A Ranger educates the public at the Ryan Visitor Center. Photo by Ned Berke
Two exciting, historical presentations will be taking place this Sunday, December 15 at Floyd Bennett Field’s Ryan Visitor Center.
Famous First Flights: Jamaica Bay has had its fair share of famous first flights taking off and landing from its shores. Join a park ranger from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a slideshow about these flights, and many others.
Civil War or Civil Rights – A Century of Change: Explore the major events of the civil rights continuum during the pivotal years from 1863 to 1963, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Anyone can come to both events — reservations are not required. To get there by public transportation, take the Q35 bus [PDF].
Sorry for the short notice, but if you’re looking for a fun and educational activity for your four- or five-year-old this afternoon, head on over to the Golden Age Discovery Room in the recently restored Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Home to New York City’s first municipal airport, children can learn all about airplanes during a fun story teaching session. The event is free — anyone can come — and reservations are not required. To get there by public transportation, take the Q35 bus [PDF].
The company seeking to run a gas pipeline under Floyd Bennett Field and build a meter and regulating station in a historic airplane hangar there commissioned a report that found a .2 percent chance the planned facility would be flooded, even amid rising sea levels.
The Williams Transco pipeline company’s report came in response to an April 4 letter from the New York Department of State seeking reassurance that the station couldn’t be breeched after the Federal Emergency Management Agency updated its flood maps, post-Hurricane Sandy.
“Infrastructure in general was severely impacted by Sandy and NYDOS would not be adequately addressing coastal policies if we did not try to ensure that new infrastructure projects were able to withstand coastal impacts, including flooding,” Laz Benitez, an NYDOS spokesman said in an email.
Source: CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities / Flickr
Volunteers are wanted to help celebrate the upcoming Earth Day by helping to clean up marine debris at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, April 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You can get there via public transportation on the Q52/53 buses.
The cleanup will require moderate physical exertion, so be prepared to flex those muscles. You should dress for the weather — wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes and bring a pair (or more) of work gloves.
Anyone can help out and groups are welcome too. Registration is required — call (718) 318-4340 to sign up.
The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Source: jennesy / Flickr
Gateway National Recreation Area’s Jamaica Bay Unit has lots of family-friendly Spring Break programs going on at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Fort Tilden. A schedule of events, which starts tomorrow, is below.
Schedule Of Events
Have a Hoot with a Ranger, Saturday, March 23, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Junior Rangers are invited to an owl adventure. Learn about owls and their habitat through a hike and an owl pellet investigation. Anyone can come! No charge and no reservations required. Note: Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Bus Q52/53.
Jamaica Bay Origami, Sunday, March 24, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Did you know that origami came from the Japanese words “Oru” meaning “to fold” and “Kami” meaning “paper”? Learn more about this relaxing art and create the animals found in and around Jamaica Bay. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Bus Q52/53.
Woodcock Watch, March 26, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Wait and watch in the dusk for American woodcocks and their amazing flying tricks. These birds, also known as timberdoodles, mudbats or bogsuckers, put on a spring show that’s not to be missed. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Program will begin with a brief indoor presentation. Bring a flashlight. Bus Q 52/53.
Moon Shine, Wednesday, March 27, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Enjoy the night as a ranger guides you along the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge trail on a full moon night. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Please wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. You are welcome to bring a flashlight. Rain date: Thursday, March 28. Bus Q52/53.
Spring Surprises, Thursday, March 28, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. On this family-friendly nature walk, we will seek out some springtime surprises, including a plant that has been used as makeup, flowers that have gone to war, and birds of many kinds. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: We’ll have binoculars available to borrow, please bring your own if you have them. Moderate physical exertion (one mile). Bus Q52/53.
NYC Audubon Early Spring Bird Walk, Saturday, March 30, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Meet at the Jamaica Bay Refuge visitor center for a hike around the ponds and uplands to look for the first birds of spring. We can expect to see ospreys, oystercatchers, ibis, great egrets, laughing gulls, and phoebes to name a few. Leader: Don Riepe. Anyone can come. Reservations required. Note: To reserve call (917) 371-8577; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Bus Q52/53.
Creepy Crawlies, Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. The itsy bitsy spider is fun to learn about, and the insects are too. Hear all about creepy crawlies during this interactive family-friendly program. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Bus Q52/53.
Explore the Back Woods of Fort Tilden, Sunday, March 31, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Fort Tilden, Queens. Enter the woods with American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen to search for early spring birds, bursting buds and historic fortifications of World War II. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Bus Q22/35.
If you need more information, call the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at (718) 318-4340.
Earlier this month we reported on plans by the Parks Department and the National Parks Service (NPS) to introduce more tourist-friendly elements to Jamaica Bay, like bike rentals and food concessions. Now it looks like the Parks Department and the NPS have announced three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that further detail their plans to attract more visitors via a press release.
“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with the City to expand visitor services at our beaches through the wonderful food found in New York City’s mobile food trucks,” said Linda Canzanelli, Superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area. “Expanded opportunities for biking, canoeing and kayaking are great ways to help everyone experience America’s great outdoors and the wonders to be found around Jamaica Bay.”
The Parks Department and the NPS are seeking food vendors for “a one year term, with three, one year renewal options – exercisable at NYC Parks’ and the concessionaires’ mutual discretion.”
If you have a food truck business and would like to get on the ground floor of the emerging Jamaica Bay tourist scene, the Parks Department and the NPS are accepting proposals to their RFPs right now. Here are the details from the press release.
