New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Parks

Upper East Side Patch $80M Renovation Coming To East River Esplanade On Upper East Side by Nick Garber

$80M Renovation Coming To East River Esplanade On Upper East Side

The city provided no timeline for when work would begin, saying details would be determined during the design process. The Parks and Transportation departments will present the project Thursday night to Community Board 8.

"John Finley Walk is an incredible spot to take a stroll and enjoy the waterfront," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "These infrastructure improvements will ensure New Yorkers will be able to enjoy this beautiful promenade for generations to come."

News of the repairs was hailed by local officials, including City Councilmember Ben Kallos, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Our Town Kallos Allocates $3M to Renovate Ruppert Park by Jason Cohen

Kallos Allocates $3M to Renovate Ruppert Park

As Council member Ben Kallos has received complaints about outdated equipment at Ruppert Park, he stepped up to the plate and allocated $3 million to give it a much needed facelift.

Ruppert Park, located at Second Ave. between East 90th Street and East 91st Street, was built in 1979, yet it has been nearly 25 years since it was renovated.

“We haven’t done enough for Ruppert Park,” the Council member said. “It’s fallen into disrepair.”

According to Kallos, parents with young children will go to any park on the UES but Ruppert.

Upper East Side Patch Upper East Side's Ruppert Park To Get Major Renovation by Nick Garber

Upper East Side's Ruppert Park To Get Major Renovation
  • https://patch.com/img/cdn20/users/23562214/20210505/092803/styles/patch_image/public/upper-east-side-ruppert-park-renovations___05212735918.jpgThe one-acre park, on Second Avenue between East 90th and 91st streets, was built in 1979 by the city's Housing Preservation Department before being transferred to the Parks Department in the 1990s. (Nick Garber/Patch)

A grassless area repurposed as a dog run could be rehabilitated through Ruppert Park's renovations, Councilmember Ben Kallos said. (Nick Garber/Patch)

The one-acre park, on Second Avenue between East 90th and 91st streets, was built in 1979 by the city's Housing Preservation Department before being transferred to the Parks Department in the 1990s.A grassless area repurposed as a dog run could be rehabilitated through Ruppert Park's renovations, Councilmember Ben Kallos said.

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Ruppert Park, one of the Upper East Side's small but treasured green spaces, is set for a major overhaul thanks to an infusion of new funding, City Councilmember Ben Kallos told Patch.

The one-acre park, on Second Avenue between East 90th and 91st streets, was built in 1979 by the city's Housing Preservation Department before being transferred to the Parks Department in the 1990s.

In that time, it has served countless families and hosted many an afternoon playtime — but Ruppert remains "an acquired taste," Kallos said.

 

"The park has a very '70s design," he said. "Walking by the park as a child, all I saw was a giant six-foot fence and overgrowth that just doesn't seem welcoming."

A fountain in the center of the park is rarely functional, its "four-leaf clover" design has led to two quadrants being under-used, including a grassless stretch that has been repurposed as a dog run. Overly dense trees create a lack of sunlight and excessive moisture in the summertime, attracting bugs, Kallos said.

Upper East Side Patch Long-Awaited Carl Schurz Park Playground Renovation Completed by Nick Garber

Long-Awaited Carl Schurz Park Playground Renovation Completed

One day after it reopened, Kallos said the playground was already jam-packed when he stopped by on Friday, with more than one birthday party underway. The yearlong closure was bound to be a hardship for the neighborhood — and the events of the last few months only amplified that, he said.

"If I knew that the pandemic was going to happen, I probably would've wanted to delay it a year," Kallos said.

A small bit of the renovation remains to be done — the Parks Department still needs to replace one piece of equipment and add an ADA-accessible swing, Kallos said.

Still, most of the work wrapped up just in time: the next few days' forecasts call for 70-degree highs.

New York Post NYPD barricades have turned Gracie Mansion into de Blasio’s fortress, neighbors say by Sara Dorn

NYPD barricades have turned Gracie Mansion into de Blasio’s fortress, neighbors say

Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents Yorkville, said his office has received “dozens” of complaints about the barricades.

“Families who didn’t abandon our city, families who stayed, feel frustrated they don’t have anywhere they can go because Gracie has barricaded off an acre of our limited parkland. Families stop me in the streets, people in my building complain to me, we get phone calls, we get emails. People just don’t understand why the mayor is doing this,” he said.

A map showing Gracie Mansion/Carl Schurz Park closed to the public.Benjamin Kallos

“Gracie Mansion is already fortified. They have already increased the height of the fences,” Kallos said, referring to the 4-foot addition his fellow Democrat erected in 2014 for “privacy” reasons

Statement on Esplanade Collapse at East 76th Street

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

When I got elected the Esplanade was falling into the East River and now it has not once but twice. No sooner than we finished repairs on the collapse between 88th and 90th did we see a new sinkhole collapse at 76th Street. As Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney we’ve secured more $278 million to repair this Esplanade with the hope of getting ahead of these collapses. Where previous repairs have taken years or months, the Parks Department will be using funds we’ve already secured to mobilize and promised to begin repairs in the coming weeks. Our taskforce will work to keep this repair on track and restore this vital park space.

Upper East Side Patch Use Of Toxic Pesticide In Harlem Is Environmental Racism: Study by Brendan Krisel

Use Of Toxic Pesticide In Harlem Is Environmental Racism: Study

HARLEM, NY — Parks in Harlem were sprayed with the dangerous pesticide Roundup, which contains the potentially carcinogenic chemical glyphosate, much more often than parks in other Manhattan neighborhoods, according to a study released Wednesday.

Of the 50 Manhattan parks and playgrounds sprayed with the Monsanto-produced pesticide in 2018 only eight were located outside the Harlem neighborhood, according to records acquired by The Black Institute. The group released its study titled "Poison Parks" on Wednesday in support of a City Council bill to ban the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides in city parks.

New York Daily News Construction of East Midtown Greenway begins on Manhattan waterfront by Anna Sanders

Construction of East Midtown Greenway begins on Manhattan waterfront

“Today marks another major step forward in returning the waterfront of New York City to New Yorkers,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “I look forward to the day when families and friends can relax and enjoy the East Midtown Greenway—an oasis in the heart of our city.”

The city also plans to renovate and add an extension to Andrew Haswell Green Park, which will border the greenway on the north, and add a new accessible pedestrian bridge for those with disabilities.

The City PARKS DEPARTMENT MAY SHRINK COSTLY BATHROOMS TO SAVE CASH by Yoav Gonen

PARKS DEPARTMENT MAY SHRINK COSTLY BATHROOMS TO SAVE CASH

The Parks Department is looking to curb the cost of constructing new public bathrooms — by making them smaller.

Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver Tuesday said the agency is exploring stand-alone units tested in other cities, such as the Portland Loo and trailer-like bathrooms in Boston.