May 18th, 2011
BY Marissa Maier | From a sliver of park to large acreage sloping toward the Hudson River, each green space in Lower Manhattan has its own set of challenges and is often funded through a variety of public and private sources. Recognizing a tough economic landscape, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and Community Board 1 Chairperson Julie Menin assembled a group of representatives from 13 park and government organizations on Thursday, May 12, for the first Harbor Task Force meeting.
In addition, 12 political officials, from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, were represented at the closed-door meeting. Staff from Governors Island, the Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy were also included since Community Board 1’s jurisdiction includes Governors Island and the Brooklyn groups fall within Senator Squadron’s district.
“Once upon a time if you called a meeting like this, you would just have the Parks Department come,” Sen. Squadron said at the meeting.
In an interview afterward, he explained that this change came about for three reasons: “One, we have ambitious, expensive, ribbon parks that you could have never built traditionally; two, for the last 30 years the role of government has unfortunately changed, it’s less expansive; and three, in Lower Manhattan, as part of the rebuilding, there has been interest and investment in the progress of these projects.”
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