hepburn Garden within the park has been watched over, watered, weeded and pruned since its completion and dedication in May 1997. We expect official opening ceremonies for this masterfully designed park to be announced this summer. Meanwhile, TBA is working hand-in-hand with Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and city agencies to provide for responsible maintenance and security. Watch for announcements about special events scheduled for the remaining months of the year.

Dragon Thrills Kids

The rising popularity of MacArthur Playground as a favorite neighborhood gathering place for families and children was evidenced by another hit performance by the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre of their newest production, The Reluctant Dragon, on June 10. An audience of over 250 children and adults was wowed by the imaginative set, costumes and puppets, which included a fire-breathing, seven-foot, sparkling blue dragon. The show, sponsored by the Turtle Bay Association, was presented by NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the City Parks Foundation.

Following the performance, the crew of the Marionette Theatre led a puppet-making workshop for the children. Their delight was unmistakable among the swirl of paper plates with creatively painted faces, colorful yarn for hair, cotton puffs for noses, and tufts of feathers in every color of the rainbow. It was a joy for TBA Parks Committee members to see how expertly the puppeteers helped the children create their own unique puppet portraits.

Detmold Park Spruce-Up

At Peter Detmold Park, several new flower beds have been dug and planted with summer annuals and spring-blooming bulbs. TBA Parks Committee has undertaken a major pruning effort to shape up the shrubs and vines in the park, while the Parks Department will soon be steam- cleaning the James Amster Pavilion (the rotunda) and the entrance-way trellis.

A handsome iron fence with improved gates was recently installed around the dog-run at Detmold Park. Now that the run no longer extends into the area housing the utility sheds, the barren ground at the base of the stone staircase to Beekman Place is being planted. Thanks to Council Member Gifford Miller, who provided funding for the fence, a big new utility shed now provides ample space for gardening tools and dog-run supplies.

In a final note, three cheers for the dozens of Turtle Bay residents who turned out for the annual NYC Parks Spring Green-up Day. Several neighborhood groups participated, among them TBA, Friends of Hammarskjold Plaza, and the gardeners of PDP-ARF, the dog-run association. We also applaud the Parks Department and the 17th Precinct for their renewed commitment to enforcing the leash law and ticketing offenders.

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
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