|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||October 28, 2011|
|Contact:||Alexander Brash, Senior Northeast Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association P: 212.617.2989 or C: 917.420.0876
Alison Zemanski, Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association P: 202.454.3332; C: 202.384.8762
National Parks Group Applauds Unprecedented Effort to Revitalize Gateway National Recreation Area
New York City Mayor Bloomberg and Interior Secretary Salazar create partnership to enhance visitor experience at Gateway in New York City
“Gateway is New York City’s greatest unrealized asset and we are thrilled by today’s announcement by Mayor Bloomberg and Secretary Salazar to create a new partnership focused on revitalizing Gateway National Recreation Area, including Jamaica Bay and Floyd Bennett Field. With their leadership and commitment, we believe Gateway will become an iconic urban national park.
“After more than six years of NPCA’s efforts to bring attention to Gateway’s plight, including a comprehensive report by NPCA’s Center for Park Research, which gave Gateway some of the lowest scores to date, giving the park a poor rating for the conditions of its natural and cultural resources. Next, NPCA and our partner groups led a contest titled, Envisioning Gateway, an international public design competition, launched in 2007, as an open call for ideas to transform Gateway, which received more than 100 submissions from 22 different countries. This work, in addition to a report from the Regional Plan Association, brought much needed attention to park’s state.
“Senator Charles Schumer (D - NY) then called for the creation of the Floyd Bennett Field Blue Ribbon Panel, a task force to establish a shared vision for the future of the park and to make recommendations about how to improve the country’s third most-visited national recreation area. This summer, the Blue Ribbon Panel released a report titled, Floyd Bennett Field: The Next Jewel in New York’s Urban Park Crown, which offers recommendations to improve the park’s natural, cultural and recreational resources including creating a private, state and federal partnership, creating a new master plan for Floyd Bennett Field, improving visitor experience and access, restoring hundreds of acres of wetlands, grasslands, and forests and developing a comprehensive education program at the park. “The Senator’s leadership is complemented by the Mayor and the Secretary’s announcement today, and we are grateful.”
“The people of New York City have recognized that quality of life is a vital part of any functioning city and today’s announcement and commitment by the city and the federal government recognizes the need and potential of this treasured place. With more than five miles of waterfront, wetlands, grasslands, and beaches, Gateway National Recreation Area is a great escape for visitors and the millions of people that live in the world’s largest city. We look forward to working together to advance the years of work dedicated to making Gateway America’s iconic urban national park for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”