All proposals submitted in response to these RFPs must be submitted no later than Monday, April 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm. There will be a recommended proposer meeting and site tour on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 10:00 am. Meetings begin in the multipurpose room (to the right of the lobby and down the hall) of Gateway National Recreation Area’s Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field, which is located at Aviation Road and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.
Hard copies of the RFPs can be obtained, at no cost, through Monday, April 8, 2013 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays, at the Revenue Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which is located at 830 Fifth Avenue, Room 407, New York, NY 10065.
The RFPs are also available for download through Monday, April 8, 2013 on the Parks Department website. To download the RFP, visit http://www.nyc.gov/parks/businessopportunities and click on the “Concessions Opportunities at Parks” link. Once you have logged in, click on the “download” link that appears adjacent to the RFP’s description.
For more information or to request to receive a copy of the RFP by mail, prospective proposers may contact Lauren Standke from the Revenue Division of Parks at (212) 360-3495 or at email@example.com.
The Gateway National Recreation Area announced the state of their recovery following the destruction left by Superstorm Sandy late last October.
Many parks have already re-opened for the summer season, including the campgrounds at Floyd Bennett Field, which opened March 1, while even more are slated for spring openings. Here is a rundown of what’s open and what’s set to open, courtesy of the Gateway National Recreation Area’s release:
The following areas of the park are already open to the public; Fort Wadsworth, Great Kills Park (with the exception of Crooke’s Point), the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Floyd Bennett Field, Frank Charles Park and Hamilton Beach. The park is pleased to be able to announce more opening dates.
… To make a reservation at any of our camp sites please visit www.recreation.gov. Some fishing areas are already open, others, such as Crooke’s Point will open soon. Unfortunately some fishing areas won’t be open this year due to safety issues. 2012 fishing permits will be honored through March 31st, and 2013 permits will be available after March 15th. Most guarded beach areas will open as normal for the summer season, Memorial Day Weekend.
Riis Park will open Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27, 2013). Fort Tilden Beach will be closed this summer due to safety concerns, but the facilities in Fort Tilden, including the Rockaway Little League, will be open for the summer. The Breezy Point Tip access road remains closed until it can be regraded. Canarsie Pier remains closed until an engineering study can be done.
A little duck walks around the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Source: peterjr1961 / Flickr
The Jamaica Bay Task Force (JBTF) will hold its next meeting January 29, 6:30 p.m. at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 175 Crossbay Boulevard in Broad Channel, Queens. The public is invited to attend and partake in the open discussion period.
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland will be on hand to discuss the DEP’s response to Superstorm Sandy and Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent Linda Canzanelli will give the National Park Service’s update on damage to the Wildlife Refuge from Sandy.
Project Managers Dan Felt and Lenny Houston will highlight Jamaica Bay projects currently being undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers and Region 2 Director of the NYS DEC, Venetia Lannon, will talk about DEC’s response to Sandy.
A question and answer session will follow each presentation.
To learn more about what the JBTF does and how to get involved, contact Don Riepe of the American Littoral Society at (718) firstname.lastname@example.org or Dan Mundy of the Jamaica Bay EcoWatchers at (718) email@example.com.
A fascinating and revealing photo exhibit is being unveiled at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Queens next week, detailing Superstorm Sandy’s impact on the Gateway National Recreation Area.
The exhibit, dubbed, “Hurricane Sandy: Before and After,” will open on Sunday, January 27, between 3 and 5 p.m. It features photographs taken by National Park Service (NPS) employees in a large format, two feet by three feet, detailing Sandy’s destruction on the park.
“While these pictures demonstrate damage, the take-away message should not be one of doom and gloom, but rather one of resilience,” stated Superintendent Linda Canzanelli in a press release. “There is still a lot of work to do and some things have changed forever. But the park is reopening, the natural areas will rebound and park visitors will be welcomed back.”
The extensive photography undertaken by NPS employees was part of the greater recovery effort which also included clearing road, moving sand and moving trees. The effort to stabilize the area after the events of Sandy has been described as the largest incident response in National Park history.
If you’d like to see the exhibit when it opens on January 27, head over to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor center located at 1oo Cross Bay Boulevard in Queens. The exhibit will be open daily, free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., until the end of March.
Fort Tilden, before and after Sandy. Click to enlarge. (Source: NPS)
Six weeks after Superstorm Sandy struck the Gateway Recreational Area, a majority of the space remains closed, according to a New York Times report. The National Parks Service, which is in charge of the clean up, is facing an enormous task, clearing sand and debris from roadways, restoring drinking water and sewage treatment, and fighting mold breakouts in buildings where basements were flooded.
The National Parks Service has imported federal personnel from across the country to fill out and supplement Gateway’s staff, allowing for quick progress on the removal of sand and debris clogging the roadways.
The large crew faces tougher challenges than cosmetic ones like road clearing. Freshwater ponds in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge were flooded with saltwater when Sandy’s storm surge etched a new inlet in the Bay, breaching the natural separation from sea waters. In Sandy Hook, a wastewater treatment plant and a drinking water system were both disrupted by the surging waters.
Also hampering restoration were the presence of thousands of first responders who used the area to stage recovery operations. Gateway’s superintendent, Linda Canzanelli, told the Times that, “Gateway became the epicenter for the recovery, and we had 5,000 rescue folks in Floyd Bennett Field and Miller Field. A lot brought in trailers and tents.”