Lost Parks Of New York City

Critics say New York City Parks Department ignoring certain city parks --most in poor neighborhoods.
July 7, 2005, 6am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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"New York City has acquired almost 300 acres of parkland since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office in 2002. But critics say that the city started neglecting some existing parks - most in poor neighborhoods - long before Mr. Bloomberg named Mr. Benepe parks commissioner shortly after taking office.

Mr. Benepe bristles at the suggestion that the Parks Department favors certain areas of the city over others..

Just how many of the city's 1,700 public parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities are not actively maintained is not clear, but Mr. Benepe said that a limited number of city parks would "never be great parks" because they are on land unsuitable to be developed as parkland, or because they are in neighborhoods that are no longer significantly residential.

There is no list, no formal process leading to a park being written off. But it is clear that some parks, over a period of decades, have simply fallen out of favor with the Parks Department, which says that every park is supposed to be cleaned at least once a day."

Thanks to Melissa Chow

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Published on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 in The New York Times
